Minutes of the Formal Session


Friday, September 25, 2009



A formal session of the Board of Trustees of Northern Michigan University was held on Friday, September 25, 2009, in the Cohodas Hall, Northern Michigan University, Marquette, Michigan.  The meeting was convened at 9:32 a.m. by Chair Douglas B. Roberts.


Trustees present included:


      Dr. Douglas B. Roberts, Chair                  Mr. Larry C. Inman                 Dr. H. Sook Wilkinson

      Mr. Stephen F. Adamini                           Mr. Jon G. LaSalle                  Mr. Gilbert L. Ziegler

      Mr. Brian D. Cloyd                                   Dr. L. Garnet Lewis                Dr. Leslie E. Wong, ex officio


Senior staff and counsel present included:


      Ms. Catherine L. Dehlin, General Counsel

      Dr. Susan J. Koch, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Mr. R. Gavin Leach, Vice President for Finance and Administration and Treasurer of the Board

      Ms. Theresa M. Nease, Executive Assistant to the President and Secretary of the Board





Dr. Ronald Sundell, President of the NMU Chapter of the American Association of University Professors addressed the Board.  He explained that the AAUP faculty did not reject the proposed contract as a result of one issue or a recent event, but rather as a result of a number of issues and problems that have occurred and accumulated over time.  Issues mentioned were 1.) shared governance, 2.) heavy teaching loads and large class sizes, 3.) the percentage of total expenditures spent on instruction, 4.) conflicts surrounding departmental bylaws, and 5.) language in the proposed contract dealing with the Household Member Program. 





Mr. Brian Cloyd, NMU Board of Trustee Vice Chair and Vice President for Global Corporate Community Relations for Steelcase, Inc. presented on the Critical Thinking Model

(Addendum # 1) used at Steelcase, Inc. as a starting point for a discussion on developing a long term strategic thinking plan for the NMU Board of Trustees linked to the Road Map to 2015.  He emphasized that this Strategic Plan would center around policy planning and not operational planning as is done by the administration.  He introduced the idea of an ad hoc Strategic Planning Committee to include two Board of Trustee Members and other key stakeholders such as students, faculty, donors, administration, and community members.  This committee would meet at least two times prior to the Board of Trustees Retreat/Strategy Session in February and would assist the Board in identifying key issues.


Discussion followed.  Mr. Inman shared a strategic plan from Grand Traverse County, Michigan. 



RECESS – Chair Roberts recessed the meeting at 10:30 a.m. for a break.



RECONVENE -- Chair Roberts reconvened the meeting at 10:47 a.m.







Mr. Cloyd, Chair of the Executive Committee, reported on the meeting held on Thursday,

September 24, 2009.  A copy of the report is appended to these minutes (Addendum #2).


The following action was taken:


It was moved by Trustee Inman, seconded by Trustee Lewis, and supported unanimously, to create an ad hoc Committee to include Mr. Adamini, Mr. LaSalle, and

Dr. Wilkinson to review the Trustee Emeriti Policy.  The Committee will make a final recommendation at the December Executive meeting and Board of Trustees meeting.


It was moved by Trustee Roberts, seconded by Trustee Inman, and supported unanimously, to create an ad hoc Strategic Planning Committee to include two Board members and key stakeholders charged with developing a Strategic Plan.



Academic Affairs


Mr. LaSalle, Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee, reported on a meeting held on Thursday, September 24, 2009.  A copy of the report is appended to these minutes (Addendum #3)





Mr. Adamini, Chair of the Finance Committee, reported on meetings held on September 10, 2009, and Thursday, September 24, 2009.  A copy of the reports are appended to these minutes.

(Addendums #4 and #5)


The following action was taken:


It was moved by Trustee Adamini, seconded by Trustee Inman, and supported unanimously, to approve the Capital Outlay Project Request for 2010-2011.


Mr. Ziegler clarified that the submission of this request is in response to an annual request from the State of Michigan. 



Recruitment and Retention Committee


Mr. Ziegler, Chair of the Recruitment and Retention Committee, reported on the meeting held on September 25, 2009.  A copy of the report is appended to these minutes (Addendum #6).



Ad hoc Nominating


Mr. LaSalle reported on the Ad hoc Nominating Committee meeting held on September 25, 2009 (Addendum #7).  Following the recommendation of the Committee, and there being no nominations from the floor, the election of officers was held:


It was moved by Trustee Ziegler, seconded by Trustee Wilkinson, and supported unanimously by the Board to elect Trustee Roberts as Chair and Trustee Cloyd as Vice Chair of the NMU Board of Trustees for calendar year 2010. 


Dr. Roberts and Mr. Cloyd thanked the Board and said it is a real privilege to be chair and vice chair.





Dr. Wong updated the Board on the status of the Combined Heat and Power Project.  The permit is working its way through the DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality).  The University has been pleased with the progress and the assistance NMU has received from the State.  The next step is for the DEQ to approve and publish permit conditions which is expected to happen over the next 30 days.  The DEQ will then schedule a public hearing on the permit in Marquette.  The University will also respond at this hearing.  The University is currently working on the permit with faculty, students, and community leaders and soliciting support from same.  He emphasized there is no coal in this project, and it is progressive and environmentally sound.  He is optimistic that the DEQ will approve the permit.  It is expected the permit will be approved by December 31st.    He noted NMU is pursuing federal funding for this project through the ARRA, federal stimulus bill dollars dedicated to energy and dispensed through the U.S. Department of Energy.  The project cost remains at approximately $65 million, and the stimulus funding would cover 75% of that amount.  NMU would seek state support and/or other financial tools to cover the remaining amount.  He commended the NMU team on their work on a project that will set the stage for good energy policy here on campus and provide us an opportunity for energy research as well as save money.


Dr. Wong updated the Board on the financial status of the NMU Golf Course.  Staff members are currently looking at early bird incentives.  The state of the golf course to generate scholarship money is looking very positive. 


Dr. Wong encouraged the Board to view the Roadmap website ( to review an extensive report on all of the university’s activities to date in relation to the Road Map to 2015. 


Dr. Wong reported on the first confirmed case of the H1N1 virus on campus.  The student is recovering nicely. An extensive notification process has been done on campus and residence halls have gone through an extensive informational process.  Attendance policies have been suspended so a doctor’s note is not required to be absent from class.  Dr. Schacht is monitoring the Center for Disease Control announcements and getting word out to campus as things progress.





Mr. Jason Morgan, 2009-2010 ASNMU President, reported.  A copy of the report is appended to these minutes (Addendum #8).   





It was moved by Trustee Adamini, seconded by Trustee LaSalle, and unanimously supported by the Board of Trustees to approve the Formal Recommendations.

(Addendum #9)





President Wong made this announcement for the public record. 





Dr. Lewis encouraged attendance at the alumni events this weekend and the Political Science Symposium this afternoon.


Mr. Adamini related positive feedback from the donors of the NMU Golf Course.  President Wong recognized the hard work of Mr. Gischia and his team in transitioning the course.





Chair Roberts adjourned the meeting at 11:30 a.m.





Respectfully submitted,




Theresa M. Nease

Secretary of the Board