For the week of May 3, 2004

From the 6th floor

It's another one of those days where you shouldn't let the sunshine fool you. While it is starting to warm up, it is not warm by any means. But the weatherman promises some warmth is coming, at least a little warmer and it may only be for tomorrow, but still. The weekend wasn't too bad for commencement...pretty typical of what you probably remember for May in the UP, actually. The sun was out, but it was still pretty chilly. There are some rumors floating around that there was snow in the Negaunee area this morning, but it did not make it as far as Marquette. The snow, not the rumors.


Welcome new alumni

The NMU Alumni Association welcome more than 800 new members as spring commencement activities were held this past weekend. This was one of the larger classes in recent memory. The Superior Dome was packed with graduates and their families Saturday morning. Dr. Robert Archibald '70, '72, President and CEO of the Missouri Historical Society, was the featured commencement speaker. Dr. Archibald made some very touching remarks about his time in the Upper Peninsula and how much he treasures this land and its people. Dr. Archibald received an honorary doctorate of history during commencement exercises. Student commencement speaker was Kyle Ortiz, a senior from Chicago, Ill. Ortiz earned a bachelor’s degree in social science with a political science emphasis. He spent his last year serving president of the Associated Students of Northern Michigan University, or ASNMU.

A reminder to new grads....don't forget to sign up for your first year of Alumni Association membership FREE!

NMU Board approves contract for new president

The Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees has approved a three-year contract for incoming President Les Wong, effective July 1.
The compensation for the first year includes the following: $150,000 in base salary; $35,000 in deferred compensation, which is contingent upon successfully completing the entire contract period; and a potential to earn $5,000 in incentive compensation awarded at the discretion of the board for exceeding expectations in overall performance and the ability to meet goals.
The base salary and incentive compensation will increase to $160,000 and $10,000, respectively, in the second year; and to $170,000 and $15,000 in the final year of the contract. There will be no change in the amount of annual deferred compensation.
“The executive committee was happy to be able to present a fair and appropriate contract to the full board for approval,” said Scott Holman, chair of the executive committee. “It is designed to be competitive for a president we are very excited about having on board and it fits the current fiscal circumstances and goals of the university.”
Wong said, “I am pleased that this step in the appointment process is completed. It is far more important to focus on the opportunities that lie ahead. I am looking forward to being in Marquette and joining the NMU community full time. July cannot come soon enough for me.”
Mary Campbell, chair of the NMU Board of Trustees, recognized Interim President Mike Roy for his effective leadership during the transition period.
“I also want to commend the Presidential Search Advisory Committee, chaired by Sam Benedict, for its excellent groundwork in reviewing applications, conducting preliminary interviews and recommending finalists for the position,” Campbell added. “We are extremely fortunate to have Dr. Wong as Northern’s next president.”
The executive committee of the NMU board evaluates the president on an annual basis.

In other action:

Legislative update

On May 12, NMU Interim President Mike Roy will testify before the House Higher Education Appropriation Subcommittee. His message to the subcommittee: Northern has done an excellent job of cutting costs while maintaining quality. NMU has always been concerned about keeping tuition and fees affordable and that is demonstrated by the fact that Northern has maintained one of the lowest costs of Michigan state universities. Additionally, Northern is the only state university to provide a notebook computer, software and support to all full-time students as part of tuition and fees.


This year, NMU had the third-lowest tuition and fee increase in both dollars and percent and that includes a mid-year increase – and still there was only one other university with a lower rate. Northern’s cost increase per student has remained below the Detroit Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the last 11 years, indicating sound fiscal management on behalf of the university. Dr. Les Wong, Northern’s incoming president, attended a recent university forum where Northern outlined some options for the 2004-05 budget. Dr. Wong commented that what proposed is a “reasonable budget package” and added, “What I am seeing at Northern Michigan University is very efficient planning.” I hope to demonstrate the same point to the legislators at the House hearing. It is a vital point for them to understand because Northern has reached a critical crossroad, one where we must invest money in order to provide the learning experience to our growing enrollment.

Once Northern was a state supported university, today it is a state assisted one. Back in 1975, 75 percent of NMU’s funding came from the state and 25 percent from tuition and fees. Today, 49 percent comes from the state, 49 percent from students’ tuition and fees and 2 percent from other sources (such as private gifts to the university). If well-educated employees are the economic driver of the state, as the Governor and legislators have said, then funding higher education must be one of the state’s top priorities. Northern understand that balancing Michigan’s budget in these times is no easy task, but each university president will ask the legislators to keep in mind that with higher education taking the largest hit in reductions this past year, our task of providing the state with the best prepared workforce has become just as challenging.

You can assist your alma mater by being informed.
Can you guess what Northern's enrollment is?
Aside from Michigan, where do most Northern students come from?
What percentage of students receive financial aid?
How much is tuition at Northern?

We've put together some fascinating statistics about Northern. Check them out!
(You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader.)

Wildcat Club Golf Outing registration forms now available

Registration forms are now available for the annual Wildcat Club/NMU Alumni Association Golf Outing and Fundraiser.
Scheduled Thursday, June 24, 2004 at the Marquette Golf Club.

Slots will fill up quickly, so don't wait long to register.

Not able to attend? You can still support the Wildcat Club and Alumni Association by becoming a hole sponsor.

Click here for complete details.

Deadline approaching for Detroit Lions Training Facility tickets

Monday, May 10 is the deadline to purchase your tickets for the

Wildcat Open House
Detroit Lions Headquarters and Training Facility
Friday, May 21st

Steve Mariucci '77, '83, head coach of the Detroit Lions, will welcome Wildcats on Friday, May 21st from 5:30-8:30 p.m.
This facility is NOT open to the general public so this is a rare opportunity to see inside the home of the Detroit Lions.

The event is open to all Wildcat alumni and friends.

There are a limited number of tickets available so order early!

Click here for details.

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

"What's New, NMU?" is a service of the NMU Alumni Association. Consider joining today!