NMU Board of Trustees meet for committee reports

The Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees met Thursday and heard a number of reports from campus administrators.

The trustees heard an update on various projects the faculty is working on, including a climate monitoring station on Lake Superior and microbial imaging technology.

They also saw how NMU is planning on improving and streamlining its graduate studies programs.

“Are our programs the appropriate programs for the Upper Peninsula?  Are they the appropriate programs for a rural institution?  What else should we be offering?  What else could be be offering based on our economic need and our demographic makeup?” Assistant Provost of Graduate Education and Research Dr. Brian Cherry said.  “So, we might want someone to help us develop a strategy, get people together to develop a strategy for that as well.”

There was also discussion on how the proposed electricity rate hike from the Marquette Board of Light and Power might affect the university’s budget.

“It’s (the rate hike) has been delayed a month, that looks like it’s about a $165,000 hit on the institution,” Vice President for Finance and Administration Gavin Leach said.  “We have to prepare for it, whatever it’s going to be.  It hasn’t been finalized yet.”

“The argument though from customers–commercial customers–is ‘Wow’.  This is…you (the Marquette Board of Light and Power) could have given us a little notice here, other than a six weeks notice,” NMU President David Haynes said.  “The timing, notice, and flow…that’s been the issue.”

“And they’ve (the Marquette City Commission) been very responsive to talking (to us).  They’ve been really, really helpful.”

The Board of Trustees will continue its meetings Friday.