Tag: University

Board Sets Budget and Tuition for 2010-2011

The Board of Control Friday approved an operating budget of nearly $159 million for fiscal year 2011, which begins July 1, 2010, a 2.8 percent increase over this year’s operating budget.

The budget includes the following increases in tuition and mandatory fees:

  • 5.9 percent ($22.50 per credit hour) for resident undergraduates, a total increase of $338 per semester for a typical full-time course load
  • 3.9 percent ($30.50 per credit hour) for nonresident undergraduates, a total increase of $458 per semester
  • 4.6 percent ($30 per credit hour) for graduate students, a total increase of $360 per semester

The budget is based on an expected 3.1 percent decline in State of Michigan appropriations from $49.3 million this year to $47.9 million next year. Should the legislature not impose the appropriations cut, Michigan Tech President Glenn D. Mroz is authorized by the Board of Control to reduce tuition and fees.

“State higher education appropriations have decreased nearly 14 percent in the past decade, despite the fact that the University’s full-time enrollment has increased nearly 13 percent,” said Mroz. “We are committed to providing an absolutely first-rate technological education, but that necessitates raising tuition and fees, though we have kept the increase under 6 percent.”

Mroz offered further thoughts on the economic situation. “We realize these are tough times and that tuition increases put students in a bind, especially after the loss of state aid such as the Michigan Promise Grants and Merit Awards. We helped students through those losses by cutting costs and raising scholarship gifts from alumni. Now we are increasing institutional financial aid by $2.5 million because even more students are in need of help.

“The Board has given the go-ahead to lower tuition if state appropriations are not cut as expected,” he said. “Regardless of how that turns out, our objective is clear. We want our students to be able to thrive in a competitive world. They depend on Michigan Tech to deliver an education that will provide them with a competitive advantage for many years to come.”

Cost-containment measures are reflected in the new budget. “Campus-wide, the University is focusing on new revenue sources and cost savings that will enable us to invest in things that enhance our students’ education,” said David Reed, vice president for research. “That includes savings found through streamlining business processes while also seeking new revenue sources. We will continue to pursue our strategic goals of hiring the best people, offering distinctive programs and pursuing innovative research. For example, we are growing the faculty and replacing retiring or departing faculty members with hires in key strategic areas such as energy and health care. In these times, this requires realigning our expenditures to invest in such strategic priorities. And, while this budget does not include an across-the board salary increase, we are recognizing the outstanding performance of faculty and staff by providing for salary adjustments for promotion and retention.”

In other business, the Board:

  • Elected Marty Richardson chair of the Board of Control and Steve Hicks as vice chair. Richardson served as vice chair this year.
  • Approved submitting proposals for two new PhD degrees to the State Academic Affairs Officers. One is in environmental and energy policy. The other is in geophysics.
  • Approved promotions to professor with tenure of associate professors Dana Johnson, School of Business and Economics; David Flaspohler, School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science; Patricia Sotorin, Humanities; and Kathleen Halvorsen, Social Sciences; and promotion from assistant professor without tenure to associate professor with tenure of Shiyue Fang, Chemistry; Jason Carter, Exercise Science, Health and Physical Education; Jeremy Goldman, Biomedical Engineering; Yun Hang Hu and Yu Wang, Materials Science and Engineering; and Guy Hembroff, School of Technology.
  • Approved appointment of Sean Kirkpatrick as an associate professor with tenure. He is the new chair of biomedical engineering.
  • Approved promotion of John Irwin, School of Technology, from an associate professor without tenure to an associate professor with tenure; and Paul Doskey, Civil and Environmental Engineering, from professor without tenure to professor with tenure.
  • Approved revising a bond authorization resolution.

Published in Tech Today

Former Tech President Ray Smith to Address Graduate

Michigan Tech will honor the achievements of nearly 1,000 graduates at Spring Commencement, set for Saturday, May 1. The University expects to award 139 master’s and PhD degrees and 856 bachelor’s and associate degrees.

Ray Smith, who led Michigan Tech as its president from 1965 to 1979, will address the graduates and receive the University’s highest honor, the Melvin Calvin Medal of Distinction.

The full release is available at Michigan Tech’s news website.

Published in Tech Today

Here’s Some Tax Help

VITA, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, is being offered on the Michigan Tech campus again this year.

VITA is a program that was developed by the IRS and is available on university campuses across the country during each tax season. The School of Business and Economics sponsors Michigan Tech’s program.

This free service is offered from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Mondays; from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursdays; and from 3 to 5 p.m. on Fridays.

VITA sessions are held in Academic Office Building G010D. No appointment is necessary. You should bring your W-2s and other tax information, plus a copy of your tax return from last year.

In order to qualify as a VITA tax preparer, upper-division accounting students first complete an IRS self-study course, attend a tax seminar, and then pass an IRS test. The students prepare basic, individual income tax returns for other Michigan Tech students and for members of the local community who could not otherwise afford professional tax preparation services.

For further information, visit Vita .

Also, contact Joel Tuoriniemi at jctuorin@mtu.edu , or Anne Warrington at acwarrin@mtu.edu .

Published in Tech Today

BOC Commits to Financial Aid and Approves Online MBA

The Board of Control has announced a significant increase in financial aid for students struggling to afford a college education.

In special remarks delivered at the Board’s regular meeting today, Finance and Audit Committee Chairman Steve Hicks said that Michigan Tech will increase financial aid by approximately 10 percent for next school year. Financial aid totals $38 million, 20 percent of the University’s budget. The board has asked President Glenn Mroz and his administrative team to include this increase in the fiscal year 2010–11 budget.

“The board members recognize the dramatic impact of the recent economic downturn on the ability of students and their families to pay for higher education,” Hicks said. “We empathize with them and decided to make an early commitment for next school year to ensure that students who seek a truly exceptional educational experience at Michigan Tech have that opportunity.”

Nationally, rising tuition costs and the economic recession have combined to force students to lower their educational sights and seek out lower-priced options. This is especially true in Michigan, where this year the state’s retraction of the Michigan Promise Grant left many students lacking sufficient support. Michigan Tech’s response was to pick up that commitment from the state and fund the Promise grants from its own coffers for the first semester.

Hicks emphasized the University’s resolve to help students. “We are making our own promise to prospective and current students who face rising financial pressure. Providing access to a Michigan Tech education at an affordable price is a top priority, and we are putting our dollars behind the promise. The State of Michigan needs our kind of graduates, proficient in science, engineering, and technology, to propel it to a stronger economic future.”

President Mroz affirmed that message. “People are our priority. We want every student who values what Michigan Tech offers to come here. Today the Board has sent a message that we will go out of our way to make it financially possible.”

The Board of also approved a program price of $38,000 for a new, two-year online Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. It will make Michigan Tech’s MBA curriculum and faculty available to distance learners worldwide, starting with the fall 2010 semester.

Like the campus MBA program, the new online program will focus on innovation and technology management.

“Faculty, in our MBA programs on campus and online, understand scientists, engineers and others who work in similar areas,” said Ruth Archer, director of graduate business programs at the School of Business and Economics (SBE). “We want to help them gain a competitive edge and advance their careers.”

MBA online students will attend two extended weekends on campus and one weeklong international residency where they will learn about the development of technology-related businesses in another culture. The international residency will give students a global perspective on innovation and technology management.

“During the on-campus residencies,” said SBE Dean Darrell Radson, “students will develop a strategic perspective and reinforce collaboration and communication skills while interacting with their cohort and faculty members.” In a cohort program, students move through all classes and phases of the program together as a group, from beginning to graduation.

In other business, the Board

  • Voted to award the Melvin Calvin Medal of Distinction to Raymond L. Smith, sixth president of Michigan Tech. Smith, for whom the ME-EM building is named, is recognized as one of the most authoritative authors and lecturers on minerals and metals. The Melvin Calvin Medal is the highest honor that the University bestows on individuals who have exhibited truly distinguished professional and personal accomplishment and have been associated with Michigan Tech.
  • Approved residence hall and apartment room-and-board rates for the 2010-11 academic year, including increases ranging from 4.10 to 4.33 percent for the residence halls and 4.62 to 7.95 percent for Daniell Heights apartments. A single room in the new residential apartment building will cost $8,400 for the year, with a 50-meal per semester food plan.
  • Learned that the Graduate School is piloting a National Service Graduate Fellowship Program to better meet the needs of students who have provided significant service to the US. Active military personnel, honorably discharged veterans, military retirees, and Peace Corps and Americorps volunteers who have successfully completed their service are eligible for the fellowship.

Published in Tech Today

Michigan Tech Rallies Around Haitians

Far from their devastated homeland, Haitian members of the Michigan Tech community struggled to track down family members and friends in the wake of last week’s disasterous earthquake. Here is the story of Fredline Ilorme, a graduate student in civil engineering, who writes about the longest 24 hours of her life.

“Hello Global Citizens,

“The day looked like any other day to me as I woke up and got ready, thinking about everything I needed to accomplish. I was far from thinking about my family in Haiti, how long it had been since I talked to them and the last things we said.

“However, sometime in the evening, everything changed. I had just gotten to my office when I received a call from a friend about an earthquake in Haiti. A quick Google, and I had an idea of the magnitude of the situation. My first thoughts: my family. Are they okay? Did the house fall on them?

“Quickly rushed back home and spent the entire night trying to reach any one of them by phone. To no avail. News was bad. Many of our most cherished historical buildings–the national palace, the ministries, the cathedral, some hospitals and schools–had fallen. All in thirty seconds. Did my people have time to escape? As I gathered info from my friends on Facebook and through some other friends by phone and online, things seemed dire. Some of my friends had been able to reach their families; they were okay. But still I could not reach any of mine.

“As I watched the videos, the images of the fallen structures, I thought I was losing all I have ever had: my family, my friends, my country. How could this happen? What had we done to deserve this? Weren’t the past year’s four hurricanes enough?

“My friends on Facebook, the ones who called or emailed trying to give me hope, told me to keep trying, and tomorrow I might reach them. I felt hopeless. Why hadn’t they answered till now if other people had found out about their loved ones? They must be gone as everything around them.

“I got tired of staying inside. Went for a drive, but the car could not get me to my people. Could only get me around Houghton. Wasting gas, polluting the environment, and putting myself at risk for nothing. That’s not what my parents would have wanted me to do.

“Went back home. Got some rest and continued the calls. And early the next morning, a miracle happened. I got through. I reached Jessie, a former Tech student. She was alive. Quick talk as no electricity to recharge phones, but she said she’s okay. Continued trying. I got one of my aunties for five seconds. FIVE seconds. But I heard her voice. She was alive. Could the other ones still be? Continued calling and found her again. She said everyone was fine except for two they had not heard from, but that did not mean they were not okay. Sigh of relief. This was good news. They had survived. I regained strength.

“As emails of comfort and support kept pouring in, I continued to regain more strength. I had not lost everything. The country was still worth being rebuilt, for them, with them. Now that I was stronger, I could help others. Tried to locate their loved ones for them and offered advice and comfort. During the next day, got confirmation that all of my family was okay.

“Still, not everyone was as lucky as my family. Casualties are high, and there is lots of damage. But I have hope. Hope for Haiti. Because its citizens acted bravely in the face of this terrible tragedy. Because they were there for each other, and because since everything has started, every country in the world has been with us, from the closest ones–Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico, United States, Canada, Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia; some further away, like France and Spain; and some even further, like China.

“But closer to me, the response has also been amazing–the number of emails and calls from students, faculty and staff at Tech and organizations like NOSOTROS [Tech’s Hispanic Student Organization] have given me hope. Rebuilding will be tough, but we will do it together, with our countrymen and our friends and partners from around the world.

“Thanks to you all, and thanks for keeping Haiti in your thoughts and prayers.”

Flu Vaccine Clinics on Campus

Published in Tech Today

There will be several upcoming flu vaccine clinics available through Michigan Tech Counseling and Wellness Services and Portage Health.

The influenza vaccine (flu shot) is recommended for everyone, but especially for people living in close quarters, such as residence halls, and for people who have chronic health issues such as asthma and diabetes. The flu shot may not be given to people who have a severe allergy to eggs, as eggs are used in the manufacture of the vaccine.

Upcoming clinic dates:

Tuesday, Oct. 13
11 a.m to 4 p.m.
Memorial Union Peninsula Room

Wednesday, Oct. 21
10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Memorial Union Ballroom A

Wednesday, Oct. 21
4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Wads G17/19

Cost of the vaccine is $25, payable with cash, check (to Portage Health), or credit card.

Important note: Anyone under the age of 18 cannot be vaccinated without parental permission. If this pertains to you, request a permission form from wellness@mtu.edu .

For more information, contact Counseling and Wellness Services at 487-2538 or wellness@mtu.edu . To find out more about influenza and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccination recommendations, click here .

More information about the H1N1 flu, ways to prevent it, and what to do if you have influenza like illness can be found on the University’s web site.

Better Safe than Sorry: Swine Flu Preparation at Michigan Tech

Tech Today

Over a million Americans contracted swine flu between April and June 2009, most with no serious consequences, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control. But because the illness, caused by the H1N1 virus, is contagious and children and young adults have a higher hospitalization rate than adults (2.1 per 100,000 people for ages 5 to 24), schools and universities across the country are taking precautions in the event of an outbreak.

Here are some of the steps that are being taken at Michigan Tech:

* Hand sanitizer dispensers are being installed at the entrances to computer labs and other high-traffic locations. Everyone is encouraged to wash their hands regularly and have their own sanitizer for regular use.

* A hand washing and hygiene education plan is in place in the residence halls and will be expanded to include the rest of the campus.

* An H1N1 webpage is available with advice to prevent catching the flu, and what to do if you have the flu.

* A swine flu vaccination clinic is planned for fall semester, depending on the availability of the vaccine. It should occur in mid-October.

* As with any contagious illness, students and employees with flu-like symptoms are encouraged to isolate themselves as much as possible, either by staying home or in their residence hall room, until they feel better.

* Supervisors and faculty are being encouraged to be flexible in administering their absenteeism/excuse policy in the event of an outbreak.

The University communicates regularly with the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department and receives weekly updates on swine flu in the area. In addition, the University has a pandemic plan that will be activated in the event of an outbreak of H1N1 or other communicable diseases.

For more information about H1N1 and preparing for swine flu, visit any of the following sites: