Michigan Tech Board of Trustees Hails Graduates, Passes Budget

At a meeting of Michigan Technological University’s Board of Trustees on Friday, April 29, 2016, the Board celebrated nearly 1,000 students who will be awarded degrees at Spring Commencement on Saturday, April 30, including more than 200 graduate students.

Two New Graduate Programs

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.

Operating Fund Budget

The Board approved a general operating fund budget of $200,057,777 for the 2017 fiscal year, which begins July 1, 2016. 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.

The Board authorized the University administration to revise the operating budget to reflect any change in anticipated state appropriations or tuition cap. “If the state appropriations or tuition cap situations change, Michigan Tech will revise the budget and notify the Board,” said President Glenn Mroz. 

Both Board Chair Julie Fream and Michigan Tech President Glenn Mroz paid tribute to Dale Tahtinen, retiring vice president for governmental affairs and secretary to the Board of Trustees.

Dale Tahtinen
Dale Tahtinen


 "We want to thank Dale for his 25 years of distinguished service," said Fream. "Dale's guiding influence, his gift in being able to size up a situation and provide sage advice, and his ability to diffuse most any situation have been tremendous assets to the Board.

Mroz added:  "We are so grateful to Dale for all that he has done for Michigan Tech through the years."  Those present then gave Tahtinen a standing ovation.

 In other business, the Board:

  • Approved emeritus rank for six faculty members who have retired: Donald Beck and Max Seel, Physics; Martin Jurgenson, Peter Laks and Rolf Peterson, School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science; and Christa Walck, School of Business and Economics.
  • Approved appointments from associate professor with tenure to professor with tenure for: Guilan Tang, Biological Sciences; Qiuying Sha, Jiguang Sun and Fabrizio Zanello, Mathematical Sciences; Yu Wang, Materials Science and Engineering; Fernado Ponta, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics; Hao (Howard) Qi, School of Business and Economics; Oliver Gailing, School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science; Abdul Nasser Al araje, School of Technology; and Christopher Plummer, Visual and Performing Arts.
  • Approved appointments from assistant professor without tenure to associate professor with tenure for: Xiaoqing Tang, Biological Sciences; Feng Zhao, Biomedical Engineering; Timothy Eisele, Chemical Engineering; Tarun Dam, Chemistry; Qingli Dai and Raymond Swartz, Civil and Environmental Engineering; Myounghoon Jeon, Cognitive and Learning Sciences; Laura Brown, Computer Science; Durdu Guney, Timothy Havens and Chee-Wooi Ten, Electrical and Computer Engineering; Ramon Fonkoue and Scott Marratto, Humanities; Qinghui Chen, Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology; Alexander Labovsky, Mathematical Sciences; Soonkwan Hong, School of Business and Economics; Molly Cavaleri, School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science; and Steve Walton, Social Sciences.
  • Promoted non-tenure track faculty members Sheila Milligan, School of Business and Economics,  to Senior Lecturer and Ann Humes, Mathematical Sciences,  to Principal Lecturer.
  • Elected Terry Woychowski  as Board chair and Linda Kennedy as vice chair.
  • Named Roberta Dessellier as Board secretary, replacing Dale Tahtinen, who is retiring.

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, the University offers more than 125 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.