Erickson seems solid choice to lead NMU

We offer a warm welcome to Fritz Erickson and his wife, Jan, as they become part of the Marquette community.

Erickson, for anyone who missed it, was elected Tuesday as Northern Michigan University’s 15th president in a unanimous vote of the NMU Board of Trustees.

One of four finalists for the job, Erickson won enthusiastic backing of the entire eight-member board.

“Our goal was to find the best person who is the best for Northern Michigan University at this particular time, with the set of needs that we have,” said Trustee H. Sook Wilkinson, who headed the Presidential Search Advisory Committee, in a story written by Journal Staff Writer Jackie Stark. “And in the end, the board deliberated and came to the conclusion that Fritz Erickson was the best person at this very particular time.”

Erickson has been serving at Ferris State University as the vice president and provost for academic affairs. Formerly he was dean of the College of Professional and Graduate Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay; dean and professor in the College of Education and Human Development at Eastern Washington University; and chairman of the education department/professor of education and psychology at Michigan Technological University.

Erickson earned an interdisciplinary doctor of education degree in educational psychology, technology and research methodology and a master’s in curriculum and instruction, both from the University of Northern Colorado, and a bachelor’s in social sciences from Western Michigan University.

He will officially take the reins at NMU July 1.

We’re glad Erickson was able to arrive on campus just a few hours after his election. We are happy, too, that so many students, staff, faculty and community members were there to shake the president-elect’s hand.

And the new leader expressed his gratitude as well.

“I’m so deeply appreciative of the welcoming that both Jan and I have received,” Erickson said. “We are just absolutely delighted to be a part of the NMU community, part of the Marquette community and part of the Upper Peninsula.”

Some details are still being worked on by NMU Board of Trustees Chairman Rick Popp and Executive Committee Chairwoman L. Garnet Lewis. The two will work together on a contract for Erickson that would be approved by the full board at a later meeting.

We’re delighted the university’s board found someone they are so pleased with to take on the many responsibilities faced by a university president, especially in these often difficult times of shrinking budgets and rapid technological change.

Also, we join the NMU board in thanking interim President David Haynes, who over the past two years guided the negotiation of three labor agreements, the construction of the new Jamrich Hall and an overhaul of enrollment services at NMU.

We encourage community members, when they encounter the Ericksons, to greet them with typical Yooper warmth. We hope their time in Marquette is productive and joyful.