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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Caden Sierra
Caden Sierra
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Hey. My name is Caden and I'm from the Chicagoland area.  I'm currently going into my 3rd year at NMU.  I'm a multimedia production major with a double minor in journalism and criminal justice. For as...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

TIMES ARE CHANGING — FAFSA announced changes to its filing system in February.
Editorial — The "better" FAFSA
North Wind Editorial Board February 27, 2024

All-campus forum addresses future

NMU President Les Wong and his administration are currently looking for ways to change how NMU operates due to impending cuts to the university’s budget.

The university is facing an estimated 3.2 percent budget decrease due to projected cuts in funding from the state of Michigan for next school year. The university is also facing a 2.5 percent increase in overall operating costs. Michigan is one of 38 states that have made cuts to higher education.

Wong gave a speech to the NMU students and faculty members about the current financial situation at an all-campus forum at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 7 in Jamrich 102.

Wong has been speaking with the NMU community about their feelings regarding Wong’s 10 planning points, which he said are aimed at addressing the current financial obstacles facing the university.

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“I have taken great pains to hold meetings around campus to share the scope of the problem we are facing (at NMU),” he said.

Wong said that he disagreed with the state’s decision to cut money from higher education funding because he feels there is a correlation between the money given to the universities within a state and how much the average person in the state makes annually.

“We have slid into a deep ditch here in Michigan over the last eight years,” he said. “An investment in higher education is essential to economic recovery.”

Although the cuts to programs on campus have been happening all over NMU, the administration has avoided making cuts from areas that would directly affect the “academic experience.” Wong said he sees NMU’s recent renewal of its accreditation as a commitment to quality levels of academic programs.

“We have made every effort to sustain the academic affairs (funding),” Wong said.

In the forum, plans were presented to eliminate funding for 3-5 majors. The money would then be redistributed toward 3-5 other programs which showed promise and high enrollment numbers.

Wong said the specific organizations on campus which would be affected has yet to be decided because the total amount of money the university receives from enrollment next year hasn’t been decided.

Among the proposed changes, is the potential for a remodeling of Jamrich Hall, which would make the building unusable for classes for up to two years.  Wong also announced plans to demolish Carey Hall, which he said would save the university $50,000 a year in utilities. The plans presented also include the possibility of closing West Hall.

Gavin Leach, vice president of finance and administration, said that he hoped the changes wouldn’t affect the quality of student life on campus.

“From a student perspective, we hope that the (average) student doesn’t notice much of a change other than we maintain the quality and delivery of services of education,” he said.

Leach said that the upcoming budget restrictions would force the university to take a new approach to some of the programs offered on campus.

“We hope to be able to restructure some of our services and enhance the ones that we feel are most important to students.”


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