MARQUETTE – The Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees approved a general fund operating budget of $93.3 million for fiscal year 2006, a decrease of $1.4 million from the previous year.
The planning scenario used to develop the university's budget assumed a state appropriation decrease of $888,000, which is based on Gov. Jennifer Granholm's executive proposal. But the legislative process continues and a state budget remains to be finalized.
"We had to approve this plan today because Northern's fiscal year began on July 1 and the university needs to be able to move forward in preparation for the upcoming academic year," said Karl Weber, NMU board chair. "Northern's budget may have to be revised at a later date once the final state appropriation amount is determined, but it was developed around the administration's best guess as to what that will be."
In other action, the board:
•Received an evaluation of Les Wong's first year as NMU president from the executive committee and voted to approve $4,000 in incentive compensation. As outlined in Wong's original three-year contract, incentives may be awarded at the board's discretion for exceeding expectations in overall performance and the ability to meet pre-establshed goals. "The board set goals directed at advancing the university, and they were designed to be challenging to achieve, especially in this tough economic climate," Weber said. "The board would like to take this opportunity to commend Dr. Wong for the time he has committed to the legislative and budget process in Lansing. We also appreciate Dr. and Mrs. Wong's extraordinary efforts in the surrounding communities."
•Approved $28,837 in external gifts and $2.2 million in external grants;
•Authorized the purchase of property and structures located at 1830 Neidhart Avenue, at a cost of $94,000; and also at 1800 Presque Isle Ave., at a cost of $110,000; and
•Embarked on a retreat/discussion portion of the meeting, which will continue through Friday and address strategic issues such as enrollment, statewide per-student funding, and new university initiatives.