More Than 6 percent Have Responded to Climate Survey in First Week


More than 550 faculty, staff and students have participated in Michigan Tech's Assessment of Working, Living and Learning in the first week the Climate Survey has been active. 

Susan Rankin of Rankin and Associates, the consultant hired to conduct the campus-wide assessment, stated that as of Friday (Oct. 20), more than 215 staff members, about 17.2 percent, have filled out the 20-30 minute survey.

After the first week, more than 9.7 percent of faculty have participated in the assessment. In the category of Academic Administrators with faculty rank, 28.1 percent have participated thus far.

The survey results will provide insights about the attitudes, beliefs, experiences and perceptions of faculty, staff and students and how those affect life on campus. 

Participation in terms of percentage is nearly equal for both undergraduate students and graduate/professional/post-doctoral students, at 3.8 and 3.9 percent respectively. 

Overall, of a campus population of more than 9,100, more than 550 have responded. The survey opened on Oct. 17 and will continue until Nov. 10.

Tech would like all students and employees to take the Assessment of Working, Living and Learning, so the working group is offering a drawing for a number of incentives after the survey closes on Nov. 10. Undergraduates will be eligible for a one-semester parking pass, four $50 gift cards to the Campus Store and two admission tickets to any sporting event other than the Winter Carnival hockey game. Graduate students will be eligible for the same incentives. Union and non-union staff and faculty will be entered into a drawing for one-year parking passes, $50 Campus  Store gift cards and two free tickets to any sporting event other than the Winter Carnival hockey game.

Michigan Tech's Student Loan Default Rate Among Lowest in Nation

A student loans analysis website called Student Loan Report announced that Michigan Tech's three-year loan default rate is holding steady at two percent, compared to a national average default rate of 11.3 percent. Tech’s loan default rate was the second lowest in Michigan.

Overall, Michigan Tech ranked in the top six percent of 1,900 schools for the lowest default rate. Among public institutions, Tech ranked No. 27 in the nation, in the top two percent. Nine of those 27 public institutions have medical schools. Don’t count them, and Michigan Tech alumni have the 18th lowest default rate in the country.

“It gets even more interesting,” said Glenn Mroz. “I think everyone realizes that the ability to pay back is dependent on getting a job after graduation, but it also has a lot to do with what your family income was when you came here.”

Only three universities—University of California-Irvine, George Mason and State University of New York Geneseo—had a higher percentage of students qualifying for the federal Pell Grant than Michigan Tech.  So it’s fair to say that Michigan Tech is one of the top four public institutions in the nation where students from modest to moderate financial means can get an education that gives them the ability to pay back their loans after graduation.

Read the full story on the Michigan Tech News Website

Lake Superior Water Festival is Today

Nearly five hundred students in grades 9-12 from eight schools in Houghton, Baraga, Gogebic and Ontonagon counties will flood Michigan Tech's Great Lakes Research Center today (Oct. 25), for the Sixth Annual Lake Superior Water Festival. The event runs from 8:45-11:30 a.m. and noon-2:45 p.m.

Students are coming from Houghton High School, Luther L. Wright High School (Ironwood), L’Anse High School, Lake Linden-Hubbell High School, Ontonagon High School, Watersmeet High School, and Hannahville High School.

Fifteen different sessions will be offered throughout the day, presented by Michigan Tech scientists, graduate students and staff, as well as personnel from the Keweenaw Land Trust, US Coast Guard, Ottawa National Forest and NECi Superior Enzymes.

The Water Festival provides an opportunity for students to learn about and celebrate our most precious natural resource — the Great Lakes. A wide variety of topics from science and engineering to creative writing will be presented. Students attend four 35-minute activities. Some of the topics to be presented include Remotely-Operated- Vehicles, Leave No Trace Outdoors, cleaning wastewater, Careers with the U.S. Coast Guard, Lake Sturgeon Ecology, The Lake Turned Green, Atmospheric Research in a Cloud Chamber, and more.

The 2017 Water Festival is made possible with funding from Michigan Association of Environmental Professionals. The Festival is coordinated by the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative and MTU Center for Science & Environmental Outreach, and hosted by Michigan Tech's Great Lakes Research Center.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Michigan Tech Wellness and the Department of Public Safety and Police Services (DPSPS) are working together to participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day this Saturday (Oct. 28).

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue. According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.4 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient and anonymous means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse and medications.

DPSPS Chief Brian Cadwell states “We are very happy to serve as a registered collection site for this very important event. We will gladly take whatever steps we can take to help prevent the misuse and abuse of unwanted or expired prescription drugs."

Residents can drop off their unused or expired prescription drugs for safe disposal from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Department of Public Safety and Police Services, located at 206 MacInnes Drive.

Anyone with questions about the national event organized by the Drug Enforcement Administration may contact Cadwell at 7-2216 or online.

Senate to Meet Today

ALL employees are welcome to attend if they have questions or concerns about parking (or anything on the agenda).

  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call of Senators and Recognition of Visitors
  3. Approval of Agenda
  4. Approval of Minutes from Meeting #597
  5. Presentations: a) Parking update—Kerri Sleeman, b) Annual Sabbatical Leave Report—James Wood, c) Strategic Plan Revision— Brian Barkdoll
  6. President's Report
  7. Committee Reports: Finance Committee—Annual Senate Budget
  8. Unfinished Business
  9. New Business: a) Proposal 4-18 "proposal to Shelve the Computer Science - Secondary Education Concentration (SCS4) presented by the Curricular Policy Committee (voting units:Academic) b) Ad hod Committee/Joint CPC/CTL
  10. Public Comments
  11. Adjournment

HR Closed Monday for Annual Retreat

The Human Resources Office will be closed on Monday (Oct. 30) for a departmental retreat. The office will reopen on Tuesday (Oct. 31). We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Bill Balzer Visits Michigan Tech

Bill Balzer, author of "Lean Higher Education" will present "Where is the Evidence-Based Support for Lean Higher Education? The Research, the Challenge, and the Opportunities" from 1 to 2 p.m. Wednesday Nov. 1 in the Memorial Union Building Ballroom B1 & B2.

Balzer has more than 25 years of experience working in higher education. He is a professor of industrial-organizational psychology at Bowling Green State University and currently serves as dean of BGSU Firelands College. He has served in a number of leadership roles including program director of the nationally ranked doctoral program in I-O psychology, chair of the Department of Psychology and dean of Continuing and Extended Education.

In 1996-97, he was a fellow of the American Council on Education and spent his fellowship year working in the office of the president at Wayne State University. Balzer's research interests include understanding the effects of Lean principles and practices on individual job attitudes and behaviors, evidence-based organizational diagnosis and intervention, the assessment of job satisfaction and understanding, measuring, and improving job performance.

He has participated in numerous university initiatives to improve university processes and effectiveness. He has consulted with profit and non-profit organizations including Owens-Illinois, Citibank, the Pennsylvania State Police, Merrill Lynch & Company and Proctor & Gamble.

Balzer is visiting Michigan Tech to learn more about how we're implementing Lean, as a part of his research for writing a new edition of his book.

And Here: 100 Years of Upper Peninsula Writing, 1917-2017

Upper Peninsula literature has traditionally been suppressed or minimized in Michigan anthologies and Michigan literature as a whole. Even the Upper Peninsula itself has been omitted from maps, creating a people and a place that have become in many ways “un-geographic.”

These people and this place are strongly made up of traditionally marginalized groups such as the working class, the rural poor and Native Americans, which adds even more insult to the exclusion and forced oppressive silence.

"And Here: 100 Years of Upper Peninsula Writing, 1917–2017," gives voice to Upper Peninsula writers, ensuring that they are included in Michigan’s rich literary history.

The Van Pelt and Opie Library will bring four of the contributing authors to read from this compelling anthology, followed by a question and answer session and book signing.

Join us from 4 to 6 p.m. Nov. 2 in the East Reading Room of the Van Pelt and Opie Library.  Light refreshments will be provided.

This Week's C-Cubed Lunches

This week's C-Cubed luncheons take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday (Oct. 26/27) in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge. All faculty and staff, along with their guests, are invited.

The C-Cubed lunch buffet menus are created by Executive Chef Eric Karvonen, and prepared by Karvonen and his culinary team. As the name suggests, the meals are meant to foster conversation, community and collegiality. Attendees may bring their own lunch instead of purchasing the buffet.

Fruit-infused water, coffee, tea, cookies and fruit are available free to all attendees. The buffet lunch is $10 per person. Cash, credit cards and C-Cubed gift certificates (available in the Memorial Union office) are accepted. Find more information and share C-Cubed feedback online. To join the C-Cubed Google Group and receive weekly menus, email Karen Johnson.

The menus:

Texas Steak Chili (GF)
Pumpkin Chili (GF, VE)
Chipotle Caesar Salad (GF, VE)
Fresh Toppings: Shredded Cheddar, Tortilla Strips, Green Onions, Cilantro, Sour Cream

Kung Pao Chicken Noodle Stir Fry
Kung Pao Tofu Noodle Stir Fry (V)
Vegetable Egg Roll (V)

V- Vegetarian, VE-Vegan, Vegetarian, GF- Gluten Free

Backstage Jazz Presents a Jazz Buffet in Club Rozsa

Join us this Friday and Saturday in "Club Rozsa," featuring the Jazz Lab Band and the Research & Development Big Band. The stage of the Rozsa is transformed into an historic jazz club with vintage atmosphere, complete with café tables and a cash bar.

The concerts are a "Jazz Buffet" with something for everyone — swing, funk, blues, Latin, fusion and originals. The Rozsa stage becomes a pop-up jazz club, and the intimate club atmosphere is a perfect setting for the Research & Development (R&D) Big Band and the Jazz Lab Band to loosen the reins on creativity and capture the flow of jazz. 

Join Jazz Studies Program Director Mike Irish (VPA) and the Michigan Tech Jazz ensembles for Backstage Jazz beginning at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday (Oct. 27/28).

Lunch and Learn: Problem Solving with Children When We Are All Upset

Benefit Services along with Little Huskies Child Development Center is offering a Lunch and Learn session on "Problem Solving with Children When We Are All Upset" presented by Eva-Marie Hatfield, director of the Little Huskies Child Development Center and Certified Trainer.  

The session will take place from noon to 1 p.m. tomorrow (Oct. 26) in MUB Ballroom B. All employees are welcome; bring your lunch and beverages.

Distinguished Ecologist Lecture Series

As part of the Distinguished Ecologist Lecture Series, Jiquan Chen will present a seminar titled "Institution in Ecosystem Analysis: A Forgotten Driver" at 12:30 p.m. tomorrow (Oct. 26) in Forestry G-002.

Chemistry Seminar

Loredana Valentano (Chem) will present a seminar titled "Answering Fundamental Questions Critical to Designing Materials and How My Quantum Chemical Dream Became My Vision" at 3 p.m. on Friday (Oct. 27) in Chem-Sci Room 102.

Continuous Improvement Connection

Now that we are a good way into the fall semester and things are starting to pick up, you may find yourself becoming disorganized or flustered with all you need to get done. We have the solution to your problems, as well as the opportunity for you to add something special to your resume, through Lean and continuous improvement.

The Office of Continuous Improvement is holding an information session from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. tonight (Oct. 25) in the East Reading Room of the Library. The information session will give you a great look into what Lean is all about and what it can do for you and is open to all that are interested. This is an opportunity to improve yourself and your habits to make work easier and quicker, as well as give you an advantage on your future employability.

Lean is useful in all areas, and we can show you how to use it to your advantage. Refreshments will also be provided, so come and join us. If you have any questions email Hope to see you there.


Native American Activist Winona LaDuke on Campus Today

The Social Justice Lecture Series welcomes its second installment with Winona LaDuke.

Join us at 5:30 p.m. today in the MUB Ballroom as Michigan Tech has the chance to hear from prominent Native American activist, economist, writer and former vice presidential nominee Winona LaDuke. This event is free and open to the public, with no ticket required.


Delta Epsilon Sponsors Cornhole Tournament

Delta Epsilon fraternity is sponsoring a Cornhole Tournament on campus at noon Sunday (Oct. 29).

Registration starts at 11 a.m. Sunday. The tournament will take place between the Chemical Sciences Building and the EERC.

In Print

Mingxiao Ye, a physics graduate student, has published a review article entitled "Recent Advances in Electronic and Optoelectronic Devices Based on Two-Dimensional Transition Metal Dichalcogenides." This article was published in Electronics as a feature paper and the image of the 2D crsyatals synthesized by Ye appeared as the cover image of the printed version. Ye is supervised by Yoke Khin Yap (Physics). View the article here.


Michigan Tech's Rail Transportation Program was featured in the INFORMS Railway Applications Section 2017 newsletter. INFORMS is the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences. The article Railway Education for the 21st Century included an interview with Pasi Lautala (CEE) describing our program's history and current activities.