NORTHERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Minutes of the Formal Session
A formal session of the Board of Trustees of Northern Michigan University was held on Friday, December 15, 2017 in Cohodas Hall of Northern Michigan University, Marquette, Michigan. The meeting was convened at 9:07 a.m. in the Board Room, 602 Cohodas Hall, by Chair Scott L. Holman.
Trustees present included:
Mr. Scott L. Holman, Chair
Mr. Steven M. Mitchell
Ms. Lisa I. Fittante
Mr. Richard M. Popp
Ms. Alexis M. Hart
Ms. Tami M. Seavoy
Mr. James K. Haveman
Dr. Fritz J Erickson, ex officio
Mr. Robert E. Mahaney
Senior Staff and Counsel present included:
Mr. Brad Canale, Chief Executive Officer – NMU Foundation
Mr. R. Gavin Leach, Vice President for Finance and Administration and Treasurer of the Board
Dr. Kerri Schuiling, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Dr. Steven A. VandenAvond, Vice President for Extended Learning and Community Engagement
Ms. Cathy A. Niemi, Secretary of the Board of Trustees
Mr. Kurt McCamman, Legal Counsel
MOMENT OF SILENCE
Dr. Kerri Schuiling, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, read the following memorials:
· Mr. Brandon Olson, student from Hancock, MI, who died on October 3, 2017.
· Mr. Jacob Roell, student from Iron Mountain, MI, who died on December 10, 2017.
The Board of Trustees observed a moment of silence in their memory.
The following addressed the Board of Trustees regarding sustainability and student engagement on campus: Ms. Georgia Harrison, Ms. Olivia Walcott, Mr. Ryan Watling, and Mr. Bryce DeMers.
Mr. Nathan Frishkorn addressed the Board of Trustees regarding the invitation to Governor Snyder to be the May 2018 Commencement Speaker. He urged the Board to rescind the offer and read them the petition that was signed by approximately 400 students, including 116 seniors graduating in May 2018.
The following addressed the Board of Trustees regarding Indigenous Peoples’ Day: Ms. Biidaaban (Daabii) Reinhardt, Ms. Grey Shea, Ms. Kayla Bell, and Ms. Chelsea Freele. They urged the Board of Trustees to place Indigenous Peoples Day on the University calendar as opposed to Columbus Day.
Ms. Isabelle Tavares addressed the Board of Trustees regarding the Food Recovery Network and sustainability at NMU.
Trustee Haveman thanked the students for being at the meeting today and bringing their thoughts to the Board. He encouraged them to continue their efforts. He said that issues of sustainability and inclusion are very important. He said that in response to the issue of Governor Rick Snyder being invited to be the May 2018 Commencement Speaker, that he has worked for Governor Snyder as a cabinet person for 2 years and Governor Engler for 12 years. When he looks at Governor’s and the Upper Peninsula, this Governor has done more and had more bipartisan support in the Upper Peninsula than any Governor he can remember going back many years. A few of the things that Governor Snyder has done for Michigan are: balanced budgets that have been done earlier in the year – he inherited a deficit of $1.5 billion – Michigan now has a surplus of $1 billion with rainy day funds; he has been involved in electrical issues where the Upper Peninsulas had been confronted with rates increases of 97% – there was a settlement that everybody agreed with that kept the electrical costs under control and kept some electrical power plants open in the Upper Peninsula; Economic Development – Trustee Mahaney has led an economic effort in the State to bring the economic groups together to have one focused on growing the Upper Peninsula – Governor Snyder has been up here more than once to speak to that group and has held press conferences to encourage the growth and sustainability of the Upper Peninsula; Education – over $1.7 billion has been spent on education in this State, another $250 million has gone into higher education in the State; Marquette SmartZone – in relationship with what’s going up in Houghton, there has been a lot of effort to move forward; Healthy Michigan – he is particularly proud of a Republican Governor who got behind the Healthy Michigan Plan, which is Medicaid expansion – the only Republican Governor in the country who took the lead on this – which has enabled 600,000+ adults who have minimum wage jobs who are now getting healthcare in the State. Trustee Haveman said that he is encouraged that the Governor has invested in the Upper Peninsula and thinks that it is good for the University. We are now bringing internet to the whole Upper Peninsula through the EAN project, something that has been talked about for decades. This would not be here if Governor Snyder had not supported the MEDC putting $6.5 million into that project for Northern Michigan University. He said he just wants to keep things in balance and appreciates the debate and welcomes the dialogue.
Trustee Mitchell said that he would like to add a little context to the 673,000 lives. He said his business is involved in politics and for a Republican Governor to push through Healthy Michigan, which is an expansion of Medicaid under the Obamacare legislation’s Affordable Care Act, is truly phenomenal. If you look at the map on the number of people in the Upper Peninsula who are covered, who now have insurance coverage as a result of Governor Snyder’s leadership, is truly phenomenal. We’ve all heard the story that President Erickson has told about a mother who had to drive her high school aged child to a McDonalds so they had access to the internet to do homework – because of the EAN, they no longer have to do that. This is something that Governor Snyder did. He said he believes that balance has to be there. He said he believes the passion of the students is terrific, even when everyone doesn’t agree with everything that is said.
Trustee Popp thanked the individuals who spoke so passionately about Indigenous Peoples’ Day, which is a very important topic. He said it is not one that the Board has been silent on – this topic is important to the Board. As was said by the students, this the Board that approved and is excited about the first Native American Studies program of its kind. The things the Board very clearly supports, and he’s proud of the people who are doing this, is celebrating Indigenous Peoples, and educating the community on the full history of Indigenous Peoples. In September the Board voted on a new vision and mission – that vision spoke about inspiring inclusion. He said that as important as the topic, and other topics we heard today that could be controversial, is how we deal with different perspectives. He said he uses Northern Michigan University as a role model and how we deal with really understanding different perspectives. Inspiring inclusion isn’t about drowning out other perspectives and its learnings. He said he honors those people who celebrated Indigenous Peoples’ Day and how they did it. He said he made himself available and had some discussions with Connor Loftus of ASNMU and some faculty members. He said he hopes people will continue to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day, continue to be a leader in Native American Studies, educating students and the community on the complete history, continue truly honoring inclusion – various people, various perspectives – especially when you disagree, and protect the rights, the various responsibilities that go along with freedom of speech and expression. As was mentioned by the speakers, the Board hasn’t approved anything around Columbus Day, we don’t celebrate Columbus Day, but recognize that some people do and that they feel as passionate about that as others feel about Indigenous Peoples’ Day. He said that as important as the topic, it’s how we deal with this. He said he believes there is more alignment than there are differences. He said the Board is not quiet about the topic – it is important to the Board, however, the Board does not see any action to take – they honor the celebrations.
INTRODUCTION OF GRADUATING SENIOR SPEAKING AT MIDYEAR COMMENCEMENT
Provost and Vice President Schuiling announced that Ms. Erin McNabb, a Social Studies/Secondary and French Education major, from Grand Rapids, MI will represent the graduating class of fall 2017 at Commencement ceremonies tomorrow, Saturday, December 16, 2017. On behalf of the Board, Chair Holman congratulated Ms. McNabb and presented her with a plaque. A photo was taken.
ANNOUNCEMENT OF STUDENT CHOICE AWARD RECIPIENT AND COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER
President Erickson announced Dr. David Wood, Professor, English Department, was selected by the students as the Student Choice Award Recipient and December 2017 Commencement Speaker.
Mr. Tristan Ruiz, President of the Associated Students of Northern Michigan University (ASNMU), presented on ASNMU activities that have occurred during the fall semester. His report is appended to these minutes. (Addendum #1)
Mr. Ruiz answered questions from the Trustees.
President Erickson reported on University accomplishments since the September 2017 meeting. His report is appended to these minutes. (Addendum #2)
President Erickson answered questions from the Trustees.
Mr. Mitchell, Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee, reported on a meeting held Thursday, December 14, 2017. A copy of the report is appended to these minutes. (Addendum #3)
Ms. Seavoy, Chair of the Finance Committee, reported on meetings held on Friday, November 10, 2017 and Thursday, December 14, 2017. A copy of the reports is appended to these minutes. (Addendum #4 and #5).
Mr. Holman, Chair of the Executive Committee, reported on a meeting held on Friday, December 15, 2017. A copy of the report is appended to these minutes. (Addendum #6)
The following action was taken:
It was moved by Trustee Mitchell, seconded by Trustee Haveman, and supported by the full Board, to approve the Formal Recommendations.
CHAIR AND VICE CHAIR ELECTIONS FOR CALENDAR YEAR 2018
Chair Holman turned the meeting over to Vice Chair Mahaney for this portion of the meeting.
The following action was taken:
It was moved by Trustee Holman, seconded by Trustee Seavoy, and supported by the full Board, to elect Trustee Mahaney as the Chair of the NMU Board of Trustees for calendar year 2018.
Vice Chair Mahaney turned the meeting back over to Chair Holman.
The following action was taken:
It was moved by Trustee Haveman, seconded by Trustee Hart, and supported by the full Board, to elect Trustee Mitchell as the Vice Chair of the NMU Board of Trustees for calendar year 2018.
Trustee Popp thanked Chair Holman for his leadership and teamwork on the Board. He said he knows nobody who cares more about NMU or has given more financially, intellectually, or entrepreneurially than Chair Holman has.
Trustee Mitchell said he has known Chair Holman for approximately 56 years and that he has done a tremendous job as Chair of the NMU Board of Trustees. He said his commitment, the passion he has had, as well as when he chaired the Board in 1999 and the leadership he showed while on the Foundation Board and President of the Alumni Association, has been invaluable. Trustee Mitchell said he agrees with Trustee Popp that Chair Holman has done more and given more than anyone he knows to Northern Michigan University. He said it has been an honor to serve with Trustee Holman as the Chair this past year and he looks forward to serving with him next year, as well.
APPOINTMENTS TO THE NMU BOARD OF TRUSTEES STANDING COMMITTEES AND EX OFFICIO APPOINTMENTS TO THE NMU FOUNDATION BOARD FOR CALENDAR YEAR 2018
Chair-elect Mahaney nominated the following Standing Committee make-up for calendar year 2018:
Academic Affairs Committee:
Trustee Tami Seavoy – Chair
Trustee Alexis Hart
Trustee Rick Popp
Trustee Jim Haveman – Chair
Trustee Lisa Fittante
Trustee Scott Holman
The following action was taken:
It was moved by Trustee Mitchell, seconded by Trustee Hart, and supported by the full Board, to approve the standing committee appointments of the NMU Board of Trustees for calendar year 2018.
Chair-elect Mahaney announced that Mr. Richard M. Popp and Mr. Robert E. Mahaney will continue as the ex officio appointments to the NMU Foundation Board of Trustees for calendar year 2018.
ANNOUNCEMENT OF INFORMAL CLOSED SESSIONS TO BE HELD IN CONNECTION WITH THE THURSDAY – FRIDAY, February 15 – 16, 2018 SESSIONS OF THE BOARD
President Erickson made this announcement for the public record.
RECOGNITION OF OUTGOING CHAIR
Chair-elect Mahaney recognized outgoing Chair Holman for his service to NMU. He was presented with engraved marble bookends. A photo was taken.
The Trustees thanked Chair Holman for his leadership over the past year.
Chair Holman adjourned the meeting at 10:27 a.m.
Cathy A. Niemi
Secretary of the Board of Trustees