NORTHERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Minutes of the Formal Session
A formal session of the Board of Trustees of Northern Michigan University was held on Friday, December 11, 2015 in the University Center of Northern Michigan University, Marquette, Michigan. The meeting was convened at 10:09 a.m. in the Marquette/Nicolet/Cadillac Room by Chair Richard M. Popp.
Trustees present included:
Mr. Richard M. Popp, Chair Ms. Tami M. Seavoy
Mr. Scott L. Holman Dr. H. Sook Wilkinson
Dr. L. Garnet Lewis Dr. Thomas H. Zurbuchen
Mr. Robert E. Mahaney Dr. Fritz J Erickson, ex officio
Mr. Steven M. Mitchell
Senior Staff and Counsel present included:
Mr. R. Gavin Leach, Vice President for Finance and Administration and Treasurer of the Board
Dr. Kerri Schuiling, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Dr. Steven R. Neiheisel, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Services
Dr. Steven A. VandenAvond, Vice President for Extended Learning and Community Engagement
Ms. Cathy A. Niemi, Secretary of the Board of Trustees
Mr. Kurt McCamman, Legal Counsel
MOMENT OF SILECE IN MEMORY OF NMU STUDENT
Dr. Neiheisel read a memorial for Ms. Jessica Drummond, a senior who died on November 26, 2015 and was scheduled to graduate tomorrow, Saturday, December 13, 2015. The Board of Trustees observed a moment of silence in her memory.
Chair Popp congratulated Trustee Wilkinson on her award from the Historical Society of Michigan during its annual State History Conference that was held in September. She received the award for her new book, Asian Americans in Michigan: Voices from the Midwest.
Ms. Kat Klawes, Ms. Samantha Fournier, and Mr. Nate Frischkorn addressed the Board regarding Northern Michigan University’s policy on Self-Destructive Behavior (3.12 in the Student Handbook) and a petition started on November 11, 2015 which received 1,204 signatures within the first 24 hours. (Addendum #1) They asked the NMU Board of Trustees to revise the policy.
Chair Popp thanked the students for their courage in sharing their personal experiences. Trustee Wilkinson assured the students that they have been heard.
Ms. Susan Shaver addressed the Board regarding Northern Michigan University’s policy on Self-Destructive Behavior and a letter sent to some NMU students. She expressed dismay of this policy and talked about the opportunities that NMU now has to become a respected leader in the nation regarding changing such policies. She provided the Trustees with NAMI Alger-Marquette materials. (Addendum #2)
Chair Popp thanked Ms. Shaver for her comments and encouraged her to share her thoughts with the administration as we continue to look at a better approach for this issue.
It was moved by Trustee Wilkinson, seconded by Trustee Mahaney, and supported unanimously by the full Board, to approve the Formal Recommendations. (Addendum #3)
INTRODUCTION OF GRADUATING SENIOR SPEAKING AT MIDYEAR COMMENCEMENT
Vice President Neiheisel announced that Mr. Trevor Winterhalter Case, an Entrepreneurship major and Alternative Energies and Anthropology minors, from Chatham, MI will represent the graduating class of fall 2015 at Commencement ceremonies tomorrow. On behalf of the Board, Chair Popp congratulated Mr. Winterhalter Case and presented him with a plaque. A photo was taken.
ANNOUNCEMENT OF COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER AND HONORARY DEGREE RECIPIENT
President Erickson announced Colonel Danny Pummill, MNSS, MMAS, Acting Under Secretary for Benefits, Veterans Benefits Administration, will be the December 2015 Commencement Speaker and will receive the Honorary Degree, Doctor of Public Service.
Ms. Lindsey Lieck, President of the Associated Students of Northern Michigan University, presented on the fall semester. (Addendum #4) She responded to questions and comments from Trustees.
President Erickson reported on University accomplishments since the September meeting. His report is appended to these minutes. (Addendum #5)
Dr. Zurbuchen, Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee, reported on a meeting held Thursday, December 10, 2015. A copy of the report is appended to these minutes (Addendum #6).
Mr. Holman, Chair of the Finance Committee, reported on a meeting held on Monday, November 23, 2015 and Thursday, December 11, 2015. A copy of the reports is appended to these minutes. (Addendum #7 and #8)
Based on the recommendation of the Finance Committee, the Board took the following action:
The sale of 1100 Wright Street Property to the City of Marquette – for a base amount of $808,000 with the following conditions: 1) City of Marquette to provide NMU with up to $600,000 to apply towards the purchase of 1820 Lincoln Avenue if said property becomes available within a two-year acquisition period, or 2) provide NMU the sum of $441,000 plus 5% interest compounded annually following the acquisition period as noted in the Real Estate Sales Agreement dated November 6, 2015.
Trustee Tami Seavoy asked for permission to abstain from the vote. She stated that in the interest of full disclosure her law firm employer provided legal services to the City of Marquette regarding this transaction. She was not involved in the firm's representation and received no benefit from the representation; however, in order to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest she asks the Board to permit her to abstain from voting on this special action item.
The following action was taken by the Board of Trustees:
It was moved by Trustee Zurbuchen, seconded by Trustee Mahaney, and supported unanimously by Trustees Holman, Lewis, Mitchell, Popp, and Wilkinson to grant Trustee Seavoy’s request to abstain from the vote on the special action item regarding the sale of 1100 Wright Street Property.
It was moved by Trustee Wilkinson, seconded by Trustee Mahaney, and supported by a vote of 7 for, 0 against, 1 abstention, to approve the sale of 1100 Wright Street property to the City of Marquette as noted above.
Mr. Popp, Chair of the Executive Committee, reported on the meeting
held on Thursday,
December 10, 2015. A copy of the report is appended to these minutes. (Addendum #9)
Based on the recommendation of the Executive Committee, the Board took the following action:
It was moved by Trustee Wilkinson, seconded by Trustee Lewis, and supported by the full Board, to approve the approach to the Strategic Plan, and more specifically the four Strategic Areas of Focus and Strategic Outcomes, recognizing that the details of the plan within the areas of focus will continually evolve.
It was moved by Trustee Holman, seconded by Trustee Zurbuchen, and supported by the full Board, to approve the Senior Construction Management class project – a pavilion, deck, and walkway being built at Kaye House, with a cost not to exceed $15,000.
It was moved by Trustee Wilkinson, seconded by Trustee Zurbuchen, and supported by the full Board, to approve the President’s goals for 2015-16. The areas of concentration are: 1) Enrollment, 2) Strategic Planning, 3) Program Investment Planning, 4) Extra-mural Funding, 5) University Community Relationships and Other Partnerships, and 6) Professional Development.
APPOINTMENTS TO BOARD STANDING COMMITTEES FOR CALENDAR YEAR 2016
The following action was taken by the Board of Trustees:
It was moved by Trustee Seavoy, seconded by Trustees Holman, and supported by the full Board that the 2016 Standing Committee appointments be:
Academic Affairs Committee Finance Committee Executive Committee
Steven M. Mitchell, Chair Scott L. Holman, Chair H. Sook Wilkinson, Chair
L. Garnet Lewis Robert E. Mahaney Thomas H. Zurbuchen
Thomas H. Zurbuchen Tami M. Seavoy Steven M. Mitchell
H. Sook Wilkinson, ex officio H. Sook Wilkinson, ex officio Scott L. Holman
Fritz J Erickson, ex officio Fritz J Erickson, ex officio Fritz J Erickson
Chair-elect Wilkinson announced the ex officio appointments of Mr. Richard M. Popp and Dr. L. Garnet Lewis to the NMU Foundation Board of Trustees for calendar year 2016.
ANNOUNCEMENT OF INFORMAL CLOSED SESSIONS TO BE HELD IN CONNECTION WITH THE THURSDAY – FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 18 – 19, 2016, SESSIONS OF THE BOARD
President Erickson made this announcement for the public record.
RECOGNITION OF OUTGOING CHAIR
Chair-elect Wilkinson recognized outgoing Chair Popp for his service to NMU. He was presented with engraved marble bookends. A photo was taken.
The Trustees thanked Chair Popp for his leadership over the past two years.
Chair Popp adjourned the meeting at 11:24 a.m.
Cathy A. Niemi
Secretary of the Board of Trustees