Wong addresses issues at coffee talk


The current economic situation and NMU’s upcoming accreditation dominated Tuesday’s Coffee Talk with NMU president Les Wong

“We’ve been preparing for the economic rundown,” Wong said. “We have actually been looking at this for the past year.”

The discussion moved on to the possibility that NMU will have to return a small percentage of this year’s operating budget to the state. Wong said right now he couldn’t make definitive predictions on what will happen to tuition as a result of budget cuts.

“As of today there is no recommendation that we should raise tuition for winter semester,” he said.

Northern’s March visit from the accrediting board was also a hot topic at the coffee talk. Several students had raised concern about NMU’s chances before the accreditation board.

Wong said the number one question that needs to be addressed is: are students learning?

Wong then introduced Cindy Prosen, associate provost of academic affairs and dean of graduate studies, said students could help with the accreditation efforts by maintaining an enthusiastic outlook of NMU at a public forum the week of accreditation.

“You can go to this forum and sit in the audience and say, ‘Northern Michigan is a great university, and I’m learning a lot – probably more than I ever wanted to know,'” Prosen said.

Wong also addressed the issue of icy sidewalks on campus.

“I hope you all have boots. I hope you all have jackets,” Wong said. “Please wear them when it gets cold. We have a great staff but we ask that you all help us out by using your brains.”