For the week of February 28, 2005

From the 6th floor

Seems as if Mother Nature might have caught on to us. We've been pretty fortunate lately, basking in mild weather and little snowfall. Not to be the case much longer, I fear. Much of Upper Michigan is under a lake effect snow warning until Tuesday evening. Snow showers are expected to be heavy at times with blowing and drifting becoming a factor overnight. Forecasters call for anywhere from 3-6 inches today, 9-12 inches tonight and another 5-9 inches Tuesday. Yes, this is Upper Michigan and it's February. What does one expect? In today's photo, taken from the other side of the 6th floor, it's pretty obvious lake effect snow is an issue today; you can hardly see the lake beyond the Superior Dome.

President holds first university forum of winter semester

NMU President Les Wong held his first university forum of the winter semester on Monday, February 21st.

One of the main topics of discussion was the necessity of the campus community providing feedback on Northern's priorities, the most recent of which were identified in October 2003 as the basis for determining cost-saving recommendations. The priority discussion stems from the state legislature's new approach to formulating the budget. It follows steps outlined in The Price of Government by David Osborne and Peter Hutchinson. The book is required reading for state lawmakers. Wong said he distributed copies to NMU senior staff members as well so they can prepare for the new direction the appropriations process is heading.

"We're starting to experience some of the realities of this model in terms of requests for data coming in, which are focused on outcomes," Wong said. "It used to be that legislators came up with a number and entities would either defend what they got or figure out how to make cuts. With this new model, it's a matter of establishing clear priorities and funding them in their respective order until you have no more money to work with.

"The legislature has set up ten task forces that will help determine the priorities of the state. Then they will decide the price they're willing to pay for each priority item, determine how to deliver each priority item at the identified price, and spend what they have to attain the priorities. If something is not a priority, no money will go toward it. This runs counter to previous Michigan models."

Wong said it will also be important for Northern to maintain its independence and differentiate itself from other institutions. He cited examples such as the notebook computer initiative, U.S. Olympic Education Center, Student Leader Fellowship Program, and the First Year Experience.

"Here's some more homework for you: in what other ways is NMU different from everyone else? What other things distinguish us and how do those things fit our priorities? I would like to get your thoughts on this."

House hearings on the proposed executive budget are the next step. They are scheduled from March through April and will be followed by senate hearings from April through June.

If you would like to direct comments to President Wong, you can reach him at

Plans being made for Alumni Association Wildcat Hospitality Room at CCHA Super Six

The Northern Michigan University Wildcat hockey team has clinched home ice for the first round of the 2005 Central Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs. In the first round, March 11-12-13, the top six teams from the regular season host teams seven through 12 in a best-of-three series.
Tickets for CCHA playoff hockey at the Berry Events Center are on sale now at all NMU ticket locations.
Tickets for Sunday will be available at noon Sunday, March 13, if a third game is needed.

Tickets to all games are reserved seats and cost $13 for the general public, $12 for season ticket holders and $8 for NMU students and anyone under the age of 18. Season ticket holders should call or go to the Superior Dome ticket office to get their reserved seats at the discounted price.

Meanwhile, if the 'Cats make it to Joe Louis for the CCHA Super Six Tournament, plan on joining NMU alumni and fans in our Wildcat Hospitality Room in the Garden Area of the arena. Same place as last year. If you're not familiar with Joe Louis, look for signs showing the way. Games are scheduled for Thursday-Friday-Saturday, March 17-19. Be sure and check the Alumni Association home page for the latest details as CCHA play-off action heats up.


On a related note, there is less than one week remaining in the Vote for Hobey campaign, the Hobey Baker Award’s on-line fan voting booth. Jordan Sigalet of Bowling Green State University has overtaken Tuomas Tarkki for the lead. Through Sunday, Sigalet has 60,400 votes while Tarkki has 59,970.

There is still time to cast your vote for Tarkki. Go to Voting takes place through 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 6. Fans may cast one ballot per day for their first-, second- and third-place choices for the Hobey Baker Award, with points awarded on a five, three, one basis. The fans’ tally will be combined with the votes of the 58 NCAA I head coaches to determine the 10 finalists for the award.

Did you catch the Oscars last night? If so, perhaps you recognized an alumna

Have you seen Ellen Degeneres' ad for American Express?
If you happen to catch the :60 spot, watch closely when the young lady answers the cell phone in Ellen's dressing room.
That is NMU grad Barbara Porter '93. Barbara is an actress in Los Angeles and works under the name Porter Kelly.
Check it out now!
Click on Ellen, Dance.

Want to send Barbara a note?

New online E-mag focuses on life in Michigan

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation recently launched an E-mag that you might enjoy reading. Michigan Life-Michigan Times is a monthly E-magazine that highlights some of the unique aspects of life in Michigan. This month's issue features people and places around the state that are "up and coming." From restaurants to galleries, from musicians and companies, they are driving the future face of Michigan. While this month's articles are below the bridge, occassionally Upper Michigan stories are featured. There are also links to other Michigan sites you may find useful.

MiLife MiTimes

From the Email bag

"Hi. I really enjoy the NMU updates each week. Currently I am living in Doha, Qatar working on the new school reform. I work at Khalifa Independent Girls School as a constultant and have enjoyed the new experiences in the Middle East and the wonderful travel opportunities. We feel very safe in Qatar and are enjoying our stay. It is starting to warm up again with weather in the high 70's and low 80's. We spent time at the beach lately. Before long it will get hot and muggy. I am heading to Bahrain tomorrow for the Arabic Reading Association Conference. Bahrain is a small island country in the Persian Gulf just north of Qatar. Should be interesting!
It was interesting to read about Sgt. Ron Revello a fellow Norway, MI graduate. I emailed him and we reminisced a bit about home. I have many fond memories of NMU and Sigma Kappa. Hope to visit up north when I return in July to the US."
Diane Lundin Benjamin '71
Doha, Qatar

"Hi. That photo of the ore boat in the fog was really very interesting. Could you add a link to your next newsletter to a bigger, higher resolution version of the photo? Could be a great background photo on the computer desktop. We do see ore boats where I live now, too, on Washington Island, about 15 miles east of Cedar River, in Lake Michigan. You can see Escanaba from here on a clear day. Look us up if you are in our neck of the woods! The Alibi momentos brought back memories for me as well. I was at NMU from 73-77, so spent some time there too. One night my roommate and I went to CB Hedgecock to play intramural BB. While we were gone, his girlfriend decided to get back at him for some thing I can't remember. When we walked back into the room later, our footsteps echoed. We turn on the lights and everything was gone. Beds, clothes, books, stereo, etc. We knew she was behind this, and that she was at the Alibi. So we went to get her to find out where our stuff was. In our basketball clothes only. We had nothing left to change into, and no wallets or IDs. And they were very particular at the Alibi that you had an ID. But the bouncer must have decided that we could not have made up the story, and he let us in to talk to her.
My son Jack now attends NMU, but is not going into education like I did.
Jim Rose, '77
Washington Island, WI

Note from the editor: Unfortunately, I did not save the original of the ore boat photo. I apologize. The photo, as it ran, can be found here.

"I want to get this one in the mailbag sometime in March, as I’m coming to NMU the week of March 19th through the 27th. I’ll be staying at the Cedar Motor Inn, where I’ll base camp for some cross-country skiing & snowshoeing, but mostly sauna, jacuzzi, & pool, and some eats at my favorites like Villa Capri, Togos, and all the new places I can’t name.
On Saturday, the 26th, I’ll be giving a presentation on flutemaking in Boston, flute headjoint making, flute repairs, etc. with my flute teacher Dr. Elda Tate, who will be playing her Williams platinum & silver flute that she bought from us last August, at the National Flute Association’s Nashville Convention. She’s asked me to come up and give this presentation, where I’ll be displaying the flutes we make here in Boston, at Williams Flutes. I’ll be bringing flutes & headjoints for people to try, as well as my tools for some repair work for all the flute players who are being invited by Dr. Tate and NMU. I think she’s calling it a workshop, but I haven’t seen the advertising yet. Anyone needing flute repairs can contact me through Dr. Tate or reach me at the Cedar Motor Lodge on Rte 41 that week, or schedule with me ahead via e-mail.
Deanna, if you could put this in “What’s New, NMU?”, either as my e-mail or as a notice, I’d sure appreciate it. My boss, David Williams, is paying for my week’s vacation, while NMU is paying for the workshop! Should be a lot of fun. I’ll drop by and meet you during the week. Am hoping to play some bball in the big gym too! ah, and at least one pasty dinner is in order! Cheers, and keep up the great work."
Mike Greer
Arlington, MA

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