Presidential Search Committee to Hold Town Hall Meetings

The next step in the search for a new president of Michigan Tech takes place this month with a series of town hall meetings designed to gather input from the University community and the general public, held over two days on the Michigan Tech Campus. Two additional town hall meetings are scheduled for Lower Michigan.

On April 5, University President Glenn Mroz announced he is stepping down at the end of June 2018 from the position he has held for more than 13 years to return to the classroom. Immediately, the Board of Trustees launched a search for the University’s 10th president.

A 14-member Presidential Search Committee has been appointed and the search firm of Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates has been hired to assist the committee with its search.

From the very beginning, the Board of Trustees has sought input from all members of the University community regarding the University’s values and priorities as well as the desired characteristics of the next president. 

On Wednesday and Thursday, (Sept. 13 and 14), consultants from Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates will be on campus to preside over town hall meetings. The consultants will also facilitate regional town hall meetings in the Grand Rapids area and Ann Arbor, Sept. 19 and 20 respectively.

In Houghton, the meetings will be held from 9:45 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday (Sept. 13) and 7:30 a.m. to noon Thursday (Sept. 14). Separate meetings will be held for the University Senate, administration officials, staff council, faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students and alumni, and there will be a meeting open to the public.

The open town hall meeting will be held from 9:30-10:15 a.m. on Thursday (Sept. 14) in the MUB Ballroom B2-3. A schedule of the town hall meetings is available online.

The search committee plans to hold initial interviews with candidates during the winter months and to provide a slate of two to four semi-finalist candidates to the full Board of Trustees in February. 

The Board of Trustees will then interview the semi-finalist candidates and make the final selection of a president of Michigan Tech to succeed President Glann Mroz when he return to Michigan Tech faculty at the end of June 2018.

You can nominate a candidate for Michigan Tech's presidency via the website. Additional information is available on the Presidential Search website.

International Food and Fun at Parade of Nations

Foods from around the world—including dishes from Iran, Indonesia, China, India, Ghana, Turkey, Nepal, Bangladesh, Africa and Ukraine—are on the menu at this year’s Parade of Nations Multicultural Festival.

The Multicultural Festival, starting at noon Saturday, Sept. 16 at Houghton's Dee Stadium, follows the Parade.

International entertainment is also on tap, with the Kivajat Finnish folk dancers, belly dancing by 47 North, a Bollywood extravaganza performed by Michigan Tech's Indian Student Association, a Keweenaw Bay Indian Community performance, the Michigan Tech Dance Team, Maple Sugar Folk and singer Jan Arnold. 

There will also be a crafts tent outside the Dee, and the upstairs ballroom in the stadium will feature quieter seating for diners and a series of Gappa talks by international students from Michigan Tech. Gappa is a Hindi word meaning “chit-chat,” a chance for Multicultural Festival guests to learn about and interact informally with international students.

This is the 28th annual Parade of Nations, a celebration of the international heritage and multi-cultural essence of the community. Parade of Nations is sponsored by Michigan Tech, Finlandia University, and community businesses and residents.

Read the full story.

Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award Winner To Speak at Michigan Tech

Kurt D. Fausch, author of "For the Love of Rivers: A Scientist's Journey," will visit Michigan Tech Tuesday and Wednesday {Sept. 12-13). He will give a scientific talk titled "What is Essential About Rivers for Fish and Humans: Lessons on connectivity and connections from four decades," from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in the U.J. Noblet Forestry Building, room G002.

He will give a public seminar about his book from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC), room 202. "For the Love of Rivers: A Scientist's Journey" explores Fausch's experiences as a field biologist and his collaborations with scientists in the U.S. and Japan, while explaining the science of interconnected ecosystems—rivers and forests—and why they are so important to humans. 

"For the Love of Rivers" is the winner of the 2016 Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award. Fausch is professor emeritus in the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology at Colorado State University.
In 2016, Fausch received the American Fisheries Society Award of Excellence. He also contributed to the PBS documentary RiverWebs


The Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors (ACSHF) forum will be held from 2-3 p.m. Monday (Sept. 11) in Meese 109. Elizabeth Veinott (CLS) presents "Person, Cognitive, and Situation Factors in the Psychology of Deferred Decisions". 

Many decision aids remain on the shelf. In order to design better decision tools and strategies, we need to understand how people make decisions. While decision and behavioral economics research has a productive 60-year history, most theories of choice (e.g., expected utility, prospect theory) focus on forced choice situations (choose A, B, or C etc).

Whether people are deciding about evacuating during a natural disaster, purchasing a car or choosing a job; the option to do nothing is always there. However, people often have the option of not deciding or deferring their choices. These choices violate expected utility theory.

This talk covers several experiments in our lab designed to better understand the individual, cognitive and situational factors for delayed decisions in order to improve our theories of choice.

Justin Fitch Memorial Ruck March

The second annual Justin Fitch Memorial Ruck March is from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23 starting at Chutes and Ladders Park in Houghton.

Justin Fitch was a 2005 Michigan Tech graduate and retired Army major who fought for public awareness of veteran's issues and sadly lost his battle with cancer in 2015.

The goal of this march is to raise awareness for veterans who suffer from PTSD and to raise funds to support Active Heroes; an organization dedicated to providing support to veterans who suffer from mental illnesses. The march is sponsored by Michigan Tech's ROTC.

Every day, 22 veterans take their own lives. Active Heroes is working towards lowering those numbers through a variety of programs and your support is what makes that all possible. Come participate on Sept. 23 if you wish to support this incredible cause.

To donate, visit our website or Facebook page, "Carry the Fallen–Houghton."


Student Activities Office Closing at Noon Today

The Student Activities Office (MUB 112) will close at noon today (Sept. 8), for K-Day.

The office will reopen on Monday (Sept. 11).

If you have any questions or concerns, email Rochelle. We hope to see you all at K-Day.


Expansion of the Michigan Tech Testing Center

The Michigan Tech Testing Center has grown to meet the needs of our students. We are proud to announce the opening of a second location in 215 Rekhi which will now serve as the primary Testing Center with 30 seats. 

We invite you to come see this new space and meet the new staff who will be available to answer your questions from 10 a.m. to noon this Monday (Sept. 11). Light refreshments will be available.

Job Postings

Job Postings for Friday, September 8, 2017

Staff and faculty job descriptions are available in Human Resources. For more information regarding staff positions, call 7-2280 or email  

For more information regarding faculty positions, contact the academic department in which the position is posted.

Web Developer/Programmer, University Marketing & Communications. Apply online.

Office Assistant 6, Human Resources. Apply online.

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer, which includes providing equal opportunity for protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.

In Print

Adam Feltz (CLS) has co-authored an article "The Means/Side-Effect Distinction in Moral Cognition" which was accepted for publication in the journal Cognition.

New Funding

Miguel Levy (Physics/MSE/CQP) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $82,445 research and development contract from the Air Force: Office of Scientific Research. The project is titled "Materials Processing for Heterogeneous Integration of Optical Isolators: Phase 2." This is a two-year project.

On The Road

Rail Program organizes Inaugural Midwest Rail Conference

From Aug. 15-17 the Michigan Tech Rail Transportation Program (RTP) worked with Michigan Department of Transportation, the National University Rail Center and the Transportation Research Board Freight Rail Transportation Committee (AR040) to organize the inaugural Midwest Rail Conference.

Under RTP's leadership the planning committee that consisted of rail industry, government agencies, and other stakeholders interested in promoting the industry brought together more than thirty speakers and over 200 participants in Kalamazoo, Michigan to focus on the conference them, Midwest Connections: Passenger and Freight Rail Look to the Future! RTP Faculty, Staff and Students led the conference coordination and logistics. Dr. Pasi Lautala functioned as Conference Co-chair, David Nelson and Amanda Kerttu were the lead coordinators and six students (Aaron Dean, Darian Reed, Sangpil Ko, Alawudin Salim, Alex Christmas and Kyle Dick) came to Kalamazoo to assist....and to enjoy the conference.

The conference opened on Tuesday morning with a golf outing with proceeds going to the conference's student scholarship fund. Tuesday afternoon was filled with committee and organizational meetings, and the day was capped off with an evening reception at the Bell's Brewery Backroom. Wednesday featured the technical content of the conference at the Western Michigan University Fetzer Center. The program included a dozen plenary and breakout sessions featuring industry experts in a host of passenger and freight rail topics. The keynote address was given by Joseph McHugh, VP of State Supported Services-Business Development for Amtrak. The event wrapped up with a full day of field trips featuring the MDOT/Amtrak Wolverine Higher Speed Rail Corridor, and a visit to the Little River Steam Railroad in Coldwater, Michigan.

Terrific Teaching at Tech

Editor's Note: Each Friday during fall semester, the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) will post a short note highlighting a teaching resource or event intended to help instructors teach better.

This week, I want to draw your attention to a new award and event series that will be offered throughout fall semester so that you can mark your calendars.

The first CTL Instructional Award Presentation Series will take place as follows:

  • Sept. 26, 10 a.m.:  Curriculum Development and Assessment:  Tara Bal – School of Forest Resources and Environmental Sciences
  • Oct. 10, 1 p.m.:  Innovative or Out of Class Teaching:  Don Lafreniere – Social Sciences
  • Nov. 30 (time TBD): Large Class Instruction:  Glen Archer, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Each recipient will make a 30-45 minute presentation, sharing the work they are doing that has drawn this recognition. Following each presentation, each will be formally recognized and will subsequently receive $1000 in additional compensation. Registration information for these events will be forthcoming.

Here’s some background for those interested. Until several years ago, the Fredrick D. Williams Award for Teaching Innovation was given to a single instructor who was bringing new technologies or teaching methods to campus.   With the implementation of Canvas and the push for blended learning, the award was discontinued mostly because there was so much innovation happening in so many places, it would have been extremely difficult—and maybe inappropriate—to single anyone out.

At the same time, academic leadership continues to recognize that eligibility for our main teaching awards (nomination to the Academy of Teaching Excellence) tend to be driven mostly by student feedback—which is great.

But other instructional contributions, by their nature, are unlikely to be rewarded through that process.   We need to recognize not only instructors who are trying something really new, but also teachers in large classes (where student evaluations are known to be lower), and those that do the behind-the-scenes work of curriculum innovation and assessment. 

During spring 2017, academic deans were encouraged to recognize instructors making contributions in these areas as part of the Deans’ Teaching Showcase.

CTL and Provost’s office members then selected Tara, Glen and Don to make presentations from a pool composed of the Showcase and those nominated to the Academy of Teaching Excellence.   

We hope to make this an annual cycle, both recognizing a broader set of important instructional contributions while sharing best practices across campus. 

We hope you’ll make plans to attend as many of these presentations as your schedule allows.