Students talk values with university president

Pat Pearson

University President Fritz Erickson led a discussion on Monday, Jan. 28 to discuss the core values of NMU with students.

re-KC_Pres. Listening color

Monday was the eleventh core values listening session conducted by Erickson. Erickson asked two simple questions to the students in attendance: what does NMU value and what should NMU value?

Erickson said the goal of the core values listening session with students is to develop a strategic plan for the university.

“The strategic plan is really an action document,” Erickson said. “The strategic plan should be based on what we collectively identify as our central values. The only way we can do that is by having an open conversation with our stakeholders.”

Erickson called on students during the listening session to share what they believe NMU values or should value.

The student input was then written on large spreadsheets in the front of the classroom. Students were given six stickers they then stuck on the ideas on the spreadsheet to vote on what they believe were the six most important values mentioned during the discussion.

Senior nursing major Randi Boule said she thinks NMU values technology and she referenced how that value transpires into the classroom.

“We value technology and I definitely see that in the nursing department,” Boule said. “The major is really hands on and there are simulation rooms that have helped my own learning.”

Much of the feedback during the discussion was in regard to NMU students holding a high regard for the environment and Marquette area. Senior english secondary education major Lashawna Wagner said NMU values community and stewardship.

“Taking care of our environment is important,” Wagner said. “For example, I love looking at the native americans and how they took care of this Earth and how they didn’t look at it as we own it or this [Earth] is ours to rule, they took care of it and worked along side of it. I would love to see us come back to that.”

By the end of the session, the students came up with a total of six large spread sheets filled with ideas of what NMU values and should value. Erickson said it was interesting to see a connection between students and faculty.

“It’s amazing to see how in-line student and faculty are on these core values,” Erickson said. “We are really starting to see themes emerge from having these discussions.”

During the discussion many of the ideas overlapped or could be conjoined, according to Erickson. Wagner said as the discussion developed, the students’ ideas kept broadening.

“I’m mixed on whether it was a productive discussion or not because there were so many things being shouted out,” Wagner said. “Some of things people said were not values, they were things we need to improve upon.”

On Feb. 9 during Erickson’s investiture, Erickson plans on unveiling the first draft of the new core values at NMU.