For the week of Sept. 20, 2004

From the 6th floor

It's the third week of September and we're enjoying some pretty nice weather in Upper Michigan. After a fantastic weekend, where the thermometer reached the high 70's, we're starting the week off nice with sunshine and warm weather. The rest of the week doesn't look too bad, either, except for a few scattered showers.

As you can see in this week's photo from the 6th floor, not a whole lot of difference in the trees, yet. Yes, there are some areas of town that are seeing more change than others and some trees that are much further along in the process, but overall, the change is just beginning.

Higher education budget bill passes; NMU unveils likely response

Based on their initial analysis of the recently passed higher education budget bill, Northern Michigan University administrators are likely to absorb a one-time loss in state restoration funding rather than rebate a mid-year tuition increase. They say the latter option would have an adverse, long-term impact on Northern’s base budget.
Administrators have begun discussing their preliminary strategy with NMU students, emphasizing that no final decision has been made. Still, they indicated that they are “strongly leaning toward” the one-time $700,000 funding hit, barring any revisions to their interpretation of the nuances of the higher education bill. The governor’s signature is also required before it becomes law.
“Obviously we would like to qualify for the additional restoration funding, but not at the expense of our base budget,” said NMU President Les Wong. “A hit to the base has a more significant and long-term impact because every operational budget on campus would have to be revised downward from this point forward. Because the $700,000 is one-time money, our base budget would remain intact so departmental budgets would not have to be reduced.”
The loss in restoration funding would have a net impact of $80,000 because the other option is to rebate resident undergraduate students for the winter semester tuition increase, at a cost of $620,000.
Wong said that dollar figure does not factor in administrative costs associated with the complicated process of distributing rebates to students who qualify – some of whom have graduated and moved on – and possibly recalculating current students’ financial aid packages. The total funding impact of the rebate option is about $540,000 more than absorbing the one-time loss in restoration funding.
Wong briefed students on the factors that combined to create the current situation. The state had previously approved a 3 percent restoration of the 5 percent cut from each public university’s appropriation through a December executive order. It was based on the conditions that schools keep their tuition and fee increases at or below the Detroit Consumer Price Index and not implement a tuition increase after Dec. 1.
NMU enacted its midyear increase before the tuition restraint language was signed into law. Even though it still had the third-lowest total tuition increase for 2003-04 among Michigan’s public universities, the timing issue made Northern eligible for half – 1.5 percent or $700,000 – of the restoration amount. The only way for NMU to receive the full 3 percent, or $1.4 million, would be through a rebate, which administrators said isn’t likely.
Northern’s 2.4 percent tuition increase for fall 2004 is below the 2.8 cap approved last week by the legislative panel, but Wong said the university is not at this time considering raising it the additional 0.4 percent allowed.
NMU is awaiting clarification on the higher education bill’s language and a review of its strategy by the board of trustees. The university must notify the state of its final decision related to the restoration funding and rebate by Oct. 1.

Perfect weather for Dead River Games

Homecoming competition has begun even though Homecoming is almost a month away. The Dead River Games were held at the former "Hot Pond" area at Presque Isle, Sunday. In addition to the traditional tug-of-war, students also competed in sand castle sculpture competition. Because Homecoming is scheduled later than usual this year, the Student Homecoming Committee wanted to make sure they had decent weather for the Dead River Games so they were held a month in advance of Homecoming. As you can see, they made the right call as the weather was perfect for hanging out at the beach this past weekend.

(For the record: TKE took first place in sand sculpture competition; the USOEC won the obstacle course competition; and Looney Bin from Halverson Hall took the top honors in the ice cream scoop challenge.)

Distinguished Alumnus and political expert to discuss Election 2004...you can participate no matter where you are

Political expert Steve Mitchell '67 and the NMU Alumni Association are teaming up to bring you Northern's newest technology.

Mitchell is chairman of Mitchell Research & Communications, Inc., based in East Lansing and West Bloomfield, Michigan. His political consulting, public relations counseling and marketing research career spans more than 25 years and reaches across more than 40 states.
Mitchell will be on campus during Homecoming to receive an Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award.

As part of the week's activities, Mitchell will offer a special political presentation on Thursday, October 14 at noon.
Mitchell provides political expertise, polling and on-air analysis to a host of television stations throughout the country and is a regular political analyst for NBC affiliate WDIV-TV 4 in Detriot. He is also the pollster for the Detroit News.

Mitchell's presentation will be available live through Northern Michigan University's new Media Site Live.
You can take part from wherever you are.

Join us at lunch (12:00 eastern) Thursday, October 14 for a Wildcat take on today's political climate.

(Check out this new technology at Media Site Live right now. You can view a current presentation and make sure Media Site works on your computer. Then join us on Thursday, October 14th at noon. If you have problems watching the video or have questions, get in touch with us.

Alumni signing up for Homecoming

Have you checked out our list of alumni who plan on attending Homecoming 2004, Oct. 15-16?

We get new names daily, so visit the registry often and see who's coming back.

Are you planning on being here? Let us know so we can let others know.

Click here for a complete Homecoming schedule.

Bill Cosby coming to Northern

Northern Arts and Entertainment has announced that Bill Cosby will bring his comedy act to Northern for two shows in November.
Cosby's performances are scheduled for Friday, November 12th, at the Berry Events Center, 6:30 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.

Tickets are $18 for students and $25 for the general public.

Student tickets go on sale this Friday, Sept. 24th.
Tickets for the general public go on sale Oct. 1.

You can purchase your tickets by phone at 906-227-1032, online, or at any of the usual EZ Ticket locations.

Cosby's performance is being sponsored by Northern Arts and Entertainment and the Student Activity Fee.
Questions? Contact NAE at 227-2447

"Super Size Me" filmmaker to appear

Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock will be on campus Wednesday, Sept. 29. Spurlock shot to fame as the writer/director of "Super Size Me", a documentary about the legal, financial and physical costs of America's hunger for fast food.
For 30 days, Spurlock lived only on McDonald's. His film won numerous awards.
Spurlock's presentation will be in the University Center, Wednesday, Sept. 29th at 7:00 p.m.

Thanks for stopping by....

Tom '60 and Judy '66 Klassell of Rice Lake, Wi.

If you're in the Marquette area for a visit, please stop by and say hello. We're on the 6th floor of Cohodas, room 603.

From the Email bag

"Deanna, FYI...Theta Chi fraternity alumni from the 70s and 80s are planning on coming to Homecoming this year. We have been getting together every fall for a golf outing since 1986. This will be our 18th annual outing and we decided it was time to have it in Marquette. Looking forward to the festivities."
Ray Hlavaty '83
Hartland, MI
rhlavaty@ford.com

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

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