The Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees approved a recommendation that there be no increase in the standard room and board rate for a traditional residence hall for the 2021-22 academic year.
The combined cost of a double-occupancy room and base meal plan will remain at $5,396 per semester in the traditional halls. The rate for the same package in the newer housing complex called The Woods will be $5,825 per semester, an increase of 0.2% or $12.
“This is a challenging year, so we challenged our housing and dining staffs to come up with proposed solutions for keeping costs down for students while maintaining quality and an outstanding experience,” said Gavin Leach, vice president for Finance and Administration. “On the meal side, they restructured the base plan so that it offers a greater value, while also providing great enhanced options for students who want those. I really appreciate the creativity and hard work the staffs put in to making it possible for students to have virtually no increase next year while experiencing the same high quality in campus housing and dining.”
The board also guided the NMU administration to develop a plan by June 1 to incent achieving herd immunity in the campus community for fall 2021. The report will factor in the fluid state of the pandemic and determine a university response if herd immunity cannot be achieved through voluntary compliance. Trustees stated that the primary goal is maximum safety for the campus and surrounding community as NMU returns to pre-pandemic levels of face-to-face instruction, services and campus activities.
In other action at today's meeting, the board:
-Approved new academic programs that will be offered this fall: a bachelor's degree in human resource management; a graduate certificate in clinical molecular diagnostics; and associate degrees in dance, theater performance, and theater technology and design. The board voted to delete both the office information assistant and health information processing associate degree programs, as well as the office assistant certificate program.
-Agreed to continue general fund, auxiliary operations, housing and residence life and general fund budgets at the same level as 2020-21, until state appropriations are determined and new budgets are approved. The only exception to each will be increases required by existing or newly negotiated union contracts.
-Approved the following capital and long-term maintenance projects: Superior Dome women's wrestling locker room, $325,000; and Cohodas Hall lobby renovation, $285,000.
-Authorized the purchase of property and a structure located at 1738 Presque Isle Ave. for $470,000 plus related miscellaneous expenses.
-Agreed to a three-year extension on the contract with external auditing firm Anderson, Tackman & Company.
-Authorized the following purchases for the university's notebook computer program: 2,000 additional ThinkPad T495s, model 20UJ (including warranty, engineering services, software imaging and shipping), 235 Apple MacBook Pros, model Z11C; and 16 MacBook Pros, model Z0XZ.
-Agreed that senior directors in the Business Intelligence/Information Services Department should now report directly to the vice president for Finance and Administration.
-Agreed that the Innovation Center be renamed “The SISU Innovation Institute,” effective May 1.
- Approved Chair Tami Seavoy's appointment of new trustee Jason Morgan to two committees: Extended Learning and Community Engagement; and Ad Hoc Policy Review.
-Revised the Ad Hoc Policy Review Committee charge to reflect that it will also review the board bylaws and present proposed changes to the full board for discussion and approval.
-Approved a revision to the board's meeting schedule. Remaining meeting dates for the calendar year are: July 22-23, Sept. 30-Oct. 1 and Dec. 9-10.