Board gives Erickson raise, $20,000 bonus

Von Lanier

At the Board of Trustees meeting on Friday, Sept. 23, a $20,000 bonus for NMU President Fritz Erickson was approved by board members as well as a 2 percent increase in base salary. The board also approved new campus renovation projects and a new certificate program.

rere-FritzThe 2 percent salary raise is consistent with the increase approved for all other employee groups on campus subsequent to July 1. In addition to a salary increase, Erickson was also approved for a contract extension for an additional year, expiring June 30, 2019.

The motion was unanimously approved by the board which also credited Erickson for advancing academic success of students, building a great leadership team, innovative planning and investment, acquiring Federal Communications Commission approval for developing the Educational Access Network, successfully planning the new housing project and redesigning the NMU Foundation with the hiring of new CEO, Brad Canale.

“It’s a very difficult job in knowing that you will never please every constituent group,” Trustee Rick Popp said regarding Erickson’s raise. “I know you feel very near and dear to the faculty and to the community, and people have different opinions. I just applaud you for going at it and doing what’s right for the university—even sometimes at the expense of your reputation, because you’re doing the right thing, so I just appreciate it and I know I speak on the behalf of the entire team here.”

Erickson thanked board members for all of their support over the past year before he went on to deliver a president’s report on NMU.

“The university does face challenging times but there are many more opportunities than there are challenges,” Erickson said.

“We have this amazing faculty and staff that are committed to the education of our students in so many different ways. The ability to work with them and to be able to find innovative ways to support our faculty and staff just really does have an impact on our students. I’m very much looking forward to this coming year and working on all the endless supply of opportunities that are in front of us.”

Formal recommendations were also approved at the meeting that include two capital and long-term maintenance projects involving Marketplace renovation services totaling $460,000 and University Center renovation designs that will cost $1.3 million.

Other recommendations that were approved consist of a reorganization that will move oversight of Alumni Operations from the NMU Foundation to the vice president for extended learning and community engagement, a new 16-credit certificate program in esthetics for students interested in pursuing a career involving skin care and a list of 2017 long-term maintenance projects across campus.

Board chair appointments for next year were also made at the meeting.

An announcement of informal policy will be held at the next NMU Board of Trustees meeting scheduled for Dec. 8 and Dec. 9.