Minutes of the Formal Session


Friday, September 21, 2012


A formal session of the Board of Trustees of Northern Michigan University was held on Friday, September 21, 2012, in the Wildcat Room of the Berry Event Center, Northern Michigan University, Marquette, Michigan.  The meeting was convened at 9:04 a.m. by Chair Brian D. Cloyd.


Trustees present included:


      Mr. Brian D. Cloyd, Chair           Mr. Jon G. LaSalle                  Dr. H. Sook Wilkinson

      Mr. Stephen F. Adamini               Dr. L. Garnet Lewis                  Mr. Gilbert L. Ziegler

      Mr. Stephen L. Gulis, Jr.              Mr. Richard M. Popp              Dr. David S. Haynes, ex officio      



Senior staff and counsel present included:


      Ms. Catherine L. Dehlin, General Counsel

      Dr. Paul L. Lang, 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. Ron Sundell, President of the AAUP union, addressed the Board.  He said the AAUP union recently voted overwhelmingly to ratify a contract that will be voted on by the Board of Trustees at todayís meeting.  The contract is the culmination of over a yearís worth of work by both faculty and the administration, and the final agreement is a matter of compromise on both sides.  He acknowledged and thanked the members of both negotiation teams that worked hard to come to an agreement.  He hopes common ground can be found for all of the other unions on campus that are currently in negotiations so that NMUís highly qualified and dedicated staff can concentrate on what they do bestóserving students.  The AAUP membership looks forward to the Boardís approval of the contract, and he looks forward to a good and productive working relationship with President Haynes and the administration with the goal of making NMU the best university possible.


Ms. Michelle Kimball, President of the UAW TOPS union, addressed the Board.  She thanked the Board for their service and guidance and said NMU would not be on the solid, successful ground it currently sits on without their valuable contributions.  She also thanked the Board for working with the AAUP union to ratify an equitable contract stating that doing what it takes to keep the best faculty is the only sensible course of action for the University.  She also believes this is the case with her union brothers and sisters.  Without their contributions, dedication, and efforts the University would not enjoy such smooth effectiveness.  She reviewed statistics related to the UAW TOPS wages and benefits and the current state of negotiations.  She said the Board now has an opportunity to greatly impact the future of NMU so NMU can continue to be an employer-of-choice and hire the employees of choice, or they can continue to lead down the path of reduced benefits and select future hires from the pool of leftover applicants.


Mr. Jon Barch, President of the AP-UAW union, addressed the Board.  On behalf of his union members, he thanked the Board for leading the University through challenging economic times.  He said he similarly encourages the Board to recognize the contribution the employees make to the University in successful navigation of those times as well.  He reminded the Board that the midlevel managers at NMU are at the core of recruitment and retention programs, in bringing important financial resources to the University, in bringing national recognition to the University through their innovations, and are on the front line of ensuring a high quality student affairs experience at NMU.  They would not be able to do what they do without their secretaries.  The AP-UAW union settled on a contract agreement yesterday.  He said the process was concluded in three days as a result of the University leadership being reasonable, and he thanked the administration for this.  He encouraged the administration to show this same consideration for the TOPS Union as they have been without a contract for nearly a year and a half, and the process and outcome of the negotiations with this group will continue to impact the entire campus. 





President Haynes read a memorial for Ms. Sally K. Roo, an administrative assistant in the Office of the President, who passed away on August 9, 2012 after a courageous battle with cancer.  The Board of Trustees observed a moment of silence in her memory.


Provost Lang read a memorial for Mr. Shawn Dollar, a student who passed away unexpectedly last week.  Shawn was a 34-year old junior majoring in Entertainment/Sports Promotion with a minor in Business.  He was a member of the NMU student communication and marketing team and was employed by the YMCA.  The Board of Trustees observed a moment of silence in his memory.





Dr. Russell Magnaghi, University Historian, presented on the history of computers at NMU.  The first University computer center was established in 1963 making January 2013 the 50th anniversary of computers at NMU.  The Computer Center was established with the encouragement of Mr. Harry Rajala, Registrar, and Mr. Leo Van Tassel, Vice President for Finance, and was located in the basement of Longyear Hall.  In January of 1963 NMU purchased an IBM 1620 Data Processing Machine which by modern standards was bulky, slow and terribly inefficient and for many years conducted operations on unit-record tab equipment storing administrative and account records on 1000S 500-81 keypunch cards.  Its main responsibilities were admissions, registration, tuition/billing, printing/mailing, test scoring, accounting, and record keeping.


By the 1970s several keypunch machines moved to West Science with terminals being used by students.  By 1975 about 20 terminals were used for Geography, Chemistry, Statistics, and Physics.  In 1975 the Computer Center was relocated to the Cohodas Administrative Center basement with parts moving to the 5th floor in 1997.  Microcomputers became a reality in 1975 with Dr. William Ralph from the Physics Department being a pioneer faculty member.  The first student to have his own microcomputer was Terry Horton.  The faculty and students built their own equipment.  They bought kits, and the computers looked like small metal ammunition boxes with no design to them.  By 1979 Apple and IBM computers were being sold, and in the early 1980s several Radio Shack TRS-80s personal computers were introduced.  In 1983 25 new IBM PCs were installed in a lab located in Jamrich Hall.  The first MAC lab was opened in the Thomas Fine Arts building in 1986. 

By the 1980s faculty were beginning to buy their own computers although there was no campus support.  In 1989 Academic Computing was formalized, and in 1996 with nearly 300 stations scattered in several classrooms in the LRC, the computer labs were consolidated.  In 1998, Dr. Fred Joyal, Academic Computing Director and eventually Provost, offered laptop computers to faculty on a voluntary basis.  A pilot program for student and faculty laptops was started in 1999, and the laptop rollout for all students was done in the Fall of 2000 with the semis carrying the first group of laptops escorted by a group of motorcycles led by Dr. Terry Seethoff and Dr. Fred Joyal.  There was a lot of protest and verbal unrest surrounding the program as faculty didnít know what to do with the computers and students didnít want to pay the extra fee.   After that, there was such widespread use that if anyone even thought about getting rid of the computer program you would probably have a revolt on campus as it has just become part of life at NMU. 




Chairman Cloyd thanked President David and Martha Haynes for their generous gift of furniture for the Presidentís Office reception area.  He said two weeks ago a reception hosted by NMU, Trustee Gulis, Former Trustee Dan DeVos, and Chairman Cloyd was held in Grand Rapids in conjunction with the West Michigan Policy conference and was an exceptional success with approximately 150 people attending.  He said he was proud of the work that President Haynes and his team did for the reception as well as being proud of the University for making a good showing.  President Haynes indicated the reception was paid for by donors.




Provost Lang gave a report on enrollment at NMU.  (Addendum # 1)  Staff responded to questions and comments from Trustees.  President Haynes said the report shows a decline in enrollment.  The enrollment plan was put in place a year ago and is being completed this fall.  The team that put the plan together and implemented it did a tremendous job and worked very hard in very difficult regional and statewide situations.  Universities throughout the Midwest and Michigan are also showing a decline in enrollment.  In the next couple of months, the administration will be revealing target numbers for enrollment and a series of reorganizations will be enacted.  The enrollment team will report directly to the president with functional supervision being received by the Provost.  The administration is reexamining how recruitment is done in the State, region and internationally, and work is being done very closely with the State and federal government to determine how to increase the number of veteran students.  Having an assistant provost whose only focus is on graduate studies has already shown an increase in the graduate area.  An agreement has just been reached with Lake Superior State University to offer graduate programs on their campus.  There will be more focus internationally on specific countries to try to develop more in-host country programs and blended learning to support it and to move more international students to our campus.  There will be redirection and rethinking of the marketing of enrollment (how it is done and who does it).  With the change in the funding model for higher education across the country at both the state and federal level, the option universities have left is to increase credit hours, to increase headcount, to increase FYES, to grow.  We will also do a better job with fund raising.  State metrics now involve enrollment-graduation rates, degrees issues, etc.  Students have to be recruited based on those metrics.  There is a limit that universities can increase tuition before access is impacted.  NMU is still the second lowest in tuition in the State.  The only way to increase revenue is to increase the number of students taking a higher number of credit hours.  Trustee Gulis encouraged the administration to ensure that the recruitment areas being targeted have the demographics to support an increased appetite for higher education.   Trustee Wilkinson applauded efforts to increase the international population on campus as it will help the current student population to become global citizens and to learn about others.  It also has a great economic impact to the locality.  Trustee Adamini said NMU has to continue to try to increase student population due to the decline in support from the State; however, he wants to make sure there is adequate physical plant to support this growth.  Provost Lang said the current physical plant has been built for around 11,000 students so there is adequate room for growth.  Trustee Adamini said he also wants to ensure that the Board and administration are nimble enough to recognize if endeavors attempted are not working so things can be redirected.  Trustee Cloyd agreed saying it is a difficult task to predict the jobs of the future, and the challenge to the University is that the University be nimble enough to create the right skill sets and right opportunities for students to get those jobs.  To the extent NMU has the ability to stay ahead of the game will enhance the ability to attract students.  Trustee Popp said this is a multifaceted problem which requires systemic thinking.  He said he applauds the administration for their efforts to date and for making it one of the few priorities.  He thinks it is the most important work that the University will be doing within the next couple of years. 


Chair Cloyd said he and the rest of the Board are really excited that this conversation is at the top of the list of the conversations among the members of the administration and the Board.  It is a critical piece of what the administration and Board needs to do for this institution and will determine where the University will be in the future.  He thanked the President and his team for putting together this discussion.  He asked President Haynes to continue to push his team on this issue and said the Board will continue to push him as well.



RECESS Ė Chair Cloyd recessed the meeting at 10:12 a.m. for a break.



RECONVENE Ė Chair Cloyd reconvened the meeting at 10:30 a.m.







Mr. LaSalle, Chair of the Executive Committee, reported on the meeting held on Thursday, September 20, 2012.  A copy of the report is appended to these minutes (Addendum #2).


Academic Affairs


Dr. Lewis, Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee, reported on a meeting held on Thursday, September 20, 2012.  A copy of the report is appended to these minutes (Addendum #3). 




Mr. Adamini, Chair of the Finance Committee, reported on meetings held on Thursday, September 6, 2012 and Thursday, September 20, 2012.  A copy of these reports is appended to these minutes.  (Addendums #4 and #5). 




Ad hoc Nominating


Dr. Wilkinson reported on the Ad hoc Nominating Committee meeting held on Thursday, September 20, 2012 (Addendum #6).  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 Wilkinson and seconded by Trustee LaSalle to elect Trustee Lewis as Chair and Trustee Popp as Vice Chair of the NMU Board of Trustees for calendar year 2013. 


On a roll-call vote, the Board voted as follows:


                                         Aye                                    Nay

                                    Stephen F. Adamini

                                    Brian D. Cloyd

                                    Stephen Gulis, Jr.

                                    Jon G. LaSalle

                                    L. Garnet Lewis

Richard M. Popp

                                    H. Sook Wilkinson

Gilbert L. Ziegler      





Chair Cloyd said the proposed 2013 meeting calendar is part of the formal recommendations.  The Board reviewed the calendar.





President Haynes reported on the following:


1.  President David and Martha Haynes hosted Former President John and June Jamrich on campus recently. 


2.  Next week is the start of the United Conference, and Trustee Popp is the opening speaker.


3.  The Foundation Scholarship Application developed by the NMU Foundation, ADIT Department, and the Financial Aid Department was deemed as an excellent model of efficiency by Business Magazine and will be featured in the December issue.  President Haynes congratulated these departments for their creativity and for serving NMUís student so well.


4.  President Haynes reviewed the statistics for the pre-med program at NMU.  The program has one of the highest placement rates in the State. 


5.  Mr. Bill Ballanger from Inside Michigan Politics recently presented on campus.  NMU alum,

Mr. Steve Mitchell, one of the countryís leading pollsters, will be speaking on campus as part of the Presidentís symposium on October 17.  Mr. Craig Ruff, from one of the leading thinktanks in the State, will present on both sides of the six ballot questions on October 25 at 3:30.  


6.  NMU alum and one of the countryís leading gaming experts, Mr. Ron St. Martin has agreed to run a gaming program on enrollment at NMU at no cost to the University.


7.  President Haynes encouraged the Board to participate in the many homecoming activities that will be held this weekend on campus.





There was no ASNMU report.


Ms. Geneva Martin, a student majoring in Environmental Studies and Sustainability, gave a report on her leadership experiences at NMU.  Ms. Martin participates in the Student Leader Fellowship Program, Superior Edge, Wildcat Ultimate Frisbee team, House Government, Women 4 Women, and has participated in an international service trip to Ireland.  She lauded the Student Leader Fellowship Program and said it gave her the tools and structure to let her discover potential in herself and her leadership development.  President Haynes recognized the staff from the Center for Student Enrichment, Mr. David Bonsall, Mr. John Barch, Ms. Rachel Harris, and Ms. Cara Kamps.  The staff stood, and the Board applauded them.  Staff answered questions from the Board.





Due to the weather, a trip to the Longyear site this afternoon was cancelled.  Dr. Ron Sundell briefed the Board on the history and present use of the site.  He distributed a handout with examples of the types of research that is performed at the site.  The Longyear property is a 120 acre tract of land provided by the Longyear family in the 1940s for research and education. 





It was moved by Trustee LaSalle seconded by Trustee Wilkinson and supported by the Board to approve the formal recommendations.  Trustee Ziegler abstained from the vote.





President Haynes made this announcement for the public record. 





Chair Cloyd said trustee emeriti recognition is given to former trustees who have demonstrated total devotion to NMU.  The individual must have provided by action a willingness to give their time and their treasure as well as a willingness to share their wisdom.  That wisdom has to have produced positive results.  Both Mr. Inman and Dr. Roberts have clearly demonstrated such attributes on behalf of NMU. 


Chair Cloyd presented a Trustee Emeriti Plaques to Mr. Larry Inman, and Dr. Douglas Roberts (in absentia) in honor of their service to NMU.  A Photo was taken.





Chair Cloyd adjourned the meeting at 11:29 a.m.


Respectfully submitted,




Theresa M. Nease

Secretary of the Board