NMU's Parent Partnership

Volume 12, Issue 3 -- Jan. 10, 2014

Dear NMU Parents,

Happy New Year.  I hope you had wonderful holiday celebrations with your families, especially the time you may have had with your NMU student. With the upcoming semester getting ready to start, I wanted to get the word out to you about a couple of important issues and deadlines. Also, I wanted to let you know that it appears the weather for traveling back to campus will be pretty good this weekend – some snow Saturday morning followed by mild conditions and sunshine and temperatures in the 30s for Sunday. The deep freeze appears to be ending, thankfully.

KEY DATES: Classes for the winter semester begin Monday, Jan. 13.  If your NMU student has not paid his or her tuition bill yet, they should contact the Student Service Center (ssc@nmu.edu, 906-227-1221) and a staff member can assist with explaining payment plan options.  Thursday, Jan. 16, is the deadline to register for May graduation. On Monday, Jan. 20, there are no classes in observance of Martin Luther King Day. Instead, NMU will celebrate with a day of service with a variety of community volunteer activities planned for students, faculty and staff. Other key dates to mark on your calendar include: WinterFest, Feb. 14-22; spring break, March 1-9; final exam week, April 28-May 3, and commencement, 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 3, in the Superior Dome. If you plan to travel to Marquette to help your student pack up his or her belongings at the end of the semester or to attend commencement, please make your lodging accommodations now, if you’ve not already done so. Hotels and motels closest to the campus are quickly becoming booked. You can find a comprehensive lodging listing at www.travelmarquettemichigan.com.

FAFSA FILING: To receive maximum financial aid consideration in 2014-15, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) should be filed by March 1, 2014. Students must file a FAFSA annually. The online form is available at https://fafsa.ed.gov/. Even if you have not done your taxes by that date, you can fill out the FAFSA using estimated figures until your taxes are done. The NMU Financial Aid Office will extend its office hours to 7 p.m. Wednesdays throughout the month of February to help students and families who need assistance in filling out the FAFSA. To schedule an appointment for FAFSA assistance, students should call 227-2327.  A FAFSA skill builder workshop will be held from 4-6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10; space is limited and registration is required. The Financial Aid Office home page lists the things one should bring when attending a FAFSA filing session. Don’t forget our NMU financial aid toolbox, which may be helpful as you navigate the financial aid process.

DONOR-FUNDED SCHOLARSHIPS:  Speaking of financial matters, the application period to apply for donor-funded scholarships is Monday, Jan. 20, through 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10. Students can apply by logging into MyNMU where the interactive, online application resides. The application is interactive in that it provides a guide to scholarships a student may be eligible for based on the information from their record, such as class status, hometown and major. These are all common parameters donors include in the selection process of scholarships they fund. NMU has 375 donor-funded scholarships. Last year, the NMU Foundation awarded more than $500,000 to NMU students through privately funded scholarships.

OTHER DEADLINES: Northern’s award-winning Student Leader Fellowship Program is accepting applications for next year’s group through 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7.  The SLFP is a two-year SLFP 07program that involves leadership training, a mentor relationship, skill-building workshops, and a community service internship. To learn more about the SLFP or to access the online application, students should go to www.nmu.edu/slfp or stop by 1206 University Center.  From 6-9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, current SLFP fellows will hold a coffee/hot chocolate social in the Payne/Halverson Hall lobby to discuss SLFP opportunities. … Another deadline nearing is Feb. 1, the final commitment date for many of the summer faculty-led study abroad opportunities.

DEAN’S AND GRADS LISTS: Congratulations if your NMU student made the dean’s list for the fall semester. An official list will be sent to the hometowns of honorees around Feb. 1. That gives students with grade questions and issues a few weeks to work them out prior to the list being distributed.  The notification is sent to newspapers based on the zip code of the permanent address a student gives in his or her student record. So, if your son or daughter has Marquette listed as their permanent address, even though they may come from somewhere else, the Marquette Mining Journal is where their dean’s list notification will be sent. The same is true for the graduate listing if your son or daughter graduated in December. Please don’t send out your own notifications as newspaper editors get upset if they’ve published someone’s accomplishment only to find out when NMU sends the official list that there were more students from their area who should have been included. Again, the official dean’s and graduate lists get posted to the NMU website and distributed nationally to the hometown media in early February.

ECONOMIC FOOTPRINT: Michigan’s public universities have a combined “economic footprint” of about $24 billion and are responsible for more than 120,000 full-time equivalent jobs statewide. These impacts are detailed in a new report by the Anderson Economic Group that was commissioned by the Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan.The report analyzed each institution’s local spending, earnings and employment. According to the most recent 2012 data, Northern Michigan University accounts for $227 million in spending. The bulk of that—$123 million—is attributed to students. NMU recorded earnings of $81 million and supplies about 1,300 jobs. Those of us in higher education are well aware that universities serve as key employers and play a major role in driving their local economies. This report helps to quantify that impact. It also demonstrates that Michigan receives a very favorable economic return on its investment in our public universities. The Anderson Economic Group report is available at www.pcsum.org.

QUICK UPDATES:  NMU received notification from the Army that it is putting its ROTC reorganization on hold, pushing back any decisions about program suspensions until spring 2016 and providing a clearer set of criteria for the decision-making process. We have met with several Army officials throughout the fall and they have been impressed with the quality of NMU’s ROTC program. This is not a surprise to us since we’ve been cited as among the best in the nation several times in recent years.  We’ll continue to work with the Army as it redefines itself and its affiliate programs. … In December, the Board of Trustees voted to make NMU a tobacco-free campus by August. There are about 800 tobacco-free U.S. colleges and universities, including Bay, Finlandia and Michigan Tech in the U.P. … NMU was ranked No. 1 in Michigan for most affordable online degree programs by Affordable Colleges Online. NMU offers full online master’s programs in criminal justice, public administration and five education specialties, as well as the loss prevention management bachelor’s program.

IMPRESSIVE ACADEMIC WORK:  Our human-centered design students were asked by Menominee’s Lloyd Flanders to develop concepts for contemporary wicker woven furniture that would appeal to younger consumers. From what I heard, the Lloyd Flanders administrators were thrilled by the designs and the company plans to produce some of them for display in upcoming national and international exhibits. You can read more about this project here. In the science area, Dr. Josh Sharp is directing a new research collaboration involving NMU biology students and Micro Imaging Technology Inc. of San Clemente, Calif., in an effort to differentiate between common staph infection and the “superbug” known as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in order to more quickly treat patients. This research could be far-reaching in the medical world, which is very exciting.

PERSONAL DECISION:  I informed the campus prior to the holiday break that I do not plan to be a candidate in NMU’s presidential search. I am happy to have had the opportunity to spend two years as president, the first alumnus to have that honor. That being said, from the first day of my appointment I have expressed my desire to ultimately return to teaching. A search committee for a university president usually operates under the assumption that the chosen candidate's tenure will be a minimum of 5-6 years. That’s too long for me to be out of the classroom. I do thank the Board of Trustees for its support and leadership. Between now and June 30, I pledge to work tirelessly to advance the mission, vision and goals of NMU. Thank you to those NMU parents who have been so supportive of me during my time as president.

Again, Happy New Year.  I know this will be a great one for Northern Michigan University.  I hope it will also be one of the best for you and your family.

 

Sincerely,

David S. Haynes, President

 

P.S. I try to post quick notes and updates daily on my Twitter account. If you’d like to view those posts, go to www.nmu.edu/president or follow me at www.twitter.com/davidshaynes.