Snyder appoints new NMU board members

Hannah Fermanich

Governor Rick Snyder announced the appointment of two new members to NMU’s Board of Trustees on Wednesday, Nov. 14.

Thomas Zurbuchen of Ann Arbor and NMU alumni Steve Mitchell of West Bloomfield will begin their terms as board members on January 1, 2013. They will become part of the eight-person governing body of the university.

“I went to Northern for four years and had a wonderful experience there,” Mitchell said. “I’m delighted that now I have an opportunity to serve the university and to help.”

Mitchell is the chairman of Mitchell Research & Communications, Inc., a company that conducts research for media outlets and politicians.

Mitchell Research & Communications, Inc. consults with these groups on marketing research in the private sector and also political polling.

Mitchell received his bachelor’s degree from NMU and hopes to be able to give back to the university that he once attended. He will be replacing Jack LaSalle.

“I received a tremendous education from Northern,” Mitchell said. “I’m extremely proud to be a graduate from NMU. The university has a great faculty and administration and I look forward to being a part of it and to have the opportunity to back up to the U.P. on a more frequent basis.”

Zurbuchen is associate dean of entrepreneurial programs and a professor at the University of Michigan.

Zurbuchen completed his education at the University of Bern in his home country of Switzerland, receiving a doctorate in astrophysics.

He created the innovation and entrepreneurship programs at the University of Michigan, designing several of the classes in the program.

Zurbuchen hopes to bring an educator’s perspective to the board. He will be replacing Brian Cloyd.

“We create opportunities for students and create leaders,” Zurbuchen said.

A member of the NMU Board of Trustees serves a term of eight years. Each year, the governor appoints two new board members to take over for two board members whose term is completed.

“There is no meeting regarding Governor appointees,” said Cindy Paavola, director of communications and marketing at NMU. “The Governor reviews the people who have expressed an interest in serving on university governing boards, makes his decision and then asks the individuals if they are willing to serve.”

Both Mitchell and Zurbuchen will be serving as board members from January 1, 2013 until December 31, 2020.

They both look forward to the opportunity to spend more time in the U.P.