For the week of April 6, 2009
From the 6th floor
Seasonal temperatures continue to be the norm in Upper Michigan. Daytime highs are hanging right around the mid '30s. While the snow is not yet completely gone, as there are scattered piles of snow around campus, most everything else looks brown and dirty. As you can see in the photo from the 6th floor today, the remaining ice around the shoreline has broken up and the water of Lake Superior is evident again. Forecasters call for a chance of snow showers early in the week, with temperatures in the upper '30s headed into the Easter weekend.
President outlines budget challenges, reduction proposals
Northern’s $4.6 million projected shortfall for fiscal year 2010 would be a softer blow than the $10 million worst-case scenario that surfaced early in the state budget process. But NMU President Les Wong made it clear that cost-saving measures, perhaps including a university-wide salary freeze, will be required to counter the double-barreled impact of state appropriation decreases and NMU operational increases.
Wong stressed that stimulus dollars will provide only a temporary boost. They will arrive in waves rather than a lump-sum payment and cannot fund long-term structural cost increases. In the wake of stimulus support, Michigan universities in 2012 will be left with base budgets that are equal to their 2008 levels. Wong said Northern, through advanced planning, has positioned itself well to meet the challenges ahead. All departments were charged last semester with identifying potential reductions of 6 and 10 percent. The lower scenario aligns most closely with the new projected shortfall of $4.6 million.
“Everyone in here has been part of the process,” Wong told those gathered at a university budget forum. “The effort all of you have put forth has generated a number of good ideas. It’s not like all of a sudden I’m standing in front of you today saying, ‘Okay, where are we going to get $4.6 million?’ I think we have some ideas and that’s why I wanted to get the planning process out in front of you early.”
Short-term proposals that are being researched include a salary freeze, which would save about $2 million and help preserve jobs. Wong said he met with all union leaders March 23 to share the idea and ask for feedback. “We’re trying to learn more about the implications, but I do want to say that all of this is subject to negotiated agreements.”
Other short-term possibilities being analyzed are: cost savings through reorganizations, job sharing and new processes; cooperative programs that provide strength-in-numbers savings, similar to NMU’s current participation in the Michigan University Consortium on Health (MUCH); hiring reductions, postponements or freezes; using one-time dollars strategically; and identifying scheduled maintenance and construction projects that could be deferred.
Stupak named commencement speaker
U.S. Congressman Bart Stupak will be the keynote speaker at Northern’s May 2 commencement. Stupak will also receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
Since 1992, Stupak has represented Michigan’s first congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives. It is one of the largest such districts in the nation, encompassing 31 counties from the entire Upper Peninsula and the northern part of the Lower Peninsula.
Stupak is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. In that capacity, he serves on the telecommunications and the Internet subcommittee, along with the environmental and hazardous waste subcommittee.
He began his career in public service as an Escanaba police officer in 1972. He joined the Michigan State Police force the following year and retired in 1984 after being injured in the line of duty. Stupak went on to serve northern Michigan residents as an attorney and as a state representative for Menominee, Delta and Dickinson counties.
Stupak graduated from Saginaw Valley State University in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. He received his juris doctorate from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing.
Stupak honorary host for Washington, D.C. alumni event
Congressman Stupak will serve as honorary host for the May 12 NMU alumni reception in Washington, D.C. NMU President Les Wong will also be in attendance.
"An Evening at the Capitol" will take place Tuesday, May 12 at the newly opened Capitol Visitor Center. The center, the new main entrance to the U.S. Capitol, is located below the East Plaza of the capitol between Constitution and Independence avenues.
Invitations are being sent to those in the D.C. region, but the event is open to all alumni.
NMU Night at Comerica Park set
The Third Annual NMU Night at Comerica Park has been scheduled for Saturday, August 15. Cheer on the Tigers in the special NMU section of the ballpark.
This event sells out, so be sure and order your tickets soon!
NMU Night at Comerica Park
Tigers vs. Royals
First Nighters to honor Panowski
After 32 years, Dr. James Panowski is retiring from NMU. "Dr. P." has been director of the Forest Roberts Theatre since 1977. The NMU First Nighters Club will host a special evening in his honor, Friday, May 1, at Upfront & Company.
The evening will include a buffet dinner, a cash bar and entertainment. In addition, the club is establishing a scholarship in his name. If you would like details on the event, please contact the NMU Foundation at 906-227-2627.
Beaumier Center to host exhibit on Jewry in Michigan
The Beaumier Upper Peninsula Heritage Center is hosting a traveling exhibition titled "Uneasy Years: Michigan Jewry During Depression and War." An opening reception will be held from 5-7 p.m. Friday, April 10. Light refreshments will be served. The center is located in room 105 Cohodas Hall at NMU. The exhibition is on loan from the Michigan State University Museum.
Throughout the era of immigration, many Jews made Michigan home. Throughout the years of war, the Depression and anti-Semitism, many in Michigan's Jewish community responded to events with a growing sense of unease. The traveling "Uneasy Years" exhibit contains part of a growing collection of evidence regarding the lives and activities of Michigan Jews during the years of Nazi domination in Germany and Europe. Many Michigan Jews did not avoid the challenges raised by Nazism and anti-Semitism, but engaged with several issues and took action themselves. Many of these actions increased aid to Jews facing persecution abroad.
The exhibit will be on display through Saturday, May 16. The U.P. Heritage Center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Admission is free and the public is invited.
Golf fundraiser set in Mishicot, Wis.
NMU's Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreational Sports Department will host a golf outing at Fox Hills in Mishicot, Wis. on July 20. All alumni and friends are invited to attend.
NMU is teaming up with Fox Hills Resort to offer an enjoyable weekend featuring special lodging rates, fun-filled Sunday evening activities and entertainment and the golf outing Monday. NMU President Les Wong and NMU athletic coaches will be participating.
Thanks for stopping by...
...Nathan Hart '05 of Kalamazoo, Mich.
...Kathy LeDuc '79 of Escanaba. Kathy stopped by March 18 after attending NMU's Upper Great Lakes Collegiate Job Fair. Unfortunately, our camera was at the Job Fair at the time so we couldn't take Kathy's photo.
From the e-mail bag
"Can you put this in the next 'What's New, NMU?' I would love to provide an opportunity for NMU alumni in the Kansas City area (or elsewhere within driving distance) to meet up. If interested, send an email and I'll put it together."
Marjorie Seavoy Falcone '63
Kansas City, MO.
Note from the editor:
David Bonsall, Rachel Harris and graduate assistant Seth Hill-Kennedy (Center for Student Enrichment) presented “Learning Without Limits: Extending Co-Curricular Learning to All Students” at the American College Personnel Association annual conference on March 30 in Washington, DC.
The Center for Student Enrichment staff gathered with some Washington, DC alumni at the National Press Club.
Front: Chante’ Lasco, ’96; Amy Pascoe, ’06; Fabiana Perera ’05; Layla Wright, ’02; and Courtney Hytinen, 07.
Back: Joel Yacks, ’96; Rachel Harris, ‘91; Ivy Lange, ’99; Andy Hill, '03; Dave Bonsall, ’73; and Seth Hill-Kennedy, 08.
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