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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

BOT looks forward to new year

Board of Trustees (BOT) Chairman Robert Mahaney addresses the board at its meeting on May 3, where BOT members reflected on accomplishments of the 2018-2019 academic year and future plans. Mary McDonough/NW

Students and faculty gathered along with the Board of Trustees (BOT) for the last public meeting of the 2018-2019 academic year on May 3 to reflect on past accomplishments and plan for the future.

This marked the first public meeting for Trustees Steve Young and Bridget Summers. Young was appointed by former Gov. Rick Snyder, following the retirement of Scott Holman last year. Summers, appointed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, fills the vacancy left by the death of Travis Weber. Both expressed their excitement to help NMU move forward.

American Association of United Professors (AAUP) President Brent Graves, brought up the continuing issue of understaffing and professor salaries, something that Graves views as an important aspect for keeping NMU in line with other universities in the area. Based on President Fritz Erikson’s salary, NMU faculty should be paid the same as those at Grand Valley State University.

“In order to make our salaries competitive with that of GVSU, they would need to come up 3.4%,” Graves said. “Budgeting for competitive salaries across campus is necessary to attract employees that implement President Erikson’s vision.”

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When it comes to budgeting for the raise, Graves pointed out that over time focus has slowly shifted away from instruction, causing a proportion of the budget to fall nine points since the beginning of the current administration. That shift has also resulted in certain amounts of the budget moving to different locations.

“One percent went to student services, 12% went somewhere,” Graves said. “It would be interesting to know where the rest of it went.”
Chairman Mahaney did not comment directly on Graves issues with the budget but did say, “the board looks forward to negotiations.”

AAUP contracts will go through June 2020.

Following Graves, Associated Students of Northern Michigan University (ASNMU) President Cody Mayer provided an update on current programs, such as major repairs to the bike share program and providing feminine hygiene products in university bathrooms, otherwise known as The Period Project. However, it was plans concerning Indigenous People’s Day that Mayer focused on.

“I ask that our current academic calendars and all future calendars be amended to recognized the second Monday in October as Indigenous People’s Day,” Mayer said. “I came to you guys a year ago and said I wanted to find compromises if we could. That’s what I’ve done here.”

According to data collected by the student population, this change was approved by 89% of the vote. Chairman Robert Mahaney acknowledged Mayer’s request.

Trustee Tami Seavoy on behalf of the Academic Affairs Committee brought a list of new academic programs, along with recommendations of program deletions for the BOT’s final decision. The additions include master’s degree programs for both mathematics and speech language pathology. There will also be a bachelor’s program for social media design management, along with certifications in applied workplace leadership and hospitality and tourism management.

In terms of deletion, the committee recomended both the liberal arts associate’s and bachelor’s degrees. Others include the training and performance improvement master’s degree, and the family nurse practitioner post master’s program.

These recommendations received final approval from the BOT. Though the BOT is scheduled to meet in mid-July, the next public meeting is not until next September.

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