Provost Provides Update

Thursday 25, 2018

In her latest Campus Connect update, NMU Provost Kerri Schuiling addresses a staff change in her office, the international visiting scholars procedure, national searches for Arts and Sciences dean and accreditation coordinator, endowed professorships, exploration of a faculty club, a new department head and the SRA process.

The winter semester is off to a great start. Thank you! Our students originally living in West have moved into The Woods and The Lodge is finished. If you have not had an opportunity to tour the Lodge. be sure to do so soon. It is truly a beautiful building and it is very clear, the students are using it a great deal.

1. New secretary in Academic Affairs: Please join me in welcoming Leslie Jones. Leslie is replacing Beth Roberts, who is now a full-time nursing student. Leslie comes to us from Maine (relocated this past year to Marquette). She is very familiar with Marquette as one of her children graduated from NMU. Leslie is an experienced executive secretary and brings a great skill set. Her email is:

2. International visiting scholars: Academic Affairs is now overseeing the procedure for International Visiting Scholars. A revised policy and procedure will be out soon following its approval at President’s Council. Briefly, the procedure identifies that the invitation to an international scholar will go from a faculty member to the Department Head and Dean. Approval to invite an international scholar will require the support of faculty in the respective department and an identified faculty mentor. Final approval will go through the Department Head/Associate Dean and Dean of the College. The provost will be the final signatory.  Academic Affairs will maintain a list of all international scholars currently on our campus, the research program in which they are involved and their mentor. A new requirement is that all visitors will be required to have a background check. This is standard at many (if not most) universities. I will share the policy once it receives final approval.

3. Accreditation and Assessment: In case you missed the campus announcement, Dr. Judy Puncochar is our interim Director of Accreditation and Assessment. We are commencing a search for an accreditation coordinator this semester. Jason Nicholas has agreed to chair this search and Judy has graciously agreed to be a member of the search committee.

4. Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences: I received approval from the President to move forward with a national search for Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. While in the future it is possible that a restructure of CAS will occur, that decision (like many others) will depend on recommendations from the SRA. The search committee for this leadership position is currently forming, therefore if you are interested in being a member, please email Linda Hares (

5. Endowed Chair/Professorship: Brad Canale, CEO of the NMU Foundation, is making a concerted effort to secure gifts that would endow professorships on our campus. We do not currently have a policy and procedure in place for appointing faculty to an endowed position, therefore I put together a task force to develop such a procedure. Thank you to the following who agreed to be on this task force: Heidi Blanck, Gary Brunswick, Scott Drum, Keith Ellis, Sandi Imdieke, Lesley Larkin, Alec Lindsay, Kevin McDonough, and Rob Winn.

6. Faculty club: When I was with some faculty touring the Lodge, some commented about how wonderful it would be to have a similar type of place as a faculty club. I took the suggestion to Fritz who agrees we should look into it. That said, I will be sending out a survey (hopefully soon) to capture thoughts and ideas around designating a faculty club somewhere on our campus. If any of you have been on a campus where such a place existed and you have suggestions or thoughts for what would be important to ask in the survey please send them to me (

7. Departments of History and Philosophy: Dr. Keith Kendall (current department head of both) has decided to return to the classroom next fall. The faculty in these departments requested to appoint a current faculty member instead of doing a national search. I am happy to announce that Dr. Alan Willis is going to serve as department head for History and Philosophy effective July 1, 2018.

8. SRA: Meetings with the co-chairs of the Academic and Support Task Force (TF) continue to be biweekly. The Support TF had 100% submission of reports from the various support programs and they are moving on to evaluation and reporting. The Academic TF template is out and already there are nine complete submissions with another 191 in progress for submission. Thank you again to all who are working so diligently to assure the outcomes of this process will enable strategic decisions about resource allocation.

9. Meetings with department faculty: Dale and I continue to meet with faculty in departments across campus. It is always helpful to hear directly what is going well and where challenges lie. We both appreciate the frankness of the communication and the time you provide for these meetings.

I hope the semester goes well for each of you. Please know that I continue to have an open door policy and appreciate hearing from you. Thank you again for ALL you do!