MTU Board of Trustees Approves Plans for New Residence Hall, Nursing Program

By Rick White

Published

The new residence hall will serve as the east gateway to Michigan Tech and the Copper Country.

The Board of Trustees for Michigan Technological University voted to approve a number of new initiatives on campus, including plans to build a new residence hall for undergraduate students.

Michigan Tech's new residence hall will house more than 500 second-year and upper-division students, tentatively beginning in fall 2025. It will be located at the east side of campus on Highway 41, just east of the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts, and is slated to offer suites with both single- and double-occupancy bedrooms and semiprivate baths. Planning activities will begin this summer, and construction will start later this year.

According to Michigan Tech President Rick Koubek, increasing demand for a Michigan Tech education is driving the need for a new residence hall. "With enrollment expanding at the University, access to contemporary, affordable housing is a high priority for Michigan Tech," said Koubek. "This vote by the Board of Trustees supports an exciting era of growth for the University and enables us to meet the needs of future Tech students through our campus master planning efforts."

The University's last two incoming classes were the largest since 1984, and domestic applications for fall 2023 are up 33% from last year — a new record. Vice President for University Relations and Enrollment John Lehman said he expects this year's incoming class to be comparably strong both in number and academic credentials. He also echoed Koubek's sentiments about the sustained demand for a Michigan Tech education. "College enrollment in STEM and STEM-related degrees is on the rise, fueled by the realization that these fields offer the hottest job prospects," said Lehman. "As the demand for cutting-edge technology, innovation and scientific breakthroughs continues to shape the world, students who have a very real desire to make meaningful contributions to society are increasingly drawn to the fields that hold the key to the future."

A rendering of the new residence hall from above US 41 looking east. 

The MTU Board of Trustees' proactive commitment to expanded on-campus student housing will complement the smart, measured growth in enrollment the University anticipates over the next few decades, Lehman added.

Andrew Storer, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, said the residential nature of undergraduate programs is a critical part of the Michigan Tech experience. "As Michigan Tech grows, we recognize the need to provide expanded housing options to ensure that we can continue to deliver an outstanding experience to our students," Storer said.

H-STEM Engineering and Health Technologies Complex

The new residence hall is among a handful of near-term priorities outlined in Tech's campus master plan, which followed 19 months of input from a diverse group of campus stakeholders and community members at town halls, focus group meetings, surveys and reviews. The Board of Trustees approved the campus master plan at its meeting in October 2022. Other near-term priorities include renovations to existing academic and research spaces, as well as the Memorial Union Building; construction of the H-STEM Engineering and Health Technologies Complex, which is on schedule for completion by fall 2024; and construction of the Center for Convergence and Innovation, which will co-house the College of Computing and the College of Business.

Nursing Education Continues in the Copper Country

During the meeting, trustees also voted to approve a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. Pending approval from Michigan Tech's institutional accreditor and the Michigan Board of Nursing, the University will begin admitting students this fall.

MTU will rehome nearby Finlandia University's nursing program and build on its strong foundation. Discussions about the possibility began earlier this semester when Finlandia announced it would close after the spring 2023 semester. Storer said the possibility became a reality thanks to the joint efforts of many dedicated, forward-focused individuals across campus and in the community — who all agreed that the nursing program at Michigan Tech will be a major asset for the community and for the region.

"As a STEM-based research institution with outstanding clinical partners in the region, we are uniquely positioned to ensure that students who want to pursue a career in nursing will be able to do so in the Copper Country, and that local health care providers will have student nurses and graduates available."Andrew Storer, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

"Support for adding the nursing program at Michigan Tech has been universal," said Storer. "Everyone involved understood the importance of a four-year nursing program remaining in the local area, and also that Michigan Tech is the perfect university to offer such a program. We are proud to have this opportunity to support our community."

Storer said the University intends to bring six faculty members and one staff member over from Finlandia to lead the program. "We're thrilled to be launching the program with such an experienced group of faculty and staff," Storer said. "Having them on board from the outset will ensure that our nursing program delivers the high-quality, hands-on instruction that our students expect in a Michigan Tech education."

Michigan Technological University is a public research university founded in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and is home to more than 7,000 students from 55 countries around the world. Consistently ranked among the best universities in the country for return on investment, Michigan’s flagship technological university offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, computing, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is situated just miles from Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, offering year-round opportunities for outdoor adventure.

Last Modified 3:13 PM, May 24, 2023