The NMU Board of Trustees today approved a $108 million general fund operating budget for 2015-16, an increase of about $400,000 or 0.4 percent from the previous year. The budget factors in increased expenses related to contractual obligations, health care costs, minimum wage increases and other inflationary costs. Most of those will be offset by cost-saving reductions realized through restructuring and operational adjustments.
The board also approved an executive committee recommendation to increase President Fritz Erickson’s base salary by 2 percent—consistent with the increase for non-represented NMU employees. Within the contract guidelines, the board offered Erickson a $20,000 performance bonus for his achievements in his first year. Erickson’s contract, originally set to expire in 2016, will be extended to 2018.
In other action at today’s meeting, the board:
•Approved a distance education fee of up to $50 per credit hour for all online courses;
•Approved the university’s sexual misconduct policy, a modified version of the former sexual assault policy. Universities and colleges are developing or revising their policies in response to changes in federal laws and regulations;
•Authorized the purchase of a new $280,000 nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer for the Chemistry department;
•Approved the following capital and long-term maintenance projects: New Science Facility heat recovery and coil replacement, $300,000; and Learning Resources Center and West Science classroom renovations, $560,000;
•Approved the following reorganization: NMU concessions, previously under Intercollegiate Atheltics/Recreational Sports, will now be under Dining Services in the finance and administration division;
•Approved a request by Francis Reh Academy in Saginaw, one of NMU’s charter schools, to add an additional site that will be used for grades 7-12;
•Appointed the following board members at NMU’s public school academies (terms expire June 30, 2016 unless otherwise indicated): Richard Hotchkin, East Shore Leadership Academy; Patricia Edwards, Experiencia Preparatory Academy; and Charles Wandahsega, Nah Tah Wahsh Public School Academy (June 30, 2018);
•Adopted revisions to the NMU Board of Trustees bylaws;
•Extended the external auditor contract of Anderson, Tackman & Company PLC through June 30, 2017; and
•Granted professor emeritus status to Kenneth Janson, business, and Steven Oates, education.