NOTE: Link to video of convocation remarks
MARQUETTE, Mich.—In his fall convocation, Northern Michigan University President David Haynes said NMU is a “smart investment” all around—for students and their families, donors, communities, government and public/private partners.
“To move forward, there are several things we must always keep in mind, and these are the messages I will be relentlessly driving home to our public officials, stakeholders and donors,” Haynes said. “NMU is providing higher education that is both affordable and a great value. Our faculty is advancing research and discovery in many disciplines. Our students are globally competitive and our alumni are spurring economic growth and entrepreneurism. We are committed to service, leadership and the betterment of the world around us. NMU is an economic driver that is preparing the workforce of tomorrow.”
Haynes revisited four areas identified in last year’s convocation where he said NMU needed to enable change: enrollment, excellence, experience and endowment.
On the enrollment front, Haynes said NMU has been working with consultant Noel-Levitz to fine tune recruitment strategies. It has expanded overseas partnerships through signed memoranda of understandings with two South Korean institutions and discussions to offer courses and programs in United Arab Emirate locations.
“As important as international outreach is, we have note ignored opportunities below the bridge,” he said. “We have entered into a one-year formal agreement with Macomb Community College to offer a four-year loss prevention program at MCC’s main campus in Warren.
The university is also expanding offerings to K-12 students in the region and targeting niche markets. NMU established the Veteran’s Scholarship, guaranteeing in-state tuition for eligible veterans from anywhere in the United States. It also became a host site for the Michigan VetSuccess pilot program and established a resource center to connect veterans with available services, information and support.
Haynes said examples of excellence include the new wildland firefighting minor and certificate program and the “Models of Efficiency” recognition NMU received from University Business magazine for the privately funded scholarships application and selection process.
“And I’m happy to report NMU faculty and staff continue to leverage private, public and university resources in many ways that expand and enhance the student experience,” he said. “We must be increasingly innovative and proactive when it comes to funding services, programming and research.”
The NMU Foundation launched the public phase of its Campaign for the Students of Northern Michigan University. The campaign goal and progress will be revealed during Homecoming weekend in September.
Haynes singled out the School of Clinical Sciences as an example of all four “E” areas coming together. He said NMU is the only U.S. university to offer five programs accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for CLS and one of only three to offer bachelor’s degrees in both molecular diagnostics and cytogenics. The program offers a “laddering” curriculum for a seamless transition from a certificate to bachelor’s degree, has established partnerships with 45 agencies to facilitate internships and research opportunities, recorded a 95 percent pass rate over the past three years for national certification exams and has employment and/or continuing education placement rates in the 98 percent range. Enrollment and number of degrees awarded have increased significantly and private investments have created simulation labs to enhance hands-on learning.
Hayes said the coming year will see changes in how NMU positions itself in the competitive higher education marketplace through continued work with the university’s recruitment consultants and the rollout of new branding concepts.