The Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees today approved a tuition and fees schedule for 2008-09. Full-time resident undergraduates will pay $7,078, an increase of $185 per semester. Full-time non-resident undergraduates will pay $11,230, or $293 more per semester. NMU administrators presented four models for the board’s consideration, with increases ranging from 4.5 to 6.4 percent. They were developed around an anticipated 1 percent state appropriation increase and a projected 1 percent enrollment decrease. Each model showed varying impacts the specific rate would have on required cost savings or reallocations and the ability to invest in the university’s strategic “Road Map to 2015” initiatives. Gavin Leach, vice president for finance and administration, told the board that the approved 5.5 percent increase model would require $1.8 million in cost savings and reallocations. It also would result in “significant” reductions in planned Road Map investments—$870,000 compared with the $1.2 million in the model with the highest-percentage tuition increase. In casting the lone dissenting vote, Trustee Sam Benedict said, “My opposition is not to the percentage of the increase, but to the funding of the Road Map. I think Northern ought to be able to do what it takes to find some way to fund most of the Road Map initiatives and I would challenge the university to do that under this model.” Trustee Jon LaSalle voted in favor of the 5.5 percent increase and said he might have considered the next highest option (5.9 percent) to leave more of the Road Map investments intact. “A lot of time and effort have been devoted to developing this Road Map and it has received support from the campus and community. Now the strategic plan is finished and this is our first time out of the blocks putting money behind it and what are we doing? Talking about reducing the level at which we can fund these initiatives.” Ten other public universities in Michigan have set tuition, with increases ranging from 3.7 percent to 8.2 percent. Northern has the second-lowest percentage and dollar increase and (more) will maintain its rank as the second-most affordable institution in the state. The full tuition and fees schedule is available at www.nmu.edu/tuition. In other action, the board:
- Approved continuation 2008-09 general and designated fund budgets, authorizing them to operate at the same level as the previous year plus resources available based on approved tuition and fee rates and any carryover funds. A final budget for fiscal year 2008-09 will be presented for approval at the Sept. 25 board meeting.
- Accepted $2.4 million in external grants and $300 in gifts.
- Granted emeriti status to the following, effective Aug. 1: Dennis Cieslinski, director of plant operations; Lucille Contois, professor of clinical laboratory sciences; Michael Hellman, facilities specialist/planner; Carl Pace, associate vice president for business services and facilities; and Lynne Sundblad, assistant director of human resources.
- Approved the previously negotiated purchases of property and structures located at 1406, 1700 and 1706 Presque Isle Ave. at a total cost of about $1.2 million.
- Appointed board members for the following public school academies for a term expiring June 30, 2010 unless otherwise indicated: Carroll Ann Swanson, North Star Academy; Constance Sagataw, Debra Williams, Crystal Lea, Rodney Lovell, Geneva Wandahsega, Stephanie Philemon and Rose Gill, Nah Tah Whash (the latter three have terms expiring June 30, 2009); and Thomas Kuczera, Burton Glenn (through June 30, 2011).