Fourth NMU presidential candidate talks enrollment, athletics

The fourth and final Northern Michigan University presidential candidate spoke to the public Tuesday afternoon.

Dr. Cynthia Pemberton, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Dickinson State University in North Dakota, answered a lot of questions about diversity, retaining students, and enrollment.

“When students go back to their institution, when alumni come back, they say what they value is relationship with faculty, the connections they made with the people that are there,” Pemberton said.

“So we want to capitalize on that and leverage that, and engage the entire campus community in recruitment effort and the retention effort, so that those connections and relationships help to built that.”

She was also the only candidate to discuss the impact intercollegiate athletics has on a campus.

Pemberton said not only are athletics important for the athletes themselves, but for the student body as a whole.

“We provide opportunities for connection, engagement, community building, for individuals to enjoy entertainment as a collective, so it (intercollegiate athletics) serves all those positive functions.  And frankly, sometimes I think Division II or Division III or NAIA athletics–those are shining stars.  You don’t have some of the…downsides that sometimes accompanies some Division I athletics.”

NMU’s Board of Trustees will most likely select the university’s new president by the end of the month by a public board vote.

The new president’s anticipated start date is July 1.

For more information on the four candidates, click here.