For the week of February 19, 2007

From the 6th floor

Sunshine and blue skies have been the norm so far this week, with temperatures dramatically improved from the bitter cold we experienced earlier this month. Forecasters are predicting a mild disturbance to move across the Upper Peninsula but it is likely to bring with it only minimal accumulations of snow. Temperatures will remain moderate with highs in the upper 20s and lows near 10.

New provost

Susan Koch will be the new provost and vice president for academic affairs, effective July 1. She currently serves as the dean of the graduate college and associate provost at the University of Northern Iowa.
“I was attracted to Northern Michigan University because it is a dynamic institution, proud of its heritage, with talented faculty and staff and a really optimistic, can-do attitude,” said Koch in a phone interview. “Also, NMU obviously plays an absolutely central role in the economic and cultural development of the region and state. All of these factors combined made Northern a desirable destination for an educator."
Koch said she is excited about Northern's breadth of instructional and academic programs, as well as its internationalization efforts, and is intrigued by the Superior Edge program, which could serve as a role model for other universities. She said she is confident that the university, combined with its location, will be a great fit both professionally and personally.

Higher Ed unharmed in Governor's budget

The legislative cycle is just beginning, but the first indicator – Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s executive budget presented last week – reinforces education as a top priority and recognizes the key role that Michigan colleges and universities will play in the state’s economic recovery.
Despite projected revenue shortfalls of more than $800 million this year and up to $2 billion next year, Granholm has called for a 2.5 percent across-the-board increase in higher education funding. This would add about $1.2 million to Northern’s appropriation, which is $46.4 million.
Despite the optimistic starting point, NMU President Les Wong said it is important to proceed with caution: “We thank the Governor for her commitment to education and hope the House and Senate will take the same path. But the legislative process is a long one even when economic times are good and the budget situation is a lot less complicated. This is not one of those years. To think that a 2.5 percent funding increase is guaranteed would be foolish planning on our part. It’s also important to remember that with a university’s ever-rising costs, this increase does not put us significantly ahead of where we are now. But the bottom line is that any increase is appreciated and is much more workable than a decrease in funding.”
Wong will give Northern’s annual testimony before the House Appropriations Higher Education Subcommittee on Tuesday, March 6, in Lansing. He also anticipates being called to give testimony before the Senate Appropriations Higher Education Subcommittee in late April.

Adamini and Ziegler join NMU board

Gov. Jennifer Granholm has appointed Stephen Adamini of Marquette and Gilbert Ziegler of Charlevoix to the Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees through Dec. 31, 2014.
Adamini is a former state representative for the 109th district and an attorney at Kendricks, Bordeau, Adamini, Chilman & Greenlee, P.C. He succeeds Karl A. Weber, whose term expired.
Ziegler is making a return to the NMU board. His previous appointment spanned 1993 to 2001. He served as board vice chair in 1999 and chair in 2000. The NMU alumnus is president of Alken-Ziegler. He succeeds Larry C. Inman '76, whose term expired.  

Phoenix area alumni get together

NMU President Les Wong and his wife, Phyllis, had their first opportunity to meet Arizona alumni this past weekend. Gloria '68 and Bill Jackson of Paradise Valley hosted an alumni reception in their home. Close to 50 alumni attended.
NMU President Les Wong with Nancy and David '75 Wirtanen. Pauline and Tom '59 Skoog, Angela Pohl '05 and her guest, Shing.
Phyllis Wong, Eric Bolduc '94, Gildo Canale '56, Dana '94 and Scott '94 Stearns. Brian Hamerla '92 and his guest, Maria.
Jim '76 and Suzanne Wilson. Jack Kunkel, Joe and Debbie Skehen and Karen Kunkel '70.
Gloria Jackson '68 and Mike Weyers '05. University Lobbyist David Haynes '72 and Bill Jackson.
Joyce Canale and NMU Executive Director of Advancement Martha Haynes. Jack Kunkel and Bob Laughna '69.
NMU Foundation Development Officer Mike Nelson and Suzi Picotte '62. Anne and Bill Weaver with Bev Laughna '69, '83.

Turkish scholar visits NMU

Simten Cosar, a visiting Fulbright scholar, said one of her main goals during her month-long visit to NMU is to “answer questions about the Muslim world and Turkey that arise out of a lack of knowledge and may be contributing to prejudice.”
Cosar is a political science and international relations professor at Baskent University in Ankara, Turkey. She’s also a human rights activist with Amnesty International. Her professional work addresses women’s issues.
“Turkish women have made progress, but not enough,” she said. “They have equal rights to education and political participation and an equal opportunity to fully enter into the professional sphere. But while there are no legal barriers, there are also no additional measures to ensure and encourage their participation. There’s no positive discrimination.”
According to Cosar, misconceptions often surround the role of women in the Muslim world. She said conservative Islamic organizations in the past would not give women a say or allow them to play a role. But she said today’s organizations are very diverse; many don’t adhere to the fundamentalist ideology typically portrayed in the media.

Hello, Dolly opens

Ben Schneider, Diana Moyle, John Pann and Heather Janofski rehearse a scene from Hello, Dolly.
The Tony Award-winning musical Hello, Dolly! will be staged at Forest Roberts Theatre. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21-24 and Feb. 27-March 2. There will also be a 1 p.m. matinee Feb. 24. Tickets are available at all EZ Ticket outlets.

Wildcat sports update

With a 94-80 victory over Northwood last Saturday, Feb. 17, the NMU men's basketball team picked up a ninth victory in its last 10 tries, sewed up second place in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference North Division and earned the right to host a playoff game at the Berry Events Center for the first time since 2003. The Wildcats are 16-10 overall and 10-7 in the GLIAC. The 'Cats will conclude the regular season with a game at Michigan Tech on Saturday (Feb. 24).
The NMU women's basketball team also finishes up its regular season at Tech on Saturday. The women's team won its home regular-season finale over Northwood 73-68.
The NMU women's cross country ski team had a successful weekend at the NCAA Central Regional Championship in Ishpeming, taking the combined team title. The Wildcats took seven of the top nine places in the 10K Classic. The team's next competition will be at the NCAA Skiing Championships, March 3-10 in Waterville, N.H.
Meanwhile, on the men's side, NMU took the combined team title (freestyle and classic). The men also have a bit of a break until the NCAA Championships.
The NMU hockey team will host the Miami Redhawks in a two-game series at the Berry Events Center on Friday-Saturday, Feb. 23-24. This is the final home series of the regular season and the senior Wildcats will be recognized at events throughout the weekend. Face-off for both nights is 7:35 p.m.
At this weekend's games, the NMU Volunteer Center and WinterFest committee will wrap up their Winter Apparel Drive. The groups have been collecting winter items to donate to area agencies. Fans can donate hats, gloves, mittens, scarves, coats and other winter items. WinterFest volunteers will be at all entrances to accept donations. All items from the program will be sent to Janzen House, Harbour House and Voices for Youth.

Thanks for stopping by...

Jamie Wilms '04 of Saukville, Wis.

From the Email bag

"I keep hearing about the horrible temperatures up there, so I thought I'd share ours with you. At 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 7, it is 70 degrees and we're headed for a high of 73. The summers are brutal here, but I do enjoy the southeast Texas winters. Thanks. I always look forward to the pictures from the 6th floor even if they do make me homesick."
Theresa (Wilklow) Larson '88, '90
Katy, Texas

"Your winter weather report is one of the great reasons we left northern Michigan for southern California in 1963.  I remember those days of 0 degrees for 30 straight days or more and walking to downtown Marquette to my job at the bank.  It is cold here when the temperature doesn’t get to 60 degrees."
Bruce '63 and Barbara '62 (Carollo)

LaMirada, Cal.

"I recently moved to Charlotte, NC to start work on a PhD in Exercise Physiology.  My fiancé (’05 graduate from NMU) and I (’02 and ’06 graduate) are continually approached by strangers whenever we are clad in NMU-related clothing!  People stop us to say, “Hey, my Dad graduated from NMU in 1967” or “My sister goes to NMU right now.”  It seems that little Northern Michigan University is more renowned than most people are willing to admit.  Most recently, I approached the ordering station at The Bear Rock Café ( in Charlotte dressed in my gray NMU hooded sweatshirt.  The store manager behind the counter said, “NMU, eh?  Did you go to Northern?”  I replied that I had managed to graduate with two degrees and I asked if he had gone there as well.  It turns out he was a student from The Virgin Islands and graduate in the late 1980s.  I never caught his name, but my fiancé and I enjoyed a meal on the house… all because of our allegiance to NMU and my tendency to wear NMU related garb!  NMU graduates are a rare breed of unique and compassionate individuals and I am happy to admit that I too am an NMU alumni!  If you are ever in the Charlotte area, stop by the Bear Rock, because you know you will be in good company!"
Robert S. Bowen '02
Charlotte, NC

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