Minutes of the Formal Session


Friday, September 20, 2013


A formal session of the Board of Trustees of Northern Michigan University was held on Friday, September 20, 2013, in the Wildcat Room of the Berry Event Center, Northern Michigan University, Marquette, Michigan.  The meeting was convened at 9:00 a.m. by Chair L. Garnet Lewis.


Trustees present included:


      Dr. L. Garnet Lewis, Chair           Mr. Steven M. Mitchell         Mr. Gilbert L. Ziegler  

      Mr. Stephen F. Adamini               Mr. Richard M. Popp             Dr. Thomas H. Zurbuchen

      Mr. Stephen L. Gulis, Jr.              Dr. H. Sook Wilkinson           Dr. David S. Haynes, ex officio      



Senior staff and counsel present included:


      Ms. Martha B. Haynes, Vice President for Advancement

Dr. Paul L. Lang, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Mr. R. Gavin Leach, Vice President for Finance and Administration and Treasurer of the Board

      Ms. Theresa M. Nease, Executive Assistant to the President and Secretary of the Board

Mr. Kurt McCamman, Legal Counsel




There were none.





Dr. Russell Magnaghi, University Historian, presented on the history of student organizations at NMU.  He distributed a listing from the NMU Telephone Directory which shows the current student organizations on campus.  There were no dormitories on campus from 1917 through 1949 so student organizations were an important part of campus life as they were a way to socialize.  The first student organization, the Literary Club, was formed in December of 1899.  Soon after in 1907, in order to get students involved two, literary societies formed:  Osiris and Ygeridsel.  All students had to join one of these organizations, and it was a requirement to attend frequent meetings.  The mandatory nature came to an end by 1925, and both organizations were disbanded.  The rise of fraternities and sororities began in 1914 with the Sons of Thor and blossomed in the 1920s.  Student organizations did a variety of things over the year, including putting on Shakespearean plays in the 1920s.  Student organizations have allowed students to develop leadership skills, and they have brought many prominent speakers to the entire campus.  There have been over 1,000 organizations associated with NMU students since 1899.  In 2012-2013 there were over 240 clubs and organizations on campus.








Provost Lang read a memorial for Travis Kappler, an NMU student who passed away on July 26.  Travis was from Ripon, Wisconsin and was a Business Computer Information Systems major with a concentration in Networking Administration. 





Dr. Paul Lang, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs; Dr. K.C. Holder, Professor of Education; Dr. Rob Winn, Associate Dean General Education & Retention; and Prof. Sandi Poindexter, Consultant, reported on the process and progress of accreditation at NMU.  Topics covered included a definition of accreditation, the U.S. accreditation hierarchy, Federal compliance, Higher Learning Commission criteria, Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP), AQIP Components and Cycle, Action Projects, the 2006, 2010, and 2014 Systems Portfolios, NMU’s accomplishments since the 2010 accreditation, Outcomes Assessment, General Education/Liberal Studies reform, and the accreditation timeline.  



RECESS – Chair Lewis recessed the meeting at 10:40 a.m. for a break.



RECONVENE Chair Lewis reconvened the meeting at 10:51 a.m.







Mr. Popp, Chair of the Executive Committee, reviewed the Executive Committee charge and make up.  He then reported on the meetings held on Friday, August 16, 2013 and Thursday, September 19, 2013.  Copies of the reports are appended to these minutes (Addendums #1 and #2).


Academic Affairs


Dr. Wilkinson, Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee, reported on a meeting held on Thursday, September 19, 2013.  A copy of the report is appended to these minutes (Addendum #3). 




Mr. Gulis, Chair of the Finance Committee, reported on meetings held on Thursday, September 5, 2013 and Thursday, September 19, 2013.  Copies of the reports are appended to these minutes.  (Addendums #4 and #5). 


Ad hoc Nominating


Mr. Gulis reported on the Ad hoc Nominating Committee meeting held on Thursday, September 19, 2013 (Addendum #6).  Following the recommendation of the Committee, Chair Lewis asked for other nominations from the floor.  Trustee Ziegler nominated Trustee Adamini for Chair.  Trustee Adamini declined the nomination citing personal reasons. 


It was moved by Trustee Adamini, seconded by Trustee Ziegler, and unanimously supported by the Board to close nominations and to cast a unanimous ballot for Chair and Vice Chair as proposed by the Nomination Committee to elect Trustee Richard M. Popp as Chair and Trustee H. Sook Wilkinson as Vice Chair of the NMU Board of Trustees for calendar year 2014. 





Chair Lewis said the proposed 2014 meeting calendar is part of the formal recommendations.  The Board reviewed the calendar.  It was noted that there may be some revisions in the dates to accommodate maximum attendance by Board members.  These revisions will be discussed and placed in the formals at the December meeting.




Chair Lewis reviewed the Presidential Search process to date.  The announcement was made to begin the process to select a permanent president for the institution during the May NMU Board of Trustee meeting.   In June Dr. Carol Cartwright, a consultant with the Association of Governing Boards, met with the Board to have a facilitative discussion of the most effective search process.  The Board then began to brainstorm on the timeline, process, and makeup of the search committee.  In late July the Board convened again and discussed the search process, timeline, resolution, Request for Proposals (RFP) process, and to identify search firms to solicit participation this process.  The Board reconvened in early September in Detroit to interview search firms (eight of the fourteen firms submitted a proposal, four were interviewed).  On September 16 the Board met via telephone conference to come to agreement on the firm to recommend. 


It was moved by Trustee Popp, seconded by Trustee Zurbuchen, and supported unanimously by the Board to adopt the following resolution:



WHEREAS, Dr. David Haynes’ appointment as Interim President ends effective June 30, 2014; and


WHEREAS, the Board of Trustees recognizes its responsibility to lead the presidential search process and select the next President of Northern Michigan University; and

WHEREAS, the Board further recognizes that the search process include input from the University community and from the greater community;




The Board will seek to engage the services of an executive search firm, Witt/Kieffer, to assist the Board in the search process and that the Board authorize its Chair to negotiate and execute a contract, on behalf of the University, for these services.

It is further resolved that the Board establish a Presidential Search Advisory Committee (PSAC) to assist the Board in the identification of qualified candidates for the presidency and that Board of Trustees Member H. Sook Wilkinson be named Chair of the PSAC.


It is further resolved that the additional members of the PSAC be composed as follows:


1.     Mr. Stephen Adamini, Board Member

2.     Mr. Nathan Bradbury, ASNMU

3.     Mr. Sten Fjeldheim, Head Coach-Skiing

4.     Ms. Felecia Flack, Director-Information Technology

5.     Dr. Alec Lindsay, Associate Professor-Biology

6.     Dr. Joseph Lubig, Associate Dean-Teacher Education

7.     Mr. Steve Mitchell, Board Member

8.     Ms. Jane Surrell, Director-Prospect/Advancement Database Management

9.     Ms. Rebecca Thomson, Alumna

10.  Dr. Mary Jane Tremethick, Associate Dean and Director, School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation


It is further resolved that Dr. Wilkinson be authorized to make such adjustments in the PSAC membership as she may find necessary.


It is further resolved that the Board Secretary serve as search coordinator, thereby providing assistance to Dr. Wilkinson and to Witt/Kieffer.


It is further resolved that the Board expressly reserve all power and authority to issue directives, from time to time, to the PSAC, and that it issue the following directives to the PSAC as of this date:


The PSAC shall conduct itself and carry out its work in a manner that enhances the stature of Northern Michigan University.


The PSAC shall carry out its work with the University’s commitment to principles and policies of diversity and pluralism.


The PSAC shall review candidates in light of the Presidential Selection Criteria which will be approved by the Board and presented to the PSAC.


The PSAC shall be guided by presidential search best practices as provided by the selected search firm.


The PSAC shall conduct the reviewing of candidates in such a manner as to ensure that confidentiality is strictly observed in accordance with Michigan Law.


The PSAC shall understand at all times that it is the obligation and the right that the Board select the President.


The PSAC shall understand that the Board will make its own decision regarding the acceptability of the PSAC’s candidate recommendations, may add its own candidate recommendations at any time during the search process, and shall elect any individual of its choosing as President.


The PSAC shall recommend to the Board its slate of best-qualified candidates.  However, the PSAC may not remove any candidate from consideration until such time that the Board officially selects a President. 


After such time as the Board receives from the PSAC its slate of best-qualified candidates, the Board of Trustees as a whole will continue the search process and will select the President.


            The Board, and the Chair of the PSAC, will provide direction to the PSAC regarding communication between the Board and the PSAC; the PSAC and the Board may meet periodically.


            Finally, it is resolved that the sole spokespersons for the University during the search process shall be Dr. Wilkinson in her role as Chair of the PSAC and Dr. Lewis in her role as Chair of the Board.





President Haynes reminded Board members about this weekend’s activities including the homecoming parade, Game Day, Volleyball and Football games, and the NMU Foundation Campaign  Kickoff.


The Provost, Director of Athletics, and Director of Communications are working on a project which will display information on academic all stars and academic programs in the Superior Dome.


The NMU Marching band is the largest in decades.  Last year Grand Valley State University sent their marching band to NMU, and this year NMU is sending its band to Grand Valley.  The band will visit area high schools on Thursday and Friday as a new recruitment effort.


On September 11 Campus Republicans, Campus Democrats, and ASNMU came together and covered the academic mall area with flags as a tribute to the victims of 9-11.





Mr. Amber Lopota, President of the ASNMU, updated the Board on ASNMU activities. (Addendum #7)





Trustee Zurbuchen asked for clarification of Formal E1.  The recommendation should read the Department of Marketing reporting to the Vice President for Advancement in the interim.


It was moved by Trustee Zurbuchen seconded by Trustee Popp_and supported by the Board to approve the formal recommendations as amended. 



President Haynes made this announcement for the public record. 





Trustee Popp read a letter of tribute for Coach Carl “Buck” Nystrom.  The framed tribute will be presented to Coach Nystrom at an event held in his honor this evening.  Board members added their comments and tributes.





Chair Lewis adjourned the meeting at 11:45 a.m.


Respectfully submitted,




Theresa M. Nease

Secretary of the Board