The Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees approved a motion to offer an $820 credit, plus a carryover of any remaining Dining Dollars to next semester, to students who check out of their residence hall rooms before 5 p.m. Friday, April 3. Students can also forego the credit and opt to remain on campus through the remainder of the semester, which ends May 2.
“For the many of our students who consider NMU their primary home, we have every intention of keeping the residential and dining facilities open and serving you at the highest possible level,” said NMU President Fritz Erickson. “We have instituted aggressive cleaning procedures in the residence halls. The university plans to maintain operations of dining services throughout the semester, including Northern Lights, Wildcat Den, CatTrax and Temaki and Tea. Social distancing will be enforced and grab-and-go options will increase. We also plan to maintain the availability of outdoor recreation equipment such as fat tire bikes, cross-country ski, snowshoes and other equipment.”
The decision to offer the credit was made at a special meeting of the board held today via Zoom technology, during which trustees also received a campus update on NMU's response to the escalating COVID-19 situation.
A communication from the University will be sent by Thursday, March 26, to all students with a residence hall contract, containing links to an online form and instructions for indicating their plans related to leaving campus or staying in place.
“Students who qualify for the credit will be able to choose whether to apply that credit toward Fall 2020 on-campus room and board costs or to their student account, less any outstanding balances,” said Gavin Leach, vice president for Finance and Administration. “We will make every attempt to honor a student's preferred choice, but in some cases, federal financial aid regulations may require us to offer an alternative plan. Also, students who have received institutional financial aid may have an offset to their credit based on the aid they have received.”
Trustees also used today's meeting as an opportunity to reaffirm their intent to invest in a series of initiatives approved at their last meeting in December. These include new centers dedicated to rural health and transformational education, an expanded cybersecurity curriculum, wide-ranging student success and retention efforts, increased support for graduate enrollment and a program to enhance diversity, investments in faculty and the addition of three sports.
“I want to congratulate President Fritz Erickson and all of the staff, faculty, and students at NMU,” said NMU Board Chair Steve Mitchell. “They have done an extraordinary job under very difficult circumstances. The faculty's work to move to remote instruction (online learning) almost overnight has been really amazing. The students have been very understanding and have adapted to the huge changes.
“Our residence halls remain open now, we continue to offer our terrific food, and we're proud of the great work we are receiving from the NMU team. Although many are staying, we are providing a credit to those who are leaving. These are tough times, but we're Yoopers, we're tough, and we'll get through this.”
NMU trustees approved a new multidisciplinary indoor agriculture associate degree that will launch this fall. See the full story here.