Board of Trustees Hails Graduates, Passes Budget

At a meeting of Michigan Tech's Board of Trustees on Friday, April 29, the Board celebrated nearly 1,000 students who were to be awarded degrees at Spring Commencement on Saturday, including more than 200 graduate students. 

At the meeting, the Board approved two new degree programs, a Master of Science in Cybersecurity and a PhD in Applied Physics.

The MS in Cybersecurity is an interdisciplinary program involving faculty from the Departments of Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering and from the School of Technology. The program is expected to broaden students’ opportunity for future career development.

The PhD in Applied Physics is a spinoff of the Physics Department’s current PhD in Engineering Physics. It will replace the Engineering Physics program, broadening the scope of that program to meet the needs of students focusing on interdisciplinary areas of engineering and science, including nanotechnology, photonics, plasmonics and biophysics.

The Board approved a general operating fund budget of $200,057,777 for the 2017 fiscal year, which begins July 1. The operating budget is based on anticipated state appropriations of $48,854,700, approximately 4.3 percent more than last year.

Included in the budget is an average 4.8 percent increase in tuition and fees meeting the requirements of the Governor’s proposed tuition cap. In-state tuition and fees for first-year students will increase by 2.4 percent, with the increase for upperclassmen totaling 6.9 percent. Graduate tuition will increase by 5 percent. 

The operating budget is based on anticipated state appropriations of $48,854,700, approximately $1.6 million more than last year.  

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Testing of Portage Lake Lift Bridge Planned to Finish This Week

Nighttime tests of the Portage Lake Lift Bridge will continue this week as part of ongoing maintenance work. The testing will likely result in brief delays for motorists.

The contractor for the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) suspended test lifts after 3 p.m. Friday to avoid traffic impacts during Michigan Tech's graduation weekend. The contractor will resume after 7 p.m. today (May 2), performing test lifts of the bridge span that require brief closures of the bridge.

Motorists should expect delays of 10 to 15 minutes, roughly equivalent to a standard bridge lift for marine traffic. Test lifts will be limited to taking place between the hours of 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. Traffic will be allowed to clear and resume normal flow between test lifts.

The $8.4 million project involves upgrades and preventive maintenance on the Portage Lake Lift Bridge between Houghton and Hancock.

The project started in mid-December 2014 and was scheduled to be completed last month. Recent weather interfered with project completion; dry weather conditions are needed to conduct bridge span balance testing. The project is now set to be completed this week.

TIAA Fund Changes

Recently you received a letter from TIAA announcing that Michigan Tech will be making a few changes to some of the funds offered under the TIAA Retirement Program. To give you time to learn more about these changes and how they will impact your account, we have decided to postpone the effective date of these changes to July 8, 2016.

To learn more about these changes and to update your account, you may speak to one of TIAA’s financial consultants over the phone or in person by calling TIAA at 800-842- 2252, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m and 10 p.m. or Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (EDT).

You may also update your account online.


Log in to the secure section of the website at, where you can change the direction of future contributions and/or transfer existing assests.

In Person:

To schedule an individual consultation, call 800-732- 8353, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.  (EDT). You can also schedule a meeting online at

Please feel free to contact Benefit Services at should you have any questions or concerns.

Bioathlon to be Held Wednesday

Sixty students from 15 high schools in the Central and Western Upper Peninsula will arrive on the Michigan Tech campus Wednesday, May 4, for the 27th Annual Bioathlon competition.

Sponsored by the University’s Department of Biological Sciences, Bioathlon serves as a means to stimulate interest and problem solving in biology among young people. Simultaneously with Bioathlon, a workshop will be held for the accompanying biology teachers organized by Stacy Cotey, academic advisor in Biological Sciences.

Bioathlon Coordinator Jeff Lewin explains the contest’s format. “Each team will consist of four students who have not had formal class work in biology beyond the traditional sophomore high school general biology course. The competition will consist of four problems—dissection, molecular biology, field identification and medical laboratory science,” Lewin says.

The problems were designed by Tech graduate and undergraduate students. The Dissection Problem will take place in the R.L Smith Building (MEEM) room 1101. The problem was designed by Biological Sciences graduate student Travis Wakeham and assisted by undergraduates Braden Paterson and Beth Chaney with input from John Durocher (Bio Sci). Molecular Bilogy will take place in Dow 710, designed by Biological Sciences graduate student Raja Bollepugu assisted by undergraduates Evan Bachman and Catrina Latuszek. The Field Identification program will take place in the forest near the SDC. It was designed by Biological Sciences graduate student Tony Matthys assisted by graduates Ryan Van Gothem and Taylor Zallek. The Medical Laboratory Science problem takes place in R.L Smith (MEEM) 1103 and was designed and proctored by Medical Laboratory undergraduate students Samatha Doyle, Shae Thomson, Joshua Bowman and Laura Kiewin with input from Karyn Fay (Bio Sci) and Lewin.

Funding for the Bioathlon is provided by Michigan Tech’s Admissions and Biological Sciences departments, the Michigan Tech Fund and alumni Mark Cowan, MD, Robert C. and Kathyrn DellAngelo, MD, Olive Kimball, Nancy Auer (Bio Sci) and Janice Glime (Professor Emerita Bio Sci).

Visit the website for more information.

Christa Walck, Max Seel Art Exhibit

Retiring Professor Max Seel (Physics) and retiring Professor and Associate Provost Christa Walck (SBE) will exhibit their artwork at the Copper Country Community Arts Center in Hancock during May. The exhibit is titled "Beyond the Fifth Floor."

An opening reception is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 12 at the Arts Center. The campus and community are welcome.

Employee Benefits and Community Service Fair

The annual Employee Benefits and Community Services Fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m Thursday, May 5 in the Isle Royale Ballroom in the Memorial Union Building. 

Visit more than 30 exhibitors hosting a vast array of service organizations including health and wellness, financial and retirement services, life insurance, real estate, recreation and theater.

The fair is free and open to employees and retirees, spouses, partners and adult dependents. Attendees may register for one of many door prizes.

All employees are welcome. Up to one hour of University Release time is available for employees to attend.

For more details and to see a list of vendors and door prizes, visit Human Resources.

Off-boarding Employees as a Standardized Process

The spring semester has come to an end, and here at the office of Continuous Improvement two of our Student Process Improvement Coordinators have graduated. When an employee is leaving our office, we have a standardized process for off-boarding to make sure there are no loose ends (returned keys, etc.). Our process was recently revised and improved to make it smoother for our employees. Even though it is a standardized process, there is always room for improvement.

The office of Continuous Improvement would love to help your department with off-boarding and make it a standardized process which is better for both employee and employer. We also help with anything Lean or Continuous Improvement related, so feel free to refresh as we move into the summer semester.

To learn more about Lean and Continuous Improvement, check out the Office of Continuous Improvement webpage or contact us at 7-3180 or

Agen Signs Free Agent Deal with NFL's Kansas City Chiefs

Michigan Tech defensive lineman Tanner Agen signed with the Kansas City Chiefs as a free agent at the conclusion of the NFL Draft Saturday night.

Agen was named to the All-GLIAC Second Team as a senior after leading Michigan Tech in sacks (5.5) while finishing third on the team in tackles with 62. The Kaukauna, Wisconsin, native notched 137 tackles during his four years with the Huskies – including 28 tackles for loss – and had 10 career sacks.

Agen and the Chiefs will begin rookie camps this month.

For more Michigan Tech Athletics, visit

Yumuang Selected to All-GLIAC Honorable Mention Team

Michigan Tech men's tennis senior Built Yumuang(Bangkok, Thailand) has been named to the All-GLIAC Honorable Mention Team, it was announced today Sunday by the league.

Yumuang compiled a 5-4 GLIAC record while playing at the No. 3 singles position for the Huskies this spring. Additionally, Yumuang notched a 4-5 in GLIAC matches at No. 2 doubles where he was paired with Nick Kremkow or Ricardo Paes.

The All-GLIAC Honorable Mention citation was the third in a row for Yumuang.

Michigan Tech finished the 2016 season with a 5-11 overall record.

For more on Michigan Tech Athletics visit

School Record, Provisional Mark Highlight Hillsdale Relays for Track Teams

The Michigan Tech track and field teams battled through difficult conditions last weekend at the Hillsdale College Relays and still managed to turn in some impressive performances at the meet by a record-setting performance by Matt Pahl. The freshman ran the 5,000-meter in 14:52.96 – the best time by a freshman in Michigan Tech history and the sixth-fastest mark overall – while placing second in the race.
Jason Saliga impressed the coaching staff by completing the 3,000-meter steeplechase championship in 9:10.03, the fourth-best mark by a Husky all-time. The result was good for a provisional time and will put him in the top-20 among all NCAA Division II competitors in that event.
Casey Buckner took home first-place honors in javelin thanks to the fifth-longest throw in program history of 181-04.
Liz Bloch was also recognized by the coaching staff for her performance in the 800-meter, which she competed in 2:15.20.
"The weather conditions weren't the most favorable for certain events, but I'm still happy with how we performed," said Head Coach Joe Haggenmiller. "There were a lot of impressive results by our athletes and it's good to see us really building towards the GLIAC Championships next weekend."
Michigan Tech will travel to Big Rapids, Michigan  for the GLIAC Championships Wednesday through Friday.
For more on Michigan Tech Athletics visit


City of Houghton Summer Shuttle Schedule

Beginning today, the City of Houghton will operate its summer shuttle schedule. The on-demand service is from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Call 482-6092 to make a reservation. They will also run the downtowner shuttle service from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m Monday-Friday. See the schedule for more information and rates.


 Facilities announces Power Outages

Michigan Tech Facilities is performing preventive maintenance on the campus high voltage lines on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights (May 4-6).

During these times several buildings will be without power, network and phone service. Michigan Tech IT and Facilities recommend that occupants exit buildings prior to the outage and turn off all electronic devices that are plugged into outlets.

To find out details and the complete schedule of outage times and buildings affected, read the original Tech Today story.


Memorial Union Closed

The Memorial Union is closed today (May 2) so staff can attend the Auxiliary Services annual Professional Development Day. This includes the Campus Bookstore. The building will reopen at 7 a.m. tomorrow (May 3) with regular summer operating hours. Click here for summer hours.


Library Building Closure

Due to maintenance on the campus high voltage lines, 
the Van Pelt and Opie Library building will close at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 4 and Thursday, May 5. No overnight access will be available on these days.


Biological Sciences Seminar—Cecon Mahapatra

Cecon Mahapatra will present at the Biological Sciences Seminar at 9 a.m. tomorrow (May 3) in DOW 642. His presentation is titled "Metabolism of Environmental Chemicals: Biotransformation, Detoxification and Biodegradation."

On the Road

The Center for Technology & Training (CTT), part of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, sent Software Engineers Sean Thorpe and Mike Pionke to provide Roadsoft on-site technical assistance to the Livingston, Eaton, Barry and Missaukee County Road Commissions and the cities of Rochester Hills and Auburn during the week of April 18.

This is the third year the CTT has conducted the semi-annual Roadsoft On-site Tech Assist visits, which are hands-on sessions with agency specific topics. Besides helping Roadsoft customers, the sessions provide the CTT's software engineers with valuable information about client workflow and challenges; this leads to improved capability and usability of the Roadsoft program.

Roadsoft is a roadway asset management software suite for collecting, storing and analyzing data associated with transportation infrastructure. Roadsoft is developed and supported by the CTT with funding from MDOT.

IT Connect

Turning Off Equipment Prior to the Power Outage

Michigan Tech IT wants to remind everyone about the upcoming scheduled power outage. During the outage, all network and phone services will be unavailable.  Signs have been posted on the doors of the affected buildings. The dates and times for the outage are:

  • Wednesday, May 4 at 5 PM - Thursday, May 5 at 6 AM

  • Thursday, May 5 at 5 PM - Friday, May 6 at 6 AM

  • Friday, May 6 at 5 PM - Midnight

You can find the original notice here.

IT recommends that you turn off the following equipment if your building is affected by the power outage: computers, copiers, printers, and scanners. IT will issue shutdown commands to the affected computers starting at 5 PM each day.

As always, we are here to support you. If you have any questions about the power outage schedule, please contact us at or call 7-1111.