The Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees has approved 2009-10 operating budget and capital outlay project requests. Public universities are required to submit both to the state annually.

Northern’s operating budget for the current year, also approved at today’s meeting, is $102 million, an increase of $2 million over the previous year. The requested increase of $4 million for 2009-10 reflects the amount necessary to maintain current operations and to absorb $470,000 in state-mandated NMU contributions to the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System (MPSERS) and Indian tuition waivers. The remaining $3.6 million in projected operational increases would cover additional faculty positions, contracted compensation adjustments, long-term facilities maintenance and capital equipment replacement.

The capital outlay request is part of NMU’s rolling five-year master plan submitted to the state. It identifies four priority projects: a new bio-mass-fueled combined heat and power cogeneration plant, estimated to cost about $65 million; renovations to Cohodas Hall, $18 million; an academic facilities upgrade project involving Forest Roberts Theatre, the McClintock Building, Jamrich Hall and the Physical Education Instructional Facility (PEIF), $14 million; and renovations and an addition to the Learning Resource Center, $66 million.

In other action, the board:

•Approved an executive committee recommendation to award NMU President Les Wong a $7,000 bonus for achieving board-established goals of expanding internationalization efforts and completing “Road Map to 2015 and Beyond,” the university’s strategic plan. The terms of his contract make Wong eligible for incentive compensation for achieving leadership goals. The board also accepted the 2008-09 presidential goals focusing on enrollment and retention, Road Map strategic plan initiatives and revenue enhancement.


•Approved a revised NMU mission statement that reads “Northern Michigan University challenges its students and employees to think independently and critically, develop lifelong learning habits, acquire career skills, embrace diversity and become productive citizens in the regional and global community.”


•Accepted $1.2 million in external grants and $9,200 in gifts


•Approved the purchase of property and a residential structure located at 300 Waldo St. in Marquette, at a cost of $149,000 plus related miscellaneous expenses


•Elected officers for calendar year 2009. Douglas Roberts of East Lansing will serve as chair of the board and Brian Cloyd of Grand Rapids will serve as vice chair.


    The board also participated in a focus discussion that included a report from the NMU Foundation and an update on enrollment and the NMU Road Map strategic plan. Roberts initiated a discussion of a three-tiered tuition model that, in addition to resident and out-of-state rates, would include a separate rate for international students. The board will revisit that topic at a future meeting.

Prepared By
News Director
September 26, 2008