Michigan Tech Appoints Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President for Administration

Michigan Technological University announces the appointment of Nick Stevens as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Senior Vice President for Administration, effective Monday (May 22). In this new role, Stevens will oversee the finance, administration, technology, institutional research, facilities and financial functions of Michigan Tech.

His appointment concludes an exhaustive national search spearheaded by a campuswide search committee.

“I appreciate and thank the search committee for their efforts in identifying the next leader for Michigan Tech’s finance and administrative operations,” said Rick Koubek, president. “Nick’s experience coupled with his deep dedication to Michigan Tech will be of great benefit to the University, and I look forward to working with him to advance Michigan Tech’s mission and vision.”

Koubek also thanked Vice President for Research Dave Reed for graciously serving as interim CFO.

Stevens has 18 years of leadership and management experience in higher education. He is currently the director of budget and planning at Michigan Tech, a role he has served in for the past four years. Prior to joining Tech in 2015, Stevens served as executive vice president for business and finance at Finlandia University, where he had administrative oversight of all business and controller activities.

“I am humbled and honored to be appointed into this leadership role at Michigan Tech. I am excited to continue serving the faculty, staff and students of the University as we continue to advance the mission and vision,” said Stevens. “The Copper Country has always been my home and I appreciate the importance of Michigan Tech to the community and the community to Michigan Tech.”

A native of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Stevens earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration-Accounting from Michigan Tech in 2002. He currently resides in Dollar Bay, Michigan, with his wife and three children.

Stevens’ career accomplishments include:

  • Implementation of a long-range planning software tool producing five- to seven-year financial outlooks based on various budget scenarios.
  • Restructuring the budget and reporting process to add detail and uniformity in the development of the annual budget.
  • Creating a balanced budget that reduced expenditures and increased the fund balance by 120% in five years.
  • Leading an auxiliary fund review to provide consistent financial reporting of auxiliary operations into a true full revenue/expense structure.

Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Today (May 18) is Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). GAAD is a day dedicated to increasing awareness about digital accessibility and inclusion. Over 1 billion people have a disability or impairment that affects how they interact with web-based services, content or technology. ‚Ä©Common disabilities/impairments are visual, hearing, motor and cognitive.

If you’ve ever turned on captions while watching a movie or asked Alexa or Siri to give you directions, you’ve benefited from accessible technology.  When digital barriers are removed, we can ensure everyone has access to the digital products that are so important in our daily lives.

In keeping with the spirit of GAAD, here are some things you can do:

  • If you’re a teacher, use the Ally Accessibility Report in Canvas to identify content that has digital barriers. Then learn more about how to make it more accessible to all your students.
  • If you maintain Michigan Tech webpages or create content that will be posted on the web, make sure the information is accessible to all potential visitors. You can learn more about what makes a website accessible from the training resources of the Accessible Technology Working Group (ATWG).
  • Visit the GAAD website or Facebook page for more information, virtual events you can attend and ideas on how you can get involved.

For Information and Communication Technology (ICT) barriers, please use the Barrier Reporting Form. If you have questions or would like to join the Accessible Technology Working Group (ATWG), contact us at accessibility-l@mtu.edu.

Professor Tom Merz Retiring from Michigan Tech

After 42 years at Michigan Technological University, a chapter is complete for Tom Merz, who has been a professor of economics in the College of Business since 1980 and served as associate dean of the College for 10 years. He held visiting faculty positions with universities in Western Australia, Denmark and Vietnam.

A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Merz’s teaching and research focused on game theory, microeconomics and public-sector economics. He kept his passion for learning and teaching economics high, always remembering a piece of wisdom one of his professors told him: “Dedicated teachers are nothing more than dedicated students who appreciate other dedicated students.”

Though Merz has finished this chapter, his story is hardly complete. By the end of 2024, if all goes according to script, he and his wife Mimi, who together have touched down on all seven continents and twice circumnavigated the globe, will have set foot in 87 countries.

Read more on the Michigan Tech College of Business Newsblog.

Jesse Jacobusse, Clayton Sayen Qualify for Track & Field National Championships

Michigan Tech track and field will be represented at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships, taking place May 25-27 in Pueblo, Colorado, with Huskies Jesse Jacobusse and Clayton Sayen qualifying for the national meet. 

The list of qualifying student-athletes was released Tuesday (May 16). Jacobusse qualified in the women's 800 meters and Sayen in the men's 1,500 meters. 

Sayen will race in the men's 1,500m preliminary round at 5:25 p.m. Mountain next Thursday (May 25). Jacobusse will compete in the women's 800m preliminary round at 6 p.m. Mountain next Friday (May 26). The finals for both events will be held next Saturday (May 27).

This is Sayen's second straight appearance in the 1,500m at nationals. Jacobusse's qualification in the women's 800m marks the first nationals appearance by a member of MTU's women's squad since 2019.

Read more at the Michigan Tech Athletics website.

Track & Field Trio Earns USTFCCCA All-Region Honors

Three Michigan Tech track and field Huskies have been recognized with U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Association (USTFCCCA) All-Region Midwest honors for the 2023 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field season. 

MTU's All-Region Midwest honorees are Clayton Sayen and Sam Lange, both in the men's 1,500 meters, and Jesse Jacobusse in the women's 800 meters.

All three student-athletes clocked their All-Region Midwest times at the St. Francis Fighting Chance Invite on May 13. Sayen's time of 3:45.27 nabbed him All-Region honors for the second consecutive year, and Lange was right behind with a 3:46.11. Jacobusse finished with a blistering 2:08.00, setting a new school record.

Read more at the Michigan Tech Athletics website.

New Funding

Dennis Livesay (CC/ICC) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $500,000 student scholarship grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund.

The project is titled "Talent Action Team (TAT) EV and Mobility Scholarships."

In the News

MITECHNEWS.COM picked up a Michigan Tech News story about MTU’s new Jon E. Jipping Annual Scholarship. The scholarship was established by ITC Holdings Corp. in honor of Jipping, who recently retired as ITC’s chief operations officer and currently serves as a member of the University’s Board of Trustees.


Hannah Rundman (Rozsa) was quoted and Adam Meckler (VPA) was mentioned by WJMN Local 3 in a story about Houghton’s From the Ground Festival, planned May 27 at Houghton Pier to celebrate local food, music and the outdoors. Rundman and Meckler are among the musicians providing live music at the event.


The Mining Journal picked up a Daily Mining Gazette story about a meet-and-greet with The Nature Conservancy's recently hired Keweenaw Heartlands project manager, Julia Petersen, today (May 18) in Eagle Harbor. Petersen is a Ph.D. student in environmental and energy policy at Michigan Tech.


Sponsored Projects Pilot Using Cayuse

The Sponsored Operations Office is excited to pilot the Sponsored Projects module of the Cayuse research administration software.

Cayuse is a powerful software tool that streamlines the internal grant proposal and award management processes. It has many benefits for our research community, including:

  • Increased accessibility and transparency to proposal information;
  • Sponsored program analyst communication;
  • A modernized information system that you can access from any location;
  • All proposal information is entered and accessed in one place; and
  • A dashboard that provides information appropriate to your position.

We believe these features will greatly benefit our research community by reducing administrative burden and improving overall efficiency.

The Sponsored Operations Office is currently leading a pilot that will end in mid-June. Faculty and staff who intend to submit a sponsored project proposal are invited to test the Cayuse system and workflow, and provide feedback that will benefit other users when the platform goes live for employees on campus this summer.

If you are interested in participating in the pilot, please be sure to respond affirmatively when you receive an invite from the Sponsored Programs Office via its email response to your Notification of Intent to Submit form submission.

Additional information is available on our Cayuse Implementations page.


PhD Proposal Defense: Zhiyuan Lu, CS

Department of Computer Science (CS) graduate student Zhiyuan Lu will present his Ph.D. dissertation proposal tomorrow (May 19) from 10-11 a.m. via Zoom.

Join the Zoom meeting.

The title of Lu's proposal is "Optimizing Memory Management for Improved Efficiency in High-Performance Computing Systems." Lu is advised by Jianhui Yue.

Read the proposal abstract on the Computing News Blog.

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