Minutes of the Regular Session


Friday, July 12, 2013


A formal session of the Board of Trustees of Northern Michigan University was held on Friday, July 12, 2013, in Cohodas Hall, at Northern Michigan University, Marquette, Michigan.  The meeting was convened at 8:00 a.m. in the Board of Trustees Meeting Room, 602 Cohodas, by Chair L. Garnet Lewis.


Trustees present included:


      L. Garnet Lewis, Chair                 Richard M. Popp (via phone)             Thomas H. Zurbuchen

      Stephen F. Adamini                     H. Sook Wilkinson (via phone at 8:30 a.m.)

      Steven M. Mitchell                      Gilbert L. Ziegler                               David S. Haynes (ex officio)          


Trustees absent included:


Stephen L. Gulis, Jr.                                      


Senior staff and counsel present included:


      Kurt McCamman, Legal Counsel

      Martha B. Haynes, Vice President for Advancement

Paul L. Lang, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

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

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





There were no requests to address the Board.





Dr. Russell Magnaghi, University Historian, presented on odd or different courses offered at NMU over the years, some of which still exist in some fashion today. 





President Haynes reported on NMU’s participation in the Ishpeming and Marquette Fourth of July parades.  Over 200 people participated in the parades including ASNMU, Alumni, student athletes, cheer leaders, NMU pep band, floats, faculty, and staff.   


NMU has had 2,043 participants in Summer Camps on campus this year.  The camps include Wildcat Scholars, College for Kids, cyber security camp for high school students, camps for teachers, athletic camps, and math and science camps.  These require a great effort from faculty and staff and continue to be a great recruiting tool.





Budget and Tuition Discussion

Mr. Adamini, Acting Chair of the Finance Committee, reported on the meeting held on Tuesday,

July 2, 2013.  A copy of the report is appended to these minutes (Addendum #1).


It was moved by Trustee Adamini and seconded by Trustee Mitchell to accept the recommendation of the Finance Committee for Fiscal Year 2013-14:


·       To increase the Fiscal Year 2012-13 Board approved resident undergraduate tuition and fee rate by $164 per semester or from $4,354.72 to $4,518.72 per semester ($328 per year; from $8,709.44 to $9,037.44 per year)


·       No increase in the Fiscal Year 2012-13 $225 One-time Student Athletic fee.


·       To increase the Fiscal Year 2012-13 Board approved non-resident undergraduate tuition and fee rate by $254 per semester.


·       To increase the Fiscal Year 2012-13 Board approved resident graduate tuition rate by $16.50 per credit hour.


·       To increase the Fiscal Year 2012-13 Board approved nonresident graduate tuition rate by $23.50 per credit hour.


·       To increase the Fiscal Year 2012-13 Board approved MBA graduate tuition rate by $24 per credit hour.


President Haynes and Mr. Leach presented on the analysis of the key factors that went into the tuition setting process. 


Trustee Adamini applauded the efforts that have been made by the Board and administration to cut costs without having a great effect on the quality of education NMU is providing its students.  NMU has done a good job with this relative to its position to the other universities in the State.  However, this has been a trend, and tuition is increasing each year.  The cost of higher education is growing faster than the rate that incomes are growing.  Although the recommended increase is modest and he applauds the efforts to transfer more monies to student aid, he expressed concerns about the middle income families and their ability to obtain a higher education degree for their children. 


Trustee Ziegler agreed with Trustee Adamini’s comments and said he is concerned about higher education in general.  He wonders if we are going to become a nation where just the very wealthy and very poor are able to obtain an education.  NMU has put a lot of money back into student aid, but he is concerned for the average income family.  This is a cumulative effect on tuition.  He doesn’t think the parents and the students can afford the increase, and he is unable to support this motion.


Trustee Popp agreed with the comments from Trustees Adamini and Ziegler.  He recognized the administration, faculty, and staff at NMU for the work they are doing to keep a high value to the education for the students.  This is motivation for the Board to look for ways to avoid having to do tuition increases in the future.  He believes this is a responsible recommendation for an increase, and even though it is a tough decision, it is one that is necessary. 


Trustee Mitchell said this school has been a tremendous steward of the trust that the State of Michigan puts in it.  If you take a look at NMU’s costs vis-a-vis inflation, if you take a look at how well the administration and Board have done, he thinks the Board should be proud.  It is a tough decision.  NMU is still the second lowest priced university in the state of Michigan.  NMU is able to do that and still provide a superb education for the students.  NMU has faculty and staff who have taken freezes over time and have made concessions as a result of it.  He believes it is a decision that the Board has to make, should make and should applaud every person who is a part of this University for making these numbers work.  NMU is making a quality education at a very good price work, and the students are getting a very good return on their investment.


Trustee Wilkinson said she appreciates the comments made by the Trustees and resonates with all of the sentiments and perspectives but would like to provide a different perspective.  She was raised and educated in a different culture and society where education is looked upon as the best way to provide the best life for yourself and your family.  In order to accomplish this, families do a lot of sacrificing to send their child to the best university they can afford.  She agrees the University had done a great job to provide the best value in the State so she will support the motion.


Trustee Zurbuchen said the only reason he is sitting here with a higher education degree is that he was supported as well.  He is the first college educated person in his family.  He will always have this in mind while sitting on this Board.  He will also support the motion but will also say as we go forward more options need to be on the table.  NMU needs to start innovating itself out of the kind of off-the-track mode it is on.


Trustee Lewis said she reiterates what her fellow Board members have stated and that she would like to show her appreciation to the institution for being good stewards.  The fact that NMU is increasing what it is giving back to the students speaks highly about the fact that NMU is about the students. 



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


                                         Aye                                    Nay

                                    Stephen F. Adamini

                                    L. Garnet Lewis

                                    Steven M. Mitchell

Richard M. Popp

                                    H. Sook Wilkinson

                                    Thomas Zurbuchen

Gilbert L. Ziegler




The motion was thus approved with six (6) for the motion and one (1) against.



RECESS – Chair Lewis recessed the meeting at 8:45 a.m.  



RECONVENE -- Chair Lewis reconvened the meeting at 9:00 a.m. 






Mr. Popp, Chair of the Executive Committee, reported on the meetings held on Friday, June 14, 2013, and Thursday, July 11, 2013.  A copy of the report is appended to these minutes. (Addendum #2 and #3)


Mr. Popp said the Executive Committee is recommending a 2.3% increase in compensation for President Haynes for the current fiscal year.  The Executive Committee was prepared to recommend a larger increase based upon President Haynes’ performance and compensation relative to other university presidents in Michigan; however, President Haynes insisted that if any increase were to be given that it not be greater than what other staff employees received recently.  President Haynes plans to donate the pay increase back to the University as a charitable contribution


The Board took the following actions:


It was moved by Trustee Mitchell and seconded by Trustee Lewis to raise President Hayues’ salary by 2.3% effective July 1, 2013.


Discussion followed.



Trustee Ziegler said he believes President Haynes has done a wonderful job.  He has a problem with the salary increase because of the escalating costs of higher education--not just at NMU, but in general,  He thinks NMU has done a good job.  He believes that somewhere along the line a message has to be sent.  Even though he thinks President Haynes has done a good job, he cannot support the motion due to principle, it has nothing to do personally with President Haynes.


Trustee Popp said the Executive Committee took into consideration the pay of other presidents at universities as they do in all other aspects where they are looking to be competitive and provide value.  There is always that tension between what you competitively pay people (what are they are worth and what do they deserve) and in being competitive.  He doesn’t minimize the concerns and comments.  It is certainly a good contract, but it is not a contract that would put Dr. Haynes in a higher pay range.  NMU is coming up on the end of the President’s contract and NMU needs to have a competitive salary rate for its next president. 


Trustee Mitchell said he understands the concerns and is mindful about the concerns surrounding the appointment.  On the other hand he thinks President Haynes has done a good job.  He has taken on some initiatives that in the long term will have a positive impact on the University.  He still continues to maintain that the fact that we are the second least expensive university in the State of Michigan is a tribute to the leadership that NMU has now and in the past.  A 2.3% raise is consistent with what others have received, and he continues to support the motion.


Trustee Adamini said he is opposed to the increase.  He doesn’t doubt that President Haynes has done a pretty good job, and he has heard some positive comments.  When Dr. Haynes was named as president a year ago he was given the same salary as Dr. Wong who was in his ninth year as president, Dr. Haynes was given a two year contract, but the contract provided that he would receive three years of salary for

that period.  So, in effect he is making 150% of his predecessor in his ninth year as president.  It is not that he believes President Haynes is doing a bad job, it is that he believes he is being adequately compensated now.  He thinks we need to do all we can not only to provide a quality education for our students and keep faculty and staff well paid, but we have to be cognizant of reactions to the general public and alumni.


Trustee Lewis said this is her fifth year on the Board, and every year there is a discussion surrounding the compensation of the President.  Given the unique circumstance of NMU’s location and the added programs and initiatives NMU is trying to implement, the Board needs to think ahead about bringing the president’s compensation to the point that it will be attractive to future applicants.  She believes this is not an extreme amount of increase.  Referencing President’s Haynes’ last year she indicated she doesn’t know if NMU has ever had an individual that has hit the ground running and has worked tirelessly for this institution.  She commended President Haynes for his time and for his continued energy.  She has no qualms about supporting this 2.3% increase--not only in supporting his energies and work but in looking forward to the future.


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

                                         Aye                                    Nay

                                    L. Garnet Lewis                      Stephen F. Adamini   

                                    Steven M. Mitchell                Gilbert L. Ziegler

Richard M. Popp

                                    H. Sook Wilkinson

Thomas Zurbuchen                                          

                        The motion was thus approved with four (4) for the motion and two (2) against.

It was moved by Trustee Wilkinson, seconded by Trustee Mitchell and unanimously supported by the Board to approve the Presidential Goals.  The areas of concentration includes:  1.) Enrollment and Retention, 2.) Branding/Marketing/Identity/Presence,

3.) Financial Management, 4.) Endowment, 5.) Excellence and Experience, 6.) Academic Excellence, and 7.) Athletic Excellence.


Academic Affairs

Mr. Ziegler, Acting Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee, reported on a meeting held on

Thursday, July 11, 2013.  A copy of the report is appended to these minutes.  (Addendum #4)



Mr. Adamini, Acting Chair of the Finance Committee, reported on the meeting held on Tuesday,

July 2, 2013.  (See Focus Discussion.)




Mr. Amber Lopota, President of the ASNMU, updated the Board on ASNMU activities. (Addendum #5)




Chair Lewis announced the appointments to the Ad Hoc Nominating Committee as follows:


            Chair:              Mr. Stephen L. Gulis, Jr.       

            Members:       Dr. L. Garnet Lewis

Mr. Gilbert L. Ziegler           


The Committee will make a recommendation of Chair and Vice Chair for 2014 at the September 2013 meeting.




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





President Haynes made this announcement for the public record. 



Chair Lewis adjourned the meeting at 9:40 a.m.


Respectfully submitted,



Theresa M. Nease

Secretary of the Board