Proposed

 

NORTHERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY

BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Minutes of the Special Formal Session

of

Monday, June 28, 2021

 

A special formal session of the Board of Trustees of Northern Michigan University was held on Monday, June 28, 2021, via Zoom Video Conference.  The meeting was convened at 12:03 p.m. by Chair Tami M. Seavoy.

 

Trustees present included:

Ms. Tami M. Seavoy, Chair

Ms. Donna L. Murray-Brown

Ms. Lisa I. Fittante

Mr. Gregory J. Seppanen

Ms. Alexis M. Hart

Mr. Stephen E. Young, Vice Chair

Mr. Robert E. Mahaney

Dr. Fritz J Erickson, ex officio

Mr. Jason T. Morgan

 

 

Senior Staff and Counsel 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 of Trustees

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

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

Ms. Deanna Hemmila, Executive Director – Board/Government Relations

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

Mr. Kurt McCamman, Legal Counsel

 

The meeting was live-streamed on YouTube at https://bit.ly/nmuavstreaming

 

ROLL CALL

Secretary Andrew took roll call and noted that a quorum was met with all Trustees present.

 

TUTION AND FEES

President Erickson led a discussion on tuition and fees for the 2021-2022 fiscal year.  He explained that this is typically the time of year NMU sets tuition.  The process involves several factors, among those are the cost increases for university operations, what the legislature and governor propose, the university’s financial viability, and, most importantly, the direct cost to the students and their families.  The university remains the second lowest tuition in the state and roughly $2,000 below the median amongst sister institutions.  He said the administration is recommending a 4.2% tuition increase.  However, it’s important to note that much of the calculation is predicated on the relief dollars NMU will provide to the students.  The proposed increase will have better than a net zero impact on tuition as NMU will be able to provide its students between $750 and $1,000 that will be funded by the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) or from institutional aid, which will more than offset any tuition increase for this year.  Vice President Leach said the increase keeps NMU at the second lowest tuition in the State, the grants effectively keep the rate lower than last year, and the rate also includes the laptop, software, and free broadband service for our students, which helps keep the total cost low.  Leach also said the Board approved a flat increase in room and boards rates at its February meeting.

 

The following action was taken:

 

It was moved by Trustee Mahaney and seconded by Trustee Young, that based on a review of the materials and information provided by the Administration, the Board approve the following tuition rate adjustments for Fiscal Year 2021-2022:

 

A.    Increase the average resident and non-resident undergraduate on-campus tuition and fee rate by $252 per semester. 

B.    The administration provide grants to full-time undergraduate students starting at $750 that will be funded by federal stimulus funds and will effectively lower most full-time resident undergraduate students’ tuition and fees charges below this year’s tuition and fee rate by a minimum of -$123 per semester.

C.    The university adjust graduate tuition, off campus courses, global campus, summer session, differential tuition, and other fees rates at the amounts in the board materials.

 

The matter was discussed at length with the administration responding to questions from Trustees regarding the grant ($750 - $1,000) process, net cost of tuition, NMU’s tuition history, state appropriation and tuition cap history, NMU’s budget process, and annual operational costs.

 

Trustee Morgan said he will be voting “no” because he is not quite comfortable with the 4.2% increase at this point but understands there is a lot that has gone into this recommendation.  He does not mean any disrespect towards the administration’s decision-making process as they are doing their jobs to ensure the budget is stable for the university.

 

Following full and frank discussion, the chair called the question.

 

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

 

                                    Aye                                                  Nay

 

                              Lisa I. Fittante

                              Alexis M. Hart

                              Robert E. Mahaney

                                                                                    Jason T. Morgan

                              Donna L. Murray-Brown

                              Tami M. Seavoy

                              Gregory J. Seppanen

                              Stephen E. Young

 

Trustee Seppanen said his vote was reluctant and is based on when we get to September we discuss the budget for next year.  His efforts will be to find ways to offset the cost of the tuition next year in some way.

 

CAPITAL OUTLAY

President Erickson led a discussion on the capital outlay project.  He noted that NMU previously received $20 million in funding from the State for the renovation of the Career Tech and Engineering Facility.  In addition to that funding, NMU has a cost share of $8.5 million.  The administration is seeking approval from the Board to move forward on this project.  Vice President Leach said the Board previously approved $450,000 for the design services process.  Today’s request would complete the total match that is required to move forward and proceed with the project.

 

The following action was taken:

 

It was moved by Trustee Mahaney and seconded by Trustee Seppanen to approve the authorization of $8.1 million dollars as required by the state as Northern Michigan University’s portion of the costs of the Capital Outlay Project.  This will allow the renovation to the Career Tech and Engineering Facility to proceed.

 

Trustee Mahaney said these funds have been factored into the budget.  This project has been in the works for several years and it’s good to see it going forward.  He said he fully supports this investment by the university in this wonderful new facility that will give NMU the opportunity to launch new programming.

 

Trustee Young said he appreciates all the work Vice President Leach, Ms. Hemmila, and President Erickson have done with respect to this project.  He’s happy to see we’re moving forward and it is largely because of their efforts.

 

Being no further discussion, Chair Seavoy called the vote:

 

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

 

                                    Aye                                                  Nay

 

                              Lisa I. Fittante

                              Alexis M. Hart

                              Robert E. Mahaney

                              Jason T. Morgan

                              Donna L. Murray-Brown

                              Gregory J. Seppanen

                              Tami M. Seavoy

                              Stephen E. Young

 

NMUFA CONTRACT

President Erickson said there is a tentative agreement with the NMUFA that has been ratified by the union.  He thanked the negotiating teams for their hard work during this process.

 

The following action was taken:

 

It was moved by Trustee Hart and seconded by Trustee Murray-Brown that the negotiated contract extension between Northern Michigan University and the Faculty Association, MAHE-MEA-NEA for the time frame of July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022 be approved.

 

Discussion followed.  Trustee Seppanen questioned item 16.4 where it reads, “For 2021-22, all faculty members on role as of August 18, 2021, as agreed to by the Board and the Association, shall have the faculty members’ 2020-21 two (2) semester base salaries increased by the same across-the-board base salary percentage increase as the AAUP.”  He asked if there is a problem with this language should the negotiations with the AAUP result in the first year where they receive a one-time, not on the base salary increase, so the base salary remains the same.  Legal counsel stated it could be addressed at the time and may be that we could work with the language that exists and provide a similar increase.  President Erickson said if that type of scenario occurs, we could do an amendment, an MOU, to add on to the contract to make that adjustment.

 

Being no further discussion, Chair Seavoy called the question:

 

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

 

                                    Aye                                                  Nay

 

                              Lisa I. Fittante

                              Alexis M. Hart

                              Robert E. Mahaney

                              Jason T. Morgan

                              Donna L. Murray-Brown

                              Gregory J. Seppanen

                              Tami M. Seavoy

                              Stephen E. Young

 

ACTION ON FORMAL RECOMMENDATIONS

The following action was taken:

 

It was moved by Trustee Seppanen and seconded by Trustee Morgan to approve the Formal Recommendations. (Addendum #1)

 

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

 

                                    Aye                                                  Nay

 

                              Lisa I. Fittante

                              Alexis M. Hart

                              Robert E. Mahaney

                              Jason T. Morgan

                              Donna L. Murray-Brown

                              Gregory J. Seppanen

                              Tami M. Seavoy

                              Stephen E. Young

 

ADJOURNMENT

Being no further business, Chair Seavoy adjourned the meeting at 12:52 p.m.

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

/signed/Cathy A. Andrew

Secretary of the Board of Trustees