NMU's Parent Partnership

Volume 12, Issue 2 – November 20, 2012

Dear NMU Parents,

Happy Thanksgiving. I hope the upcoming holiday will be a relaxing and joyful time with family and friends. Here is a quick set of notes to keep you updated on upcoming and current happenings at NMU.

THANKSGIVING BREAK: The Thanksgiving break for students begins Wednesday, Nov. 21. The university remains open that day for business, but there are no classes. All university offices are closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 22-23. If there is an emergency while the university is closed, please contact NMU Public Safety at 906-227-2151, which is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

ON THE ROAD: Although the early prediction for the weather going into and coming out of the Thanksgiving holiday is good this year, we all know that winter weather is coming. So, it’s a good time to mention a few helpful travel resources. Students can check road conditions at the Michigan State Police website at www.michigan.gov/roadconditions or hotline at 1-800-381-8477. Dozing Discounts is a program sponsored by ASNMU, Northern’s student government, that provides students with discounted rates at select hotels and motels in the event of inclement weather or if a student becomes too tired to continue driving. To receive the discount, a student must show his or her NMU ID card. See what’s happening on campus by using the NMU webcam at www.nmu.edu/webcam.

INCLEMENT WEATHER: Parents and students often ask about snow days. When bad weather is predicted, a team of NMU officials monitors the situation and then decides whether to close the university or not. The final decision is made by the provost with input from NMU’s Public Safety staff and the Michigan State Police. When the weather turns ugly during the night or early morning, the decision about canceling classes is typically made by or before 6 a.m. When the weather is bad during the day, a decision about canceling evening classes is made around 2 p.m. The announcement is posted on the NMU website, sent to the local media, e-mailed to the NMU community and sent to those who have signed up for emergency text alert messages for their cell phones (www.nmu.edu/alerts). A message is also put on the NMU B-R-R-R telephone line (227-2777). Inclement weather cancellations do not apply to online course tests and assignment deadlines since those are not influenced by poor travel conditions. If classes are canceled during final exam week, the examinations are rescheduled to take place Friday and/or Saturday.

GIFT GIVING: To give your NMU student something with a green and gold flavor, we’ve got a wide array of things that make great holiday gifts. In fact, we get so many questions regarding this, we’ve decided to put together a web page called www.nmu.edu/giftgiving that highlights many of the options and includes links for more information. Some ideas include meal passes for on-campus eatries, concert and theater tickets, sporting event tickets, sports recreation passes, an NMU Golf Course membership, NMU apparel and books published by the NMU Press. Online orders to the NMU Bookstore should be made by Tuesday, Dec. 18 in order to have the items arrive (within the continental U.S.) prior to Dec. 25.

CARD FUNDRAISER: At this time of year, there are also creative holiday-themed fundraisers taking place. One example that may be of interest to those of you who send holiday cards is the College of Business American Marketing Association’s greeting card sale. A pack of five cards costs $6.  You can view the student-designed cards at www.nmu.edu/greetingcards. The deadline to reserve cards has been extended to Monday, Nov. 26.

HELPING VETS: NMU has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs to have Northern serve as a host campus for the new campus-based outreach service known as MI-VetSuccess. The initiative will reach out to almost 800 students who have recently served in the military and are now enrolled at higher education institutions in the Upper Peninsula, providing assistance to student veterans and prospective student veterans in managing and taking advantage of their service benefits. Helping veterans transition from the military into education programs is a privilege Northern takes very seriously. That is why being part of this pilot program is so exciting for our campus. It’s especially important that this type of assistance is available in the Upper Peninsula – an area with a high rate of military service – so that veterans and veteran students throughout the U.P. have local access to this kind of help. The full program, which will include a hub campus in each of six geographical areas in the state, is expected to be in place in January. Contact information and office hours will be made available at that time.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR: After the Thanksgiving break, there are just three weeks remaining in the semester. Here are a few dates related to the end of the fall and beginning of the winter semesters. Finals week is Dec. 10-15 with commencement at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, at the Superior Dome. NMU’s residence halls close at noon Sunday, Dec. 16 and will reopen at 8 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 10. The university will be closed for the holidays from Dec. 24-Jan. 1, reopening Wednesday, Jan. 2. Tuition for the winter semester is due by 5 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 3 (payment plan options are available). Winter classes begin Monday, Jan. 14. WinterFest is Feb. 15-23. Spring break is March 2-10. Final exam week is April 29-May 4, with spring commencement Saturday, May 4. For parents of May graduates, it is not too early to make lodging reservations. Area hotel/motel staff members suggest making reservations six months to a year in advance.

EVENTS GALORE: Speaking of calendars, NMU’s is full for the rest of the semester, including the senior art exhibit, Forest Roberts Theatre’s production of The Santaland Diaries, the student-faculty dance recital, several lectures and films, a number of home athletic events and at least a half dozen musical performances by NMU Music Department ensembles. If you’re in the area, please join NMU faculty, staff and alumni in supporting these student activities. You can get the details at www.nmu.edu/calendar.

TRAVELING MAN: I recently returned from a successful trip to Seoul, South Korea, where NMU signed memoranda of understanding with Seoul National University of Science and Technology and Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. This builds upon the previously signed agreement with Myongji University. I was accompanied by Provost Paul Lang and Sook Wilkinson, a member of the NMU Board of Trustees (and native of Korea). Our other current international recruiting markets are in China, Brazil and Dubai. Recently, NMU hosted Mohamed Rashed Al Hameli, a senior economic adviser with the Abu Dhabi Council for Economic Development, who came to discuss the possibility of NMU collaborating with United Arab Emirates institutions. I will be traveling to Dubai to further explore these ideas early in the new year. Your students also have many world travel opportunities, including 10 faculty-led study abroad summer programs. Most 2013 summer FLSAs have early February registration deadlines. Financial aid can often be applied to study abroad. To learn more, a student should attend one of the study abroad information sessions (there is one on Wednesday, Nov. 28) or contact the International Programs Office. Our goal is to bring the globe to NMU and NMU students to the world.

POWER AFTER SANDY: If you or a member of your family were impacted by super storm Sandy, my thoughts and prayers go out to you. As a native of New York City, it was frightening to watch the impact of Sandy on the city of my youth. The aftermath of Sandy put into perspective how important trained power line and grid technicians are to the nation. NMU is unusual in that we offer both a program for electrical line technician, a one-year diploma, as well as an associate degree for electrical technology-power technician (scholarships available for both years). There is a strong need locally, regionally and nationally for these technicians, which means there are excellent paying jobs in this field (average starting salary $54,000, www.bls.gov). Mike Rudisill, head of NMU’s Engineering and Technology Department, was quoted in a recent article saying, “There is a lot of conversation about what’s going to happen to the country’s power system in the future. Obviously alternative energies will have a big impact over time, but those who understand today’s U.S. power grid – how it works and how it could work – will be in demand for a long, long time.” I couldn’t help but think of that while watching the stories of the power outages in Sandy’s wake.

Of course, the one thing natural disasters remind us is that our loved ones are our most important possessions and they are what we should always be most thankful for in our lives.

Again, Happy Thanksgiving from the NMU family to your family.

David Haynes, President
Northern Michigan University