MARQUETTE – The United States Olympic Education Center at Northern Michigan University will continue operating through fiscal year 2005. The NMU Board of Trustees approved a recommendation to use up to $80,000 from the general fund, if necessary, to supplement other external funding sources secured by the USOEC to keep the center open.

The $80,000 would come from net tuition revenues. Net tuition is determined by the total tuition revenues minus the instructional costs associated with the 70 NMU students who are either training or working at the USOEC.

“Having that additional-year commitment will make a big difference,” Jeff Kleinschmidt, director of the USOEC. “We lost some quality athletes because they were concerned about the future of the program. Being able to state with certainty we will be open through 2005 will put us in a better position to market the center to prospective athletes and potential sponsors.”

Kleinschmidt outlined initiatives being pursued to increase external support. These include Congressman Bart StupakÂ’s attempt to secure a federal appropriation to sustain the center; and an effort by the USOEC to form a partnership with an existing U.S. Olympic Committee sponsor that would make a targeted investment in the Marquette center. Because the outcome of these initiatives is still to be determined, the board has put the USOEC issue on its agenda for the February and April meetings.

In other business, the board approved a state budget request, which public universities are required to submit annually. NMUÂ’s request for an additional $4.1 million in state funding for fiscal year 2004-05 is based on estimated needs with no increase in tuition.

The university is projecting cost increases associated with the following: compensation, staffing and support; scholarships and financial aid awards; state-mandated contributions to the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System; health insurance; utilities; and debt service.

The board also approved a capital outlay project request for the upcoming fiscal year – another state requirement. The priority project identified by NMU in its five-year planning document has changed from the $49 million Learning Resources Center renovation to the $9.8 million Cohodas Administrative Center renovation.

“Given the state budget situation, the Cohodas project is more likely to gain approval, plus it represents a more immediate need,” said NMU President Mike Roy.

In other action, the board:

•Approved two new degree programs: Master of Arts in Education – Reading; and

Master of Arts in Education – Reading Specialist. The former is designed to prepare certified K-8 teachers for roles as reading teachers within their own classrooms. The latter is designed to prepare certified teachers to be K-12 reading specialists in a school environment or private clinical setting. It will also prepare them to establish and manage district-wide reading programs;

 Â Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚  •Participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for the new DeVos Art Museum and the Art and Design Studios North addition. The ceremony recognized the $1 million gift made in February by the Dan and Pamella DeVos and the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundations of Grand Rapids. It will be used primarily for museum programming. The construction project is scheduled to be completed by the start of the fall 2004 semester;

 Â Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚  •Accepted $ in external gifts and grants, including two Primavera Systems construction software programs for the College of Technology and Occupational Sciences, with an appraised value of $276,000; and

 Â Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚  •Voted to grant Betty Hill the status of Dean and Professor of Nursing Emeritus, effective Nov. 1.

Prepared By
Kristi Evans
News Director