For the week of May 24, 2004

From the 6th floor

Rainy days and Mondays. I know I really have no right to complain, because plenty of the midwest is dealing with some real nasty weather. Here in the U.P., we've just had rain and rain and more rain. It has been pretty chilly, too, with temperatures not making it much above 50 degrees. Difficult to be very optimistic about spring, that's for sure. But still, nothing like the terrible storms in other areas of the country.
Friday was the first time in my life I had ever heard tornado sirens. We were in Allen Park, setting up for our alumni event, when some serious storms moved through the area. As you may have seen on TV or read in the newspapers, the Detroit area was hard hit by storms throughout the weekend, beginning Friday afternoon. In Allen Park, at the Detroit Lions Practice Facility, we were able to watch the storms move across the area. I have never seen anything like it. The sky was green. Yes, green. Now, I am not a weather specialist and have no idea what causes green skies, but it was very eerie. I have seen some pretty dark skies before, but never anything like the green that darkened the area. Fortunately, no twisters touched down, but rain and hail swept through, causing rapid flooding.
I am thankful to live in the UP where our biggest weather concerns are snow-related.
While snow can cause damage, it is rarely as deadly as tornadoes.

Wildcats invade Lions Practice Facility

As mentioned above, Friday, May 21, NMU Alumni and Friends invaded the Allen Park home of the Detroit Lions for a special Wildcat Open House.

Almost 200 Northern alumni showed up to tour the practice facility and meet Steve Mariucci '77, our host for the evening.

What a fun evening! At the close of the event, the Wildcats joined Lions head coach Steve Mariucci, NMU Interim President Mike Roy, and NMU Alumni Association President Barry Axelrod, for this photo on the field.

Former Wildcat football players pose with Steve Mariucci and current Wildcat head coach, Doug Sams.

Front row, left to right:
Mike Williams '75, Rick Popp '88, Dan Stencil '76, Steve Mariucci '77, Paul Goldman '63, Dominic Sarvello '64.
Back row, Fred Smith ' 78, Tim Chapman '82, unidentified player we think might be Dan Cooley '79???, Jack Hirn '80, Coach Sams, Mike Kowalko '81, David Gregory '92, Alex Moslimani '77.

Joy '82 and Joe '81 Evans and their children, Emma, Owen and Helen, and Coach Mariucci.

Mike Kowalko '81, Dana Verville '80, Jack Hirn '80, Ben Chapman, Tim Chapman '82.

Former NMU football player Mark Fragel, Lauren and Brett Fragel and Rod McLeod check out the Lions locker room.

Steve Mariucci and TJ Verville pose with the Joey Harrington autographed poster TJ bought at the auction.

Tours of the Detroit Lions Practice Facility began in the turf room. Checking out the state of the art weight room.

The training room. The locker room.  
The cafeteria.

And now we know what NMU Interim President Mike Roy is going to do now that Dr. Wong is coming on board.

Go Lions!


A legislative update from Interim President Mike Roy

I testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee for Higher Education a few weeks ago. If you relate the legislative process to a football game, we’re late in the third quarter at this point. Next the subcommittee will bring its recommendation before the full House for a vote, then the conference committee will meet to work out the differences between the Senate and House higher education bills before an agreement goes to the Governor. As for Northern’s House hearing, I think it went well. The members of the subcommittee, like those on the Senate subcommittee, were most interested in learning what universities are doing to cut costs in order to keep tuition and fees as low as possible.

To summarize what I discussed with the legislators, I said that even before Northern’s loss of $7.5 million in state appropriation reductions over the past 16 months, Northern had been reorganizing, reallocating, redesigning and refocusing. Since 1991, NMU has reduced its university divisions from eight to three, its vice presidents from five to two, its colleges from five to three and merged numerous academic and administrative departments. By the end of the next fiscal year, 135 positions are scheduled to have been eliminated and 70 people laid off or retired. I also explained how technology is helping us put in place more self-service operations and that we’d looked at every corner of the university and asked the hard questions, “Is what we’re doing here important to the student experience? Can we do it differently to realize savings and efficiencies?” I told the legislators that the NMU campus community had come together and implemented $5.5 million in budget reductions and $2.2 million in cost avoidance measures in the current fiscal year and identified and $3.3 million in general fund budget reductions and eliminations and $1 million in cost avoidance measures that will be implemented in the next fiscal year, and we did so with the least amount of damage done to the core academic arena as possible. However, I also told them that now I feel we are at a crossroads where Northern would have trouble identifying additional cuts that wouldn’t start to impact the classroom.

Another thing I mentioned to the legislators (something that seemed to catch their attention) is that Northern has kept its cost increase per student below the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase for the past 11 years.

I feel a lot has been done on the part of the NMU students, faculty and staff to contain costs over the years. We will continue to do so wherever and whenever we can.

Ms. Thompson goes to Washington

Rebecca Thompson
ASNMU President
Junior, Marketing/Public Relations

One of the many unique opportunities Northern offers is the Washington Internship Program.
Twenty-one Northern students applied for scholarships and thanks to the generous support of the NMU Development Fund and the College of Arts and Sciences, scholarships totaling $22,000 were awarded.

NMU Political Science Professor Steve Nelson:
The Washington Center/NMU Internship program provides opportunities for NMU students to work in the nation's capital. Since its inception, well over 100 NMU students have spent a summer or a semester in DC. This year's placements are indicative of the types of placements that our students have experienced. This summer our students will be working in the Washington offices of USA Today, Youth for Understanding, Talk Radio News and the Islamic Institute for Free Market and Democracy. They have also been placed in the Department of Labor, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense. Finally, some of our students will be working in the law offices of Preston Gates and Ellis, private practitioner Kevin Oliver, and the Legal Aid Society. In the past these internships have resulted in excellent additions to the students' resumes as well as valued letters of recommendation and even actual job offers. I feel comfortable in saying that these experiences have had a dramatic positive effect on many of our past interns.

Rebecca Thompson, current president of ASNMU, the student government on campus, is participating in this summer's program. Over the next couple months, Rebecca will be writing to us, filling us in on her activities and experiences.
For this introductory piece, Rebecca tells us a little about herself and why the program interested her.

WNN: Why were you interested in the Washington Intern Program?
Rebecca: I actually became interested in the Washington Center Internship
Program over three years ago during my freshman year. I knew that
Washington, DC had a lot to offer and that it would be a once in a life
time experience. I also chose the TWC program because it was a well
established and reputable agency, and I felt that that was important
when looking for such an extensive internship.

WNN: What will the program involve on a day-to-day basis for you?
Rebecca: I will be coordinating a conference for the Department of Homeland
Security in the Office of Domestic Preparedness that will allow
representatives from fifty of the largest cities in the country an
opportunity to evaluate Domestic Preparedness for their respective
locations. So in essence, how prepared are we in the event of a
terrorist attack or a similar emergency.

WNN: What do you hope to get from it over the next 10 weeks?
Rebecca: Over the next 10 weeks or so I hope to get some real world work
experiences. I would like to be able to apply some of the things that I
have learned at Northern to real world situations. I would also like to
be able to explore the DC area and visit as many different places and
sites as possible.

WNN: What are you thinking you will do after graduation and how will this
program help?
Rebecca: After graduation I am considering graduate school at either Wayne State
University or Emerson College. However, depending on how well my
internship goes, I may find myself working for the United States

Look for more from Rebecca in the coming weeks.
Coming up in the next edition, NMU Political Science Professor Steve Nelson writes about the valuable experience the Washington Internship provides for NMU students.

Make sure these dates are on your calendar

Wildcat Golf Classic
Monday, June 14
Boyne Highlands Resort

Wildcat Club/Alumni Association Golf Outing
Thursday, June 24
Marquette Country Club

Golfing for a Goal
Monday, July 19
Ann Arbor

NMU Football Kickoff Classic
Saturday, July 31
Red Fox Run

NMU Homecoming 2004
October 15-16
"Digging up the Past"

Events include:
Homecoming parade
Football Reunion
Sports Hall of Fame
Awards Brunch
NMU vs. Ferris State

As always, feedback/suggestions/questions can be directed to yours truly.

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