NMU Board Approves New Charter School

Friday 16, 2011

            MARQUETTE, Mich.— The Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees authorized a new charter school that will open in the fall of 2012 in the Willow Run district near Ypsilanti. The South Pointe Scholars Charter Academy will be a newly constructed facility—initially housing K-5, but building up to K-8. It will be managed by National Heritage Academies, an educational service provider that also manages Northern’s two existing charter schools downstate: Burton Glen and Walton. The latter was reauthorized as a school of excellence under Michigan’s “smart cap” legislation. This created an opportunity for NMU to charter a new school, which brings its total to six.

In other action at today’s meeting, the NMU Board of Trustees:

▪Authorized the university to issue bonds to finance the $16.4 million cogeneration plant and $2.7 million in energy-saving and maintenance projects. The university also will be paying off a 1998 bond series with an outstanding debt of $5.4 million. Moody’s recently affirmed an A1 bond rating with a stable outlook. “We’re happy with that,” said Gavin Leach, vice president for finance and administration. “The rating reflects the university’s solid financial footing and puts us in good position as we go out on the bond issuance.”

▪Approved the 2012-13 budget development submission sent to the State of Michigan. Instead of an operating budget request, as required in previous years, public universities were asked to supply suggestions for performance measures, goals and other factors that should be considered for a formula funding metric.

▪Approved the purchase of a house and property located at 1804 Tracy Ave. at a cost of $130,000 plus related expenses.

▪Accepted nearly $1.6 million in external grants.

▪Approved the appointment of Joseph Lubig as associate dean-teacher education/director-School of Education/associate professor with tenure, effective Dec. 21.

▪Appointed two individuals to charter school boards: Nicholas VanAlstine at JKL Bahweting Public School Academy; and Curtis Hewitt at North Star Academy. Both terms end June 30.

▪Granted professor emeritus status to Jean Kinnear, who taught in the health, physical education and recreation department.

▪Approved a resolution honoring Starbucks CEO Howard D. Schultz, a 1975 NMU graduate who was recently named Fortune magazine’s 2011 Businessperson of the Year.

▪Revised the 2012 calendar year meeting schedule to Feb. 16-17, May 3-4, July 11-12 and Sept. 20-21.

Kristi Evans
News Director