MARQUETTE – The Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees today approved 2006-07 student housing and dining services rates. Tuition rates will not be announced until this summer, when administrators have a better handle on the state funding outlook.

The cost of a standard double-occupancy room with the “constant meal pass” and a comprehensive residence hall fee will be $6,874 per student for the next academic year. That represents a 6 percent increase from the previous annualized rate.

The board authorized the university to continue operating at a budget level no greater than in 2005-06, with the exception of negotiated union contract increases, until a new general fund budget is approved.

During a focus discussion that closed out the meeting, trustees received updates on the legislative timeline, the NMU budget planning process, and enrollment.

The state funding proposals on the table right now – ranging from the 0.3 percent increase proposed by the House to the 1.8 percent increase in both the governor and Senate versions – will go into conference committee in June.

Gavin Leach, associate vice president for finance and planning, used a planning model to illustrate the different funding scenarios and how they might impact tuition. With a projected 3.4 percent increase in total operating costs, and factoring in identified budget reallocations and reductions, Leach said it would take a 5 percent tuition increase to balance the budget if the state appropriation increased by the maximum 1.8 percent. But he cautioned that the figures are very tentative at this point.

In other action, the board:

●Approved $799,000 for the following summer maintenance projects: replacing doors and windows in McClintock and Thomas Fine Arts; campus heating, ventilation and air conditioning; Kaye House humidity control and other maintenance; campus lighting; and general maintenance.


●Agreed to delete the surgical technology certificate program and add a surgical technology associate degree program, effective fall 2007.


●Accepted more than $8,100 in gifts and $645,000 in external grants.


●Approved one-year contract renewals, effective July 1, for two NMU charter schools: the Nah Tah Wahsh Public School Academy and the Bahweting Anishnabe Public School Academy.


●Voted to increase the one-time student athletic fee for new freshmen and transfer students from $150 to $175.


●Approved increasing President Les Wong’s TIAA-CREF retirement annuities contribution from 10 percent of his salary to 12.5 percent, which is consistent with the rate for other NMU employees.


●Supported a recommendation to name the new student apartment complex Woodland Park Apartments.


●Approved Professor Emeritus of Education status for Dennis Badaczewski, Lois Hirst, Lorana Jinkerson and Earl Kaurala. Others who will earn the emeritus distinction upon their retirement, or by June 1, are: James Inch, energy management supervisor of plant operations; Lt. Col. John Vickers, department head of military science; and Connie Williams, administrative assistant in the office of the president.


●Promoted the following faculty to the rank of professor: Robert Winn, biology; Larry Pagel, business; Thomas Getman and Suzanne Williams, chemistry; Cheryl Teeters, health, physical education and recreation; and Teresa Delpier, nursing. The board promoted Michael Andary of technology and occupational sciences to the rank of assistant professor-TAS.


●Granted tenure to the following NMU faculty members: Robert Quinn, economics; Robert Goodrich, history; James McCommons, Jaspal Singh and Robert Whalen, English; Alan Willis, history; and Kristi Robinia, practical nursing. Quinn, McCommons, Singh and Whalen were also promoted to the rank of associate professor. 

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