MARQUETTE – Northern Michigan University will offer three new academic majors: earth science, geographic information science and entertainment and sports promotion. The NMU Board of Trustees approved the additions at its Aug. 9 meeting.

Earth scientists provide information for solving problems and establishing governmental polices for resource management, environmental protection and public health, safety and welfare.

Michael Broadway, head of the geography department, projects that 20 students will graduate from the interdisciplinary program within five years.

“NMU’s ability to attract students is, in part, related to the world-class teaching laboratory that we have in our back yard,” he added. “Within a 30-minute drive off campus, there are at least a dozen geological sites of international renown that are visited routinely by scientists from around the world. Dozens of other classic sites and mineralized deposits may also be found within this region.”

The bachelor’s degree program in geographic information science will enable students to acquire not only basic operational skills but also broader information technology skills such as spatial database management, software development and project management.

It encompasses the theory and application of several technologies related to the collection, management and use of geographic information. These include remote sensing, computer cartography, geographic information systems, aerial photography interpretation and global positioning systems.

The communication and performance studies department will offer a major in entertainment and sports promotion to supplement its existing public relations program.

Career opportunities include publicist, sports information director and travel services specializing in tours for sports fans.

According to Don Rybacki, CAPS department head, entertainment – including sporting events – is the second largest domestic industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that by the year 2010, one in every four Americans will be working in some area of entertainment and sports.

“This is a unique program that may attract a significant number of students who otherwise might not choose NMU,” Rybacki said. “There are only a few undergraduate programs nationwide similar to this one, and only three in the Midwest.”

In other action, the NMU Board of Trustees approved the following:

A report from the Executive Committee on President Judi Bailey’s annual performance review. The board approved the committee’s recommendation for a merit salary increase of 3.5 percent, which is equal to the percentage increase in the current contract for NMU faculty in the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). Bailey’s salary will increase $7,200 to $213,200. The board also approved a one-year extension of Bailey’s five-year rolling contract;

The purchase of properties and structures adjacent to campus for potential future development. They are located at 1526 and 1716 Presque Isle Avenue and 1740 Schaffer Avenue. Total cost is about $284,000;

A negotiated contract agreement with clerical and technical workers representing UAW Local 1950;

Gifts to NMU totaling about $44,500 and grants totaling more than $2.1 million. The latter includes Michigan Economic Development Corporation grants to train employees at American Communication Network Inc., American Eagle (RAMC), Remanufacturing Services and Taystee Bakery.

"For more information, contact Cindy Paavola at 227-2720."

Prepared By
Kristi Evans
News Director