Minutes of the Special Session of

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


A special session of the Board of Trustees of Northern Michigan University was held on Tuesday, April 22, 2014, in the Board of Trustees Meeting Room, 602 Cohodas Administrative Hall, Northern Michigan University, Marquette, Michigan.  The session was convened at 10:00 a.m. by Chair Rick Popp.


Trustees present included:


Richard M. Popp, Chair                     Steven M. Mitchell                David S. Haynes, ex officio

Stephen F. Adamini                            H. Sook Wilkinson

Scott L. Holman                                 Gilbert L. Ziegler (via telephone)

L. Garnet Lewis (via telephone)        Thomas H. Zurbuchen


Senior staff and counsel present included:


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

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

Martha B. Haynes, Vice President for Advancement

Steven Neiheisel, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Services

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

            Kurt McCamman, Legal Counsel (via telephone)



Chair Popp thanked those involved in the Presidential Search process, including the Presidential Search Advisory Committee (consisting of faculty, staff, student, alumni and community members), Trustee Sook Wilkinson (chair of the Presidential Search Advisory Committee), Trustees Steve Mitchell and Steve Adamini (members of the Search Committee), Dr. Katherine Haley (Senior Search Consultant from Witt Kieffer), Ms. Theresa Nease (Secretary of the Board of Trustees) and the entire University community for their work and participation in the process. 


He thanked Dr. David Haynes stating that he has overseen some critical major initiatives since being named NMU Interim president and continues to work hard on several important projects.   He also thanked Ms. Martha Haynes for performing double duty for the past two years as Vice President for Advancement and First Lady.


Chair Popp announced that he had just received word that Mr. Robert Ackerman has respectfully withdrawn his candidacy from the position. 


Chair Popp said this process has been open and collaborative.  Although there were no requests for public comment, the Board has the ability to suspend the rules and allow people to make public comment if necessary.  He asked the audience if anyone wanted to make a comment.  There were no requests.


He then introduced the following motion.


            It was moved by Trustee Zurbuchen and seconded by Trustee Wilkinson to offer to Fritz Erickson the position of President of Northern Michigan University:  After discussion, on a roll-call vote, the Board voted as follows:



                                         Aye                        Nay


Mr. Adamini                   

Mr. Holman

Dr. Lewis

Mr. Mitchell

Mr. Popp

Dr. Wilkinson

Mr. Ziegler

Dr. Zurbuchen


The following action was taken:


            It was moved by Trustee Wilkinson, seconded by Trustee Holman, and supported unanimously by the Board that Chair Popp be asked to appoint Trustee Lewis, Chair of the Executive Committee, and himself to finalize the details of a proposed presidential contract that can be presented to the full Board for approval at a future meeting. 



Chair Popp announced that the Search Consultant from Witt/Kieffer helped prepare the candidates for this announcement, including an introduction plan.  In the case of Fritz Erickson, he is driving to the Upper Peninsula waiting for a call.  If the call said he was being offered the position, he would continue driving to Marquette.  If the call informed him that he was not being offered the position, he would “turn left” and drive to his cottage.  As a result of the Board vote, Chair Popp announced his plan to call Dr. Erickson to offer him the position and invite him to come to Marquette for a public introduction scheduled the same day at 4:00 p.m. in the Brule Room of the University Center.  



Chair Popp adjourned the meeting at 10:26 a.m.


Respectfully submitted,




Theresa M. Nease, Secretary of the BoardHolman