NMU sets room/board rates, adds cannabis program

MARQUETTE — The Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees approved room and board rates for the 2024-25 academic year Friday.

Residence halls and campus apartments are projected to be at full occupancy.

The board also approved a new 16-credit online certificate program in cannabis agriculture.

The cost of a standard double room with the base required meal plan and comprehensive fee will be $6,193 per semester, an increase of $247. The full rate schedule for all housing options will be available at nmu.edu/housing/rates.

“Our goals with this recommendation are to maintain high-quality housing facilities and services available to residents; continue to offer excellent meal plans with flexible options; strengthen the foundation for future capital projects, repairs and deferred maintenance; and address increasing operating costs,” said Gavin Leach, vice president for finance and administration.

Some of the factors driving housing costs include increased expenditures on financial aid for students and the rising cost of food, utilities and personnel compensation, including student employee wages, Leach added.

The cannabis agriculture certificate that will go into effect this fall complements other College of Technology and Occupational Sciences-related programs in controlled indoor agriculture and cannabis and plant-based wellness operations.

“Our goal since the beginning was to build out a bachelor’s degree relating to applied work in the cannabis industry,” said Steve VandenAvond, associate provost and dean of TOS. “The first two certificates were really focused on more of the retail end; now we’re moving up to the supply chain with agriculture.

“We’re hoping to launch a bachelor’s degree from this that will come before you next year to start in the fall of 2025. It will be a combination of the four certificates that we have in cannabis-related programming, all offered online.”

In other action at Friday’s meeting, the board:

— Approved a finance committee recommendation that university operations continue at budget levels no greater than the current fiscal year, except for negotiated contractual increases, until new general fund, housing and residence life, designated fund and auxiliary operations budgets are approved.

— Were notified by President Brock Tessman that the new alma mater anthem that will debut in September as part of the university’s 125th anniversary celebration is “Northern Pride” by NMU professor Dwight Brady. His piece was selected from 14 original submissions to a selection committee.

— Renewed these charter school academies: Francis Reh and East Shore Leadership, both for five years through June 30, 2029, and North Star Montessori and George Crocket, both for two years, with an opportunity for an additional term of up to three years with evidence that obligations in the charter contract are satisfied. Trustees also agreed to appoint Jimmy Greene to the board of Francis Reh Public School Academy through June 30, 2027, and Tessa Keshick to the board of Nah Tah Wahsh Public School Academy through June 30, 2025.

— Approved the rental agreement between NMU and the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget, for the Department of Attorney General, from June 1-May 31, 2025, located in Suites 1201 and 1202 of the Northern Center.

— Confirmed the annual purchase for the notebook computer program of 3,050 additional ThinkPad T14, Gen4 and 315 ThinkPad P16s, Gen 2 — including warranty, engineering services, software imaging and shipping costs — along with 116 Apple MacBook Pro units.

— Heard about early philanthropy at Northern as part of Professor Emeritus Russ Magnaghi’s “A Moment in NMU History” presentation.


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