The course that Northern is going to be on for the next seven years is one based on innovation and improvement. This course is also known as the “Roadmap to 2015.”
The changes to be implemented over the next seven years were presented by NMU President Les Wong at a forum held on Wednesday, March 26 in Jamrich room 102.
Wong said the Roadmap is essential to planning for the future of Northern Michigan University.
“I firmly believe that without a roadmap we will miss opportunity and, worse, atrophy by constantly being in a reactive mode or remaining content with the status quo,” Wong said.
The roadmap is an outline of what to expect in the Northern community in the years ahead, Wong said.
The main focus is to build on present successes by creating strong departments within the university, committing to ongoing improvement and amplifying the unique features that separate Northern Michigan University from its competitors, he added.
“I have been and remain impressed with the quality of people we have here; the talent is broad, it’s diverse and it is truly deep,” he said. “If some of the ideas you read and talk about take your breath away, I have done my job.”
The roadmap is divided into four areas; one area of the roadmap is innovation One part delved into curriculum and how it should move with the times, with relevance and importance to students. He also addressed the possibility of new masters or doctoral programs to enhance admissions.
Another area being explored in the roadmap to 2015 is the liberal studies program, Wong added. He said he believes, after discussion with many students, that the liberal studies program isn’t giving students enough of what they need to prepare them for their major.
“I really do think we need to reinvigorate and craft a liberal studies program that provides students with the abilities and knowledge necessary for lifelong learning and effective citizenship,” he said. “This is where I have to be brave, because I need to say that I find our current liberal studies program unfathomable.”
The roadmap will also expand upon the master plan to become a greener and more learning-centered campus. One goal is to make Northern students more active learners inside and outside of the Northern community, Wong added.
“What we do need to do is provide that kind of student who senses deeply their commitment to the community, being a good person and [seeing] the world in the context of which they live,” he said.
Another focus, is diversity in the Northern community, Wong said.
“Students tell me often that we need to have a more inclusive and diverse community. They want more culture,” he said, “We want to prepare our students to do well out in the world.”
Neal Glatt, a senior at NMU with double majors in marketing and Spanish, who attended the forum said he is very pleased about the changes that will be taking place on Northern’s campus.
“I am exited that we have a visionary plan that is looking out for the benefit of the students and looking to improve the value of education from northern,” Glatt said.
Mary Raymond, a senior, pre-med major at NMU feels that is important for universities to move with the times.
“I am really glad that I go to a university that’s so open to change,” she said.
For more information on “The Roadmap to 2015” visit, www.nmu.edu/roadmap2015.