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Katarina Rothhorn
Katarina Rothhorn
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The first message I ever sent from my Northern Michigan University sanctioned email was to the editor-in-chief of the North Wind asking if there was any way I could join the staff. Classes hadn't even...

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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.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas Wiertella April 30, 2024

Board approves budget for current year

The NMU Board of Trustees held a meeting Friday, Sept. 30 to cover budget plans and project goals, such as redesigning Jamrich Hall.

The Board of Trustees approved a general fund operating budget for the current fiscal year. According to a news release from NMU news director Kristi Evans, the budget is $103.5 million, which is a decrease of $2.3 million from the previous year.

NMU’s budget includes cost reductions, operational adjustments, utility savings and increased tuition revenue to compensate for the loss of $6.7 million from state funds.

Michigan’s public universities were faced with a 15 percent cut in state appropriation for 2011-12.

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“Once the state’s Higher Education Appropriations Bill was signed into law this summer, NMU had a good idea of what its budget number would be unless something drastic happened with enrollment,” said Cindy Paavola, NMU director of communications and marketing.

For all of Michigan’s 15 public universities, the new fiscal year begins July 1. The majority of budget cutting was realized at the start of the new fiscal year, Paavola said.

The Board reviewed the budget for this year at its meeting in July, but could not approve it since the number of enrollment was unknown at the time.

The Board of Trustees formally approved the university budget at Friday’s meeting.

The fiscal year 2013 capital outlay project request and five-year plan was also approved by the Board on Friday. These are required annually by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget.

At the Board meeting, two different plans were presented that would accomplish the goals for the new design of Jamrich Hall.

This is the top priority among capital projects and is the primary classroom facility on campus according to the news release.

One of the plans is to renovate the current building and build an addition to house faculty offices.
The addition would house the majority of the faculty that currently have offices in Gries Hall and would be located between Jamrich and McClintock.

“All mechanical systems would be replaced,” Paavola said. “The building structure would be somewhat modified to include a ‘main street’ concept, meaning a open, informal meeting along one side of the building.”

The other option is to remove the existing Jamrich building and build a new one between the Learning Resources Center and C.B. Hedgcock, Paavola said.

The construction budget is the same for both plans, but the new building project creates greater efficiencies in space utilization and operation costs.

According to the news release, $1.3 million was authorized by the board to continue investing in the design process so work can begin in May.

Two other projects were updated by the Board’s finance committee. The Superior Dome roof replacement should be completed by the end of October, dependent on the weather.

Architectural design work continues on the biomass cogeneration project. Construction for the project is scheduled to begin in April.

“Next week, contractors will begin to prepare the site by taking down the bulk of two buildings adjacent to the Ripley Heating Plant on Wright Street,” Paavalo said.

In other action, the Board accepted $15,000 in gifts and more than $394,000 in external grants. These funds all have a specific purpose and cannot be used for anything but that purpose.

Some of the gifts and grants included were a NASA National Space Grant for a summer youth program through the Seaborg Center. a program with Georgetown University and a sponsorship of one of the Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center exhibits, Paavola said.

Brian Cloyd was elected by trustees for a second year as chair of the board and Jon LaSalle was elected as vice chair.

Board of Trustees meeting dates for 2012 were approved. The first meeting tentatively will be Feb. 16 and 17. The next will be May 3 and 4.

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