Minutes of the Special Session


Friday, October 28, 2016


A special session of the Board of Trustees of Northern Michigan University was held on Friday, October 28, 2016 in the Board of Trustees meeting room, 602 Cohodas Hall, at Northern Michigan University, Marquette, Michigan.  The session was convened at 1:06 p.m. by Chair H. Sook Wilkinson.


Trustees present included:

Dr. H. Sook Wilkinson, Chair*                                   Mr. Steven M. Mitchell**

Mr. Scott L. Holman*                                                 Mr. Richard M. Popp**

Dr. L. Garnet Lewis *                                                 Ms. Tami M. Seavoy

Mr. Robert E. Mahaney                                              Dr. Fritz J Erickson, ex officio


Senior Staff present included:

Mr. Brad Canale, Chief Executive Officer, NMU Foundation

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

Ms. Cathy A. Niemi, Secretary of the Board of Trustees

Mr. Kurt McCamman, Legal Counsel**


Senior Staff absent included:

Dr. Kerri Schuiling, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Dr. Steven A. VandenAvond, Vice President for Extended Learning and Community Engagement


Others present included:

      Ms. Sandra Haavisto, Controller and Assistant Treasurer

      Mr. Stephen Peacock, Principal – Rehmann Robson**


*via Zoom videoconference

**via Zoom teleconference




Vice President Leach provided a report on the audited Financial Statements for year ended June 30, 2016.  He reported that when the Finance Committee reviewed the financial statements on September 22, 2016, the Foundation audit had not yet been completed.  The Foundation Board reviewed and approved their statements at their meeting on Thursday, October 27, 2016.  The Foundation’s external auditors released an opinion to Rehmann Robson, NMU’s external auditors, who then finalized the audit of NMU’s financial statements.  Mr. Peacock said there were no changes to the numbers that were presented in September as a result of the Foundation statements.  Rehmann Robson has given an unmodified, clean opinion which is the highest level of assurance that can be placed on the financial statements, which has been inserted into NMU’s financial statements.


Discussion followed.  Mr. Mahaney asked for a wording clarification in the “Financial Highlights” section on page 2 where it states, “This large decrease resulted from the recording of $3.9 million in pension adjustments related to MPSERS adjustments…”  Mr. Mahaney said that as this amount is less than 1% of the percentage of the net position from the prior year’s balance of $218.3 million, the amount is not considered large. Ms. Haavisto explained that the use of the word “large” is subjective and does not need to be in the narrative.  Mr. Peacock said it would not change the opinion of the audit if this minor change is made.


The following action was taken:


It was moved by Mr. Holman, seconded by Mr. Mahaney, and supported by the full Board, to approve the audited Financial Statements for Year Ending June 2016 with the minor language change in the narrative on page 2 under “Financial Highlights.”





Chair Wilkinson reported that at the September 22, 2016 Executive Committee, the Committee recommended that the full Board grant Trustee Emeritus status to Mr. Stephen F. Adamini.  The following action was taken:


It was moved by Mr. Mitchell, seconded by Mr. Holman, and supported by the full Board, to grant Trustee Emeritus status to Mr. Stephen F. Adamini.


Mr. Holman asked when we would present this status to Mr. Adamini.  This will be presented at the December 9, 2016 meeting.





Chair Wilkinson adjourned the meeting at 1:16 p.m.



Respectfully submitted,



Cathy A. Niemi

Secretary of the Board of Trustees