For the week of December 8, 2003

From the 6th floor

Fog and rain. Not your typical December day in Upper Michigan. We have been enjoying mild temperatures the past several days, but forecasters tell us that's about to change. Or so they say. Straight from the horse's mouth : <<<<Low pressure developing in the southern plains will be gradually lifting into the Great Lakes today. This low will be growing more powerful as the day progresses and will kick off some snow in western areas for this afternoon. The eastern UP may start as rain, as warmth will linger there, but tonight, as cooler air works in, all will change to snow. As the low passes by to the east on Wednesday, expect a pretty decent amount of snow, up to a foot in areas, accompanied by a very brisk wind. Snows will continue into Thursday due to Lake effect and temperatures will stay on the cool side through the end of the week.>>>

All things considered, it doesn't sound too pleasant. But you know what it's like trying to predict the weather in here.
Check back next week to see how we did.

Budget-reduction options presented

Three options designed to balance Northern’s budget were discussed at a campus forum this afternoon. Each would implement nearly $3.4 million in “low-impact” adjustments – a combination of reductions, cost-avoidance, reallocations and revenue-generating measures – spread over two fiscal years. Two of the options would include mid-year tuition increases. The proposed reductions for each division were presented by Fred Joyal (Academic Affairs, pictured), Gavin Leach (Finance and Planning) and Interim President Mike Roy.

In developing its proposals, the President’s Council assumed a 6 percent executive order for the current year and a 5 percent cut in state appropriation for fiscal year 2005. It also anticipated a 3 percent increase in enrollment next fall.

The President’s Council classified budget adjustments as having either a low or high impact on Northern’s ability to fulfill its mission statement and vision. Members also used as their guide an ASNMU budget litmus test for FY04. The test addresses the impact on scholarships/loans, learning environment and overall cost, as well as the number of students benefiting from current programs or services and the short- and long-term effects of any reductions. Full Story

NMU English professor dies

Longtime NMU English professor Thomas Hruska passed away last week.
Hruska suffered a stroke and died Tuesday, December 2.
He had taught at Northern since 1970, instructing a variety of literature and composition courses. He served as adviser of The North Wind from Fall 1974 to Winter 1976.
A graduate of Menominee High School, Hruska served in the U.S. Marine Corps. He earned his bachelor's degree from Northern and his master's and doctorate at Michigan State University.

Alumnus to deliver commencement address

Gary R. Bertoline will deliver the keynote address and receive an honorary Doctor of Technology degree at Northern's midyear commencement ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 13. He is a professor of computer graphics technology and associate vice president for information technology at Purdue University. He also serves as director of the Envision Center for Data Perceptualization.

A native of Norway, Mich., Bertoline graduated with a bachelor of science degree from NMU in 1974. He went on to earn a master’s degree in education from Miami University and a doctorate in technology from Ohio State University.

He is currently a member of Epsilon Pi Tau, SIGGRAPH, the American Society for Engineering education, and IEEE. Bertoline also serves on the editorial boards for the International Journal for Geometry and Graphics, and the Journal of Terrestrial Observation.

Mohey Mowafy's healthy tips for the holidays

The average American usually gains about five pounds between Thanksgiving and early January, according to the Duke Diet and Fitness Center. But Mohey Mowafy, professor of health and physical education, says it is possible to maintain weight and come out of the holidays without feeling as stuffed as a turkey with blood as “rich” as eggnog.

“Having lived in this lovely place for nearly three decades, I have become familiar with our ritual of living the days and nights between Thanksgiving and the New Year as one perpetual party celebrated with food, drinks and friends,” Mowafy said.

“Quite honestly, I would not want it any other way, but I also know that many end up having to deal with the wrath of food hangover, cloths that no longer fit, and pressing or depressing wishes of going on a diet, which may indeed lower their weight but will also add another stressor.”

Mowafy offers a few simple guidelines for reasonable, sane, delightful, and healthy holiday eating. Full Story

And about that holiday stress thing....

Many of us approach the winter holidays with such high expectations that our spirits – which are supposed to be buoyant – quickly become saddled with stress and disappointment.

We cling to idealized visions: families uniting in friction-free camaraderie; children behaving like angels; everyone loving the “perfect” gifts we selected; friends gazing with amazement at the culinary masterpiece before them on the dinner table.

“These perfect images are fostered by the media and popular culture, or by our limited perceptions as reality,” said Thomas Stanger, NMU Counseling and Consultation Services. “Everyone else appears to be happy, when in fact we are unlikely to see into others’ private space where they may be feeling sad.

"Trying to live up to the promise of the holidays not only saps our energy and resources – the gap between the ideal and the real may lead to holiday blues rather than holiday cheer.” Full Story

NMU to stop forwarding e-mail

Northern Michigan University will no longer allow e-mail to be forwarded to off-campus service providers. The change will take effect with the start of winter-semester classes on Monday, Jan. 12. Students will have to use their NMU e-mail address to ensure that they receive tuition bills and other university announcements.
The decision was motivated by service providers such as America Online and Hotmail, which have started blocking Internet domains they perceive as “spamming” their customers' e-mail accounts.
When a large institution like NMU sends an e-mail message to many recipients, the service providers block all mail from that address, assuming it is spam. As a result, thousands of NMU e-mail messages are not getting through to the students for whom they are intended because many students have been forwarding university e-mail to another address.
Northern will attempt to counter this trend by not allowing e-mail to be forwarded. Students will need to check their university e-mail at their NMU address, but are still welcome to use their personal, non-NMU accounts for other purposes.

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