The Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees has approved a 2023-24 general fund operating budget that includes $3.3 million in new investments and initiatives, including a $1.5 million increase in financial aid and scholarships. The total general fund budget is $125.3 million, reflecting an increase of $6.6 million from the fiscal year 2023. The board also approved other budgets such as auxiliary services, housing and residence life, and designated fund, as well as a five-year master plan and a capital outlay request for the Michigan Department of Management and Budget, with the priority project identified as the Northern Enterprise Center.
Northern Michigan University Approves Budget with $3.3M New Investments
The Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees has approved a $125.3 million budget for the 2023-24 fiscal year, reflecting a $6.6 million increase from 2023. This funding includes $3.3 million in new investments and initiatives aimed at enhancing the learning environment.
The university will boost financial aid and scholarships by $1.5 million, with the majority going towards new awards like the Tuition Advantage, a “last dollar” scholarship, and the Bridge Award, targeting the out-of-state tuition gap. The budget also marks the termination of the NMU undergraduate application fee.
New Budget Supports Administrative Pillars
The new budget supports President Brock Tessman’s administrative pillars, part of the campus realignment, with specific enhancements detailed below:
- Academics: $576,000 for new faculty/staff hires, lab and classroom supplies, library acquisitions, and capital equipment replacement.
- Campus Well-Being, Experience and Safety: $1.1 million for staffing, childcare initiatives, and student space programming.
- New Technology Development and Community Outreach: $186,000 for staffing in application development and community outreach and engagement.
- University Infrastructure: $250,000 for protection, maintenance, capital renewal, and replacement.
According to Gavin Leach, VP for Finance and Administration, the budget maintains balance due to solid revenues from an increased state appropriation and tuition tied to a 2.1% increase in total credit hours this fall. These revenues facilitate managing rising contractual and inflationary expenditures while enabling strategic investments and funding for new initiatives.
Additional Budgets and Approvals
The board also approved auxiliary services, housing and residence life, and designated fund budgets. They further endorsed NMU’s five-year master plan and 2024-25 capital outlay request, both required for annual submission to the Michigan Department of Management and Budget. The capital outlay request maintains the Northern Enterprise Center as the priority project with a budget of $19.1 million.
After reviewing the status of major facilities projects, the board approved projects over $250,000: $30.3 million for Harden Hall Renovation; an additional $300,000 for PEIF Vandament Arena renovation; and $2 million for Superior Dome turf replacement.
The board’s next meeting is set for Dec. 14-15.
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