The Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees today approved a 2023-24 general fund operating budget that includes $3.3 million in new investments and initiatives. NMU will increase financial aid and scholarships by $1.5 million. A majority of this support is made up of new awards such as Tuition Advantage, a “last dollar” scholarship that covers the remaining balance after federal, state and institutional funding is applied, and the Bridge Award, which fills the out of state tuition gap. The budget also recognizes the elimination of the NMU undergraduate application fee.
In addition to these efforts to remove barriers to student access, NMU is making other investments that directly support the administrative pillars President Brock Tessman implemented as part of the campus realignment. They include enhancements to the following:
- Academics, $576,000: new faculty/staff in a few areas; lab and classroom supplies, library acquisitions and capital equipment replacement.
- Campus Well-Being, Experience and Safety, $1.1 million: staffing; childcare initiatives; and programming new student spaces.
- New Technology Development and Community Outreach, $186,000: staffing in application development, as well as community outreach and engagement.
- University Infrastructure, $250,000: protection, maintenance, capital renewal and replacement.
The total general fund budget is $125.3 million, an increase of $6.6 million from fiscal year 2023.
“We are able to maintain a balanced budget thanks to solid revenues from our increased state appropriation and tuition tied to our 2.1% increase in total credit hours this fall,” said Gavin Leach, vice president for Finance and Administration. “Those revenue increases enabled us to cover rising contractual and inflationary expenditures while still making key strategic investments and funding new initiatives that will enhance the learning and working environment for students, faculty and staff.”
The board approved three other budgets: auxiliary services, housing and residence life, and designated fund.
Trustees also approved NMU's five-year master plan and 2024-25 capital outlay request, both of which universities are required to submit annually to the Michigan Department of Management and Budget. The priority project identified in the capital outlay request remains the Northern Enterprise Center (College of Business), at $19.1 million.
After receiving an update on the status of a half-dozen major facilities projects, trustees approved the following projects over $250,000: the remaining $30.3 million for the Harden Hall Renovation; an additional $300,000 for the PEIF Vandament Arena renovation; and $2 million for Superior Dome turf replacement.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the board will be held Dec. 14-15.