Board Approves Revised Budget, Property Sale

Friday 11, 2015

The Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees today approved a revised general fund operating budget of $105.7 million for 2015-16, a decrease from the $108.3 million previously approved at the board’s July meeting. The revised budget includes estimated cost-saving measures in general categories to counter a $2.6 million shortfall in tuition and fee revenue associated with this year’s enrollment decline.

“The board approved a revised budget, but some of the specifics on how that budget will be implemented are still being determined through open conversations across campus,” said Gavin Leach, vice president for finance and administration. “Expenses related to supplies, equipment purchases and maintenance have been reduced. Most of the cost savings will be in personal services based on the amount required, but final determinations on personnel matters will be made next semester. One-time reserves will get the university through the remainder of this year and we will have a structural budget in place for the next fiscal year.”

Trustees approved terms of the agreement between NMU and the City of Marquette for the sale of the 1100 Wright Street property, currently used as a student parking lot. The city plans to locate its new Municipal Service Center at the site. The agreement is for a cash payment of $808,000 at the scheduled May closing. The city also will reserve up to $600,000 to assist NMU in acquiring the National Guard Armory property. If the university does not purchase the property within two years, the city will pay NMU $441,000 cash plus interest and the remainder of the reserve will revert back to the city.

“This agreement allows the city to move forward with its plan to relocate the Municipal Service Center to make way for the hospital construction project,” said Leach. “It also provides the university with funding to relocate residence hall parking to a safer area of campus, so students don’t have to confront heavier traffic on Wright Street as they walk to and from their vehicles.”

In other action at today’s meeting, the board:

-Approved the goals for NMU President Fritz Erickson. Areas of focus include enrollment, strategic planning, program investment planning, extramural funding, university-community relationships and other partnerships; and professional development;

-Approved the approach to NMU’s strategic plan, more specifically the four strategic areas of focus and outcomes presented, recognizing that details will continue to evolve;

-Authorized a project by an NMU construction management class to complete a pavilion deck and walkway at Kaye House at a cost not to exceed $15,000;

-Approve the approach to strategic plan, more specifically four strategic areas of focus and outcomes presented, recognizing details will continue to evolve;

-Approved the following public school academy appointments (both with terms expiring June 30, 2017): Jeffrey Ryal, Burton Glen Charter School Academy; and Willie Casey, Francis Reh Public School Academy;

-Accepted $9,250 in gifts to the School of Art and Design and to the Technology and Occupational Sciences department;

-Approved the appointment of Robert Winn as interim assistant provost-graduate education and research, effective Jan. 1, 2016;

-Granted professor emeritus status to the following: Don Faust, mathematics; George Gross and Michael Loukinen, sociology; Linda Riipi, clinical sciences; Terry Seethoff, mathematics; and Irvin Zanglein, business; and

-Approved the NMU academic calendars for 2017-28, 2018-19 and 2019-20.

-Recognized Rick Popp for his service as NMU board chair for two terms from Jan. 1, 2014, through Dec. 31, 2015. Several trustees praised his leadership and dedication to the university. Popp told the trustees, “It has been gratifying to see us truly come together as a team and leverage the differences. Each individual is very different, yet so talented. I can’t thank you enough for really being a team for the benefit of this great place.” Popp will continue to serve on the board. He was appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder to an eight-year term in 2011. Trustee Sook Wilkinson was elected the new chair for calendar year 2016.

Kristi Evans
News Director