Students, faculty, alumni value stressed in address

MARQUETTE – Focusing on four key areas, Northern Michigan University Interim President David Haynes said during the university’s annual Fall Convocation Wednesday NMU needs to continue growing and changing to stay competitive in the ever-evolving world of higher education.

“To move forward, there are several things we must always keep in mind, and these are the messages I will be relentlessly driving home to our public officials, stakeholders and donors,” Haynes said to the last crowd that will ever hear a convocation in the current John X. Jamrich Hall, as construction on the new hall will wrap up by fall 2014. “NMU is providing higher education that is both affordable and a great value.

“Our faculty is advancing research and discovery in many disciplines. Our students are globally competitive and our alumni are spurring economic growth and entrepreneurism. We are committed to service, leadership and the betterment of the world around us. NMU is an economic driver that is preparing the workforce of tomorrow.”

Haynes said his main focus in the coming academic year will be to continue making progress in the areas of education, excellence, enrollment and endowment.

“I cannot emphasis this enough – enrollment and retention are the lifeblood of this university. The lifeblood,” Haynes said before praising the efforts of university officials to expand Northern’s recruitment over the past year.

Haynes also spoke about the need to continue providing Northern with new revenue streams as the world of public higher education funding continues to rapidly evolve.

“What has to change is the progressively important role that alternative revenue, private support and our endowment will play as we go forward,” Haynes said, adding that the university has received more than $5 million in donations and gifts in the last fiscal year. “These commitments represent resources not only for today but also bequests and investments that will provide funding for years and years to come, and we must always be thinking ahead to how we can bring enrollment, excellence, experience and endowment together in ways that build our strengths and differentiate us from our peer institutions.”

Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242.