The first of four Northern Michigan University presidential candidates visited campus Thursday for a public forum.
Robert Ackerman, currently a law professor at Wayne State University, answered questions from the public about a variety of topics, from how to increase enrollment, his vision for the university, and strengthening Northern’s connection to the local economy.
“Public interest includes economic growth, it means business development, it means sustainable use of natural resources,” Ackerman said. “The university should be a part of that through its research, through its training, through its community involvement. There are tremendous opportunities there.”
Ackerman believes he has the right skills to lead Northern into the future, and calls the university a place that can extend it’s reach.
“It’s (Northern) is a place with tremendous potential,” he said. “I’ve been talking about how the campus sits next to the largest repository of freshwater in the Western Hemisphere. Freshwater will lead the twenty-first century what oil was to the twentieth century. There’s synergies, there’s growth, there’s all kinds of enrichment both intellectually and economically to be obtained from a sustainable use of the natural resources here.”
The three other presidential candidates will visit campus over the next two weeks:
- April 8 – Fritz Erickson
- April 10 – Greg Cant
- April 15 – Cynthia Pemberton
At each forum the candidates will make a 5-7 minute presentation about their visions for Northern, followed by a question-and-answer session with the audience. The forums start at 4 p.m. and are held in the University Center.
More information on the candidates can be found here.