Addendum #5


Board of Trustees

Ad Hoc Strategic Planning Committee

September 29, 2011


Members Present:                                         Gavin Leach                                       

L. Garnet Lewis, Chair                                   Cynthia Prosen

Jon G. LaSalle                                     Terrance Seethoff

Brian Cloyd, ex officio                                  

Michael Andary                                              Members Absent:

Justin Brugman                                               Howard Cohodas

Kathleen Godec                                             

Brent Graves                                                   Guests:          

Martha Haynes                                                Mr. Chuck Reed, Stamats, Inc.


The ad hoc Strategic Planning Committee meeting was called to order at 10:00 a.m. 


Chair Lewis reported on the Core Branding Committee meeting held on September 2, 2011. 


Chair Lewis said the ad hoc Strategic Planning Committee will suspend work for awhile as the subcommittees continue to pursue their efforts.  The Committee had recommended and the Board agreed that key focus areas for the Board would include tuition (including finding alternative revenue sources), branding (what does NMU want to be, what can NMU be realistically, and keeping NMU flexible enough to respond to potential new programs and workforce demands), and entrepreneurial initiatives (to allow the university to pursue either funding generated program initiatives and/or specific market opportunities).  These efforts are now underway within the subcommittees.


Mr. Chuck Reed, Senior Vice President for Client Services for Stamats, Inc. updated the Committee on the progress of the branding study.   Mr. Reed said the big question is “How will Northern Michigan University differentiate itself from its competitors in ways that its target audiences value?”  Stamats, Inc. conducted data and document and competitor brand reviews in July and August.   In September Mr. Reed and a colleague conducted campus interviews and held a community meeting.  In October they will conduct a web survey of guidance counselors and teachers, a telephone survey of prospective high school students, and a telephone survey of parents of prospective high school students.


Mr. Reed reviewed the research on NMU’s competitors outlining their attributes and their taglines.  He then gave an overview of NMU’s strengths and challenges that emerged as a result of the recent interviews with students, faculty, staff, and community members.  The next step for Stamats, Inc. is to conduct the quantitative research and to compare the results with the results of the qualitative research.  Mr. Reed responded to questions and comments from Committee members. 


The meeting was adjourned at 12:00 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,



L. Garnet Lewis, Chair