For the week of April 10, 2006

From the 6th floor

Where are the flowers? And the buds? And the robins? Everyone has a serious case of spring fever around town. With temperatures hovering around the 55 degree mark for the past several days, most discussions taking place revolve around yardwork. Time to clear last year's leaves and the winter dirt out of the yard. Keeping in mind, of course, it's only April. A snowstorm is certainly not out of the question.

The future of Carey Hall

Northern administrators are looking beyond enrollment growth in their continuing effort to reduce per-student costs to a level comparable with peer institutions. At a university forum last week, Mike Roy, Vice President for Finance and Administration, said Northern’s annual plant operations budget is $3.1 million higher than the average of 10 state universities used for comparison purposes. By leveraging the asset of physical space, Roy said NMU could reduce facilities costs and apply the funds to other areas.


Three possibilities that have been explored include selling buildings to entities that share the university’s mission, demolishing buildings that are not being used, and leasing space to non-profit or for-profit businesses whose interests align with Northern’s.

Roy said Carey Hall will likely be torn down. Carey Hall is the oldest building on Northern's campus. It opened in 1948 as the first on-campus, state-owned dormitory. Roy says the building has become too expensive to maintain. Most recently it has been used for faculty offices. The university had considered several options for use of the building, including retirement condominiums.  The condo idea was scrapped when further investigation revealed that the only project in the nation remotely similar had been unsuccessful. No date has been set for demolition. Plans are in the works to renovate the adjacent Lee Hall, primarily through private funds. It will house the Beaumier Heritage Center, Alumni Relations, the NMU Foundation, a restaurant-type facility – currently known as the “NMU Club” – and a restored second-floor ballroom.


The Cohodas renovation is on the capital outlay list awaiting legislative approval. Roy said the building’s “administrative center” moniker is no longer an accurate reflection, as more than 50 percent of the building is or will be used for academic purposes.

“We were in discussions with a local business about the option of selling the Jacobetti Center building to them, but we decided that wasn’t feasible,” Roy added. “But we’ve been talking with representatives from Marquette County and Telkite about leasing space at Sawyer so that we could move our aviation maintenance, collision repair and automotive programs out there. This would free up a whole wing of Jacobetti to allow us to move other operations into there.”


Roy said NMU is nearing an agreement to lease Jacobetti space to local trade unions during off-peak hours. Another lease arrangement is being formalized with Marquette General Hospital to establish a cytogenetics and molecular biology lab in three classrooms on the third floor of West Science. “Over the years, we’ve also been in discussions with MGH about better utilizing our facilities in coordination with them – particularly the University Center. We’re in the conceptual stage of working more closely with them in the use of the U.C."

He added, "There are a lot of balls in the air, and where they will all settle I’m not sure. But there are a lot of options we’re considering to better utilize space and leverage it so we can generate revenue while still having some connection to academic programs.”


In other developments related to physical space on campus, Roy said NMU is looking at the following options: a solid-fuel addition to the Ripley Heating Plant that would burn coal and wood, reducing utility costs and giving the local economy a boost; a new software program that will provide a common database for campus entities that regularly schedule rooms and produce reports that will more effectively monitor space usage; and a location in the LRC to establish a branch for a local bank that recently made a successful bid to make its accounts accessible through the university’s ID card system.

Thank you for sharing your stories

Thank you to those of you who took the time to write Dr. Wong last week and tell him your Northern success story. Dr. Wong is working on his testimony for the House Appropriation's Subcommittee for Higher Education. He received some wonderful notes from alumni across Michigan and nation-wide.
In preparing his remarks, he hopes to use notes from alumni about the importance of Northern in their lives and how their education and experience helped them achieve success.
Here's a sample of a Northern success story:

"Dear Dr. Wong,
Thanks to my NMU Education (BS History '91, MA English '93) I have succeeded beyond my grandest expectations. While growing up in poverty in the UP, I never dreamed I would someday work for the U.S. National Cancer Institute, helping patients with all types of cancer find and use the information they need to become active participants in their own care. I manage a high-profile information product called Featured Clinical Trials that appears in the NCI Cancer Bulletin ( weekly newsletter and on the NCI Web site ( I also manage the marketing activities for the NCI Web site and my work has directly led to the NCI winning the prestigious FREDDIE Award in 2004 and Webby Award in 2005 (
I would not and could not be here if it weren't for the exceptional education I received at NMU. My time at NMU was transformative, and I thank the faculty, staff, and my fellow students for turning an awkward, introverted child whose world perspective was confined to what he could see in Upper Michigan into a professional writer capable of succeeding at the highest levels of my profession."
Daryl McGrath '91, '93
Marketing Specialist
National Cancer Institute
Bethesda, MD

If you are interested in sharing your story, send your note to Dr. Wong.

Summer sports camps

Northern Michigan University is once again offering summer sports camps to children ages eight through 18. New improvements and additions were made to revamp the line-up of camps, allowing NMU to offer sessions from nine different sports.
Head football coach Bernie Anderson is teaming up with Iron Mountain's Tom Wender to present a three-day football clinic to high school students. This is the first camp Anderson will host at NMU since taking over the reins of the football program.
Sten Fjeldheim and Jenny Ryan, NMU cross country coaches, are hosting a camp for all athletes called Enduro Camp. This camp's focus will be on the endurance, balance, agility and strength it takes to compete in any sport.
Other sports offering camps or clinics are: hockey, boy's basketball, swimming, soccer, girl's basketball, cross country and volleyball. For more information, check out

2006 Summer Sports Camps
June 12-14
Summer School
July 10-14
July 17-21
July 24-28
April 19, 23, 26, 30
May 3, 7, 10, 15, 17, 21
Boy's Basketball July 17-20
Swimming June 25-29
July 9-13
Day Camp

June 12-16
July 22-26
Girl's Basketball
Young Wildcat League
Day Camp

April 8, 15, 22, 29
June 11-13
June 14-16, June 18-20
Cross Country August 8-13
Enduro June 19-July 27
Day Camp

July 23 and July 24
July 8-10 JV Team
July 11-13 Varsity
July 14-16 All Skills


Student Employee of the Year honored

Julee Basal '05 of Marquette is NMU's Student Employee of the Year. While pursuing her master's degree in public administration, Basal serves as the media relations coordinator at the U.S. Olympic Education Center.

She was nominated by Jeff Kleinschmidt, director of the USOEC, who wrote in his nomination letter, “Julee is responsible for all of the media and public relations aspects of the USOEC athletes and programs. She also played a major role in marketing, promoting, and organizing the 2006 U.S. Short Track Speedskating Championships. She is an exceptionally hard working, competent, and dedicated employee who is very well deserving of this honor.”

Thanks for stopping by...

...Dana Verville '80 of Portage, MI.

Don't forget, if you're in Marquette visiting, stop by and say hello. We're in 603 Cohodas.

From the E-mail bag

"Hooray for Frosty Treats! It is too bad that Hamburger Heaven, The Jet Grill, or The Waterfront will never open again. Last week's photo of the fishermen looks like summer to me."
Take care,
Anita Dionne Gray '66
Frisco, TX

"Hi. Doug Finn is a high school teacher in Savoonga, Alaska. He attended Northern from Fall of 2001 until 2004. Savoonga is located on a very remote island in the Bering Sea. Savoonga is a St. Lawrence Island Yupik Eskimo Village. Doug is very active supervising many extracurricular activities. As part of his after school responsibilities as senior class advisor, he was helping fund raising efforts for the class trip. He was cooking pizzas. Thought the photo would look great in "What's New, NMU?"
Mike Kimber '72
Savoonga, AK

For those of you playing along at home, here's where Mike and Doug live.
And you thought the U.P. was remote.

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