Minutes of the Special Formal Session


Thursday, February 17, 2022


A special formal session of the Board of Trustees of Northern Michigan University was held on Thursday, February 17, 2022, in the Scott L. Holman Executive Conference Room, Northern Center, Northern Michigan University, Marquette, Michigan.  The meeting was convened at 1:10 p.m. by Chair Stephen E. Young.


Trustees present included:

Mr. Stephen E. Young, Chair

Mr. Gregory J. Seppanen

Ms. Lisa I. Fittante

Ms. Tami M. Seavoy

Mr. Jason T. Morgan

Dr. Kerri D. Schuiling, ex officio




Trustees absent included:

Ms. Alexis M. Hart, Vice Chair

Mr. Robert E. Mahaney


Senior Staff and Counsel present included:

Mr. Brad Canale, Chief Executive Officer – NMU Foundation

Dr. Dale Kapla, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

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

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 also live-streamed on YouTube at



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



The following action was taken:


It was moved by Trustee Seavoy, seconded by Trustee Seppanen, that the Board of Trustees move the Division of Extended Learning and Community Engagement, which includes the College of Technology and Occupational Sciences, under the Academic Affairs Division and that Dr. Steven VandenAvond be appointed Associate Provost for Extended Learning and Community Engagement and Dean of the College of Technology and Occupational Sciences, effective July 1, 2022.


Discussion followed:


Trustee Seavoy said “with this move, Dr. VandenAvond goes from interim dean to a permanent dean for the College of Technology and Occupational Sciences (TOS).  His work in TOS is very important, so I really appreciate the permanence of this for that reason.  At the same time, Dr. VandenAvond moves from his role as Vice President to Associate Provost, which moves him down a layer on the organization chart.  His job duties, which have always included some of our most innovative, forward-thinking and exciting projects, like A.I. and virtual reality, won’t change and I don’t see the importance of his role changing.  But moving him on the organizational chart aligns the academic programs under his care squarely within the well-settled chain under the Provost.  Without doubt, the variety and extent of programs under Dr. VandenAvond’s purview make this move awkward.  That said, Steve has indicated that this change may improve interdisciplinary planning in academic programs and he has graciously agreed to support the change, and I support it for the Board.”


Being no further discussion, Chair Young called the question:


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


                                    Aye                                         Nay


                              Lisa I. Fittante

                              Jason T. Morgan

                              Tami M. Seavoy

                              Gregory J. Seppanen

                              Stephen E. Young


Secretary Andrew announced the motion carries 5 – 0.



Chair Young noted that as this is a special meeting, there are no other agenda items that can be addressed at this time, but announced that there will be an informal session of the Board of Trustees meeting on July 14 and 15, 2022.


Chair Young adjourned the meeting at 1:14 p.m.



Respectfully submitted,



/signed/Cathy A. Andrew

Secretary of the Board of Trustees