Open Enrollment Begins Monday, Nov. 4

Open enrollment begins on Nov. 4 for choosing your benefit options beginning Jan. 1. Please plan to explore and evaluate your benefit options and cost during Tech Select educational sessions. For the most recent information on 2014 benefits including the schedule of the educational sessions, please visit

Open Enrollment.

Information will be added to the site as it becomes available, but here is a brief synopsis of benefit changes and key decisions you will need to make for 2014--

There is no change in retirement benefits for 2014; Michigan Tech will continue to match up to 7.5 percent of your salary that you decide to save for retirement. Tax-deferred 403b and 457b plans are also available without a match should you wish to save more for retirement. Keep in mind there are IRS maximums you are allowed to contribute (tax deferred).

There is no change in life insurance, dependent life insurance, voluntary accidental death and disability, short-term disability and long-term disability, but you will need to review and elect the plans that fit your situation best in the coming year.

Tech will continue to offer both the PPO and HDHP health insurance plans.

The HDHP will continue with no monthly premium; you will need to decide what amount if any, you put in your tax-sheltered Health Savings Account.

For the PPO plan, the premium will increase from $108 to $112 per person per month.

For eye care, the declining allowance of $350 will be reinstated; you will be able to use this amount in multiple purchases.

Dental coverage remains unchanged

All wellness programs will continue in 2014.

Again this year, you will be able to select your parking plan and pay through payroll deduction.

Open Enrollment is always a good time to review your benefits and make any necessary changes that will fit your needs. NEW this year--if you do not desire to make any changes for 2014 in your current benefits, you do not have to complete open enrollment. Your current elections will continue.

Keep in mind -- Healthcare and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) must be elected during open enrollment and cannot be added/changed mid-year without a qualifying family status change. Those must be elected during the open enrollment period in order for those to be active in 2014. Health Savings Account contributions will not automatically continue into 2014 without an election. However, these contributions can be added/changed at any time during the year.

If you have any questions about benefits, eligibility and/or annual enrollment, please contact the Benefits Office at 7-2517 or

Reminder: Parking Lot 30A becoming a Faculty/Staff Lot

Effective Jan. 1, general parking lot 30A, which is located behind the facilities building and heating plant, will become a $125 faculty/staff-only parking lot. The lot is within the core campus parking area and has become very popular, resulting in ongoing parking issues. Vehicles are parking in a manner which obstructs access for central receiving deliveries and are overflowing outside of lot constraints into the Husky Motor rental vehicle lot. Those who have purchased a general pass may park in lots 23, 24 and 95; faculty/staff can also choose to upgrade to the $125 permit.

Winter Campus Parking Notification

Effective Nov. 1 to April 30, parking will be prohibited on campus between 2 a.m. and 7 a.m. to allow for snow removal. This regulation will be in effect regardless of the amount of snow on the ground.

The only exceptions to this parking regulation are as follows:

1. in designated parking areas for occupants of University housing
2. employees working on an assigned shift and parking in assigned overnight parking spaces
3. anyone issued a special overnight parking permit by Public Safety & Police Services or Transportation Services

All other vehicles violating this regulation will be ticketed and may be towed at the owner's expense.

For any questions or comments regarding the winter campus overnight parking regulation call Transportation Services 7-1441 or Public Safety and Police Services 7-2216.

Science and Engineering Excitement for UP Students

by Erika Vichcales, student writer

Children running around with huge smiles on their faces, the sound of laughter and tons of exclaimed "whoas" sounds like a scene from an amusement park. Or in Michigan Tech's case, a Science and Engineering Festival.

October is STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Awareness month in Michigan. All month long, events have been held across the state, and right here in the Copper Country, to help youth become more interested in STEM subjects.

The Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC) hosted a Water Festival for 300 high school students, grades 9 to 12, from schools as far away as Ironwood. And a Science and Engineering Festival gave nearly 400 students in grades 3 to 5 a chance to see how captivating STEM subjects can be.

See the full story online.

Reminder: Tai Chi Introductory Session

Tai Chi is a unique exercise that can help us maximize our health, avoid injury and improve the quality of our lives. Open to all ages, this session is a beginning level of instruction and an introduction to the art.

Larry Wall has practiced and taught Tai Chi for 41 years. He will present an interactive, introduction session on Monday, Nov. 4, at noon in the MUB Alumni Lounge. Registration is appreciated, but not required.

Loose, casual clothing with comfortable shoes is recommended. Water will be provided.

Reminder: First Friday Social Today at the Rozsa Center Art Gallery

Faculty, staff, retirees and graduate students are invited to join the staff of International Programs and Services for the November First Friday University Social today from 4 to 6 p.m., in the Rozsa Center Art Gallery. Complementary soda, snacks, and a cash bar will be available and you can also check out the metal art from featured artist Mike Sluder.

First Friday University Socials, started in 2006, provide a casual setting for members of the campus community to get together informally, share their work and other interests and get to know each other. These informal gatherings can lead to more productive work relationships, an appreciation for diversity and a chance to meet some new friends. Next month’s event on Dec. 6 will be sponsored by the Center for Precollege Outreach. February is still available to sponsor. Find out more about sponsoring a social, what First Friday University Socials are and this year’s schedule online.

Experience "1913 Calumet" in Music With the Superior Wind Symphony

In "1913 Re-visited" the Superior Wind Symphony looks at the year 1913 from a wind music perspective, with the advantage of hindsight. See the Superior Wind Symphony, under the direction of Mike Christianson, as they take a musical tour of the historic year of 1913, at the Calumet Theatre, on Saturday, November 9th, at 7:30 p.m.
To receive tickets, call 487-2073, go online, or visit Ticketing Operations at Michigan Tech’s Student Development Complex (SDC).

The Rozsa Welcomes Soundscape Ecologist Bernie Krause

What is soundscape ecology? It is the “Great Animal Orchestra,” the sounds of wild places that have been the focus of Bernie Krause’s research for decades. The Rozsa Center is proud to present an evening with Bernie Krause, on Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 7:30 p.m.
To receive tickets, call 487-2073, go online, or visit Ticketing Operations at Michigan Tech’s Student Development Complex (SDC).

Michigan Tech Recreation Hosts School's Out

Coinciding with the full day or half day off for most local schools on Friday, Nov. 8, Michigan Tech Recreation is hosting its second "School's Out, the SDC's In!" event. For $8, local youth receive an SDC "School's Out" all inclusive Day pass which includes access to the pool, multipurpose room and ice rink. Children 11 and under require adult supervision. The Fitness Center is available to students 16 and and older only. Highlights include:

Multipurpose Room (basketball, volleyball & more*) - 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m.
Open Skate - 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. (skate rental not available)
Open Swim - 8 to 9 a.m., 10 to 11:30 a.m., and 2 to 9 p.m.
Meal deals at the Coaches' Corner (additional charge)

Participants who show their School's Out wristband at the Ticket Office only pay $8 for the hockey game Friday, Nov. 8 versus Michigan State.

For more information, visit Michigan Tech Recreation or call 487-2975.

In the News

Professor Mike Roggemann (ECE) is featured in an Accuweather story,"Spooky or Science: The Paulding Light Investigation," which addresses a 2010 study by ECE students on the Paulding Light. See the full story online.


Kristina Owens, a Michigan Tech Peace Corps Master's International program alumna and a member of the National Peace Corps Association board, mentioned Michigan Tech in an interview in WorldView, the NPCA newsletter. See the full story online.

On the Road

Chad Norman, Science and Technology Education and Outreach Specialist at the Michigan Tech Center for Science and Environmental Outreach, attended the FabLearn Conference at Stanford University. Oct. 27 to 28. The conference focused on digital fabrication in education and how to incorporate advanced technology into K-12 school programs.


Rail Transportation Director Pasi Lautala presented at two venues in Michigan this week. On Tuesday, Oct. 29. Lautala presented to the House Standing Committee Meeting for Transportation and Infrastructure in Lansing. His presentation was titled “Freight (Rail) Transportation in the State of Michigan” and focused on the status, needs, challenges, and growth of the freight rail industry in Michigan.

Lautala presented in Sault Ste. Marie on Thursday, Oct. 31, at the Bi-National Twin Sault’s Regional Conference. The conference focuses on Bi-National economic development and initiatives in the Canadian and US corridors and is sponsored by the Upper Peninsula Economic Development Alliance (UPEDA) as well as Upward Initiative. Lautala presented in a panel on the topic of Strategic Initiatives in a Bi-National Transportation Corridor.