Happy Halloween, Welcome to NMU’s 17th President, Heating Bills Expected to Soar, and Eight Days Till Election Day

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Happy Halloween

Trick-or-treating in costumes under the coats and hats for our small friends out on Halloween–will we have snow, ice or just cold, old weather? How about a nice Fall day of 65 degrees or more for our kids trick or treating. Enjoy regardless of the weather!!

Welcome to NMU’s 17th President

Dr. Brock Tessman and his family were on campus and all over town recently. He was greeted by community members from all over the Upper Peninsula and from the NMU campus community. It was a good Yooper welcome and he did an amazing job wherever he went to visit with people. He will officially assume his presidency beginning in February 2023.

Dr. Tessman will have lots of issues to deal with when he returns. He will need to find a new permanent Provost and Athletic Director.  Other issues confronting the new president will be declining enrollment, declining state aid over the last decade, mental health/wellness on campus, and other issues not listed here.

In addition he will be working with three new NMU Board of Trustees members when he arrives. The Governor will most likely fill these three positions before the year’s end if she is reelected, or if not reelected, they will be filled by the new Governor right after the first of the year. The board has only eight members, so three new members is a lot to deal with and get to know.

Trustees Seavoy, Mahaney and Morgan positions will be open effective December 31. Seavoy and Mahaney were appointed by a Republican Governor, so if the new Governor is a Republican they could be reappointed if they desire. Trustee Morgan (an NMU alumnus) is running for the State House seat in Ann Arbor. If he wins as expected he will have to resign, because one cannot serve in two branches of the government at the same time. He was appointed by a Democrat. So who wins this election for Governor will determine who gets appointed to fill these three positions.

There are many alumni who want more alumni appointed to the Board of Trustees, regardless of which Governor does the appointing. It is interesting to note that the University of Michigan Board Regents and the Board of Trustees of Michigan State University are primarily alumni of those institutions (both school’s boards are elected in general elections in Michigan).

So the argument goes that if that is good enough for those two major universities why is it not good enough for the regional universities with appointed boards. NMU, like the other boards with  appointed  trustees does have some alumni appointed to their boards, but nowhere near what the U of M and MSU alumni on their boards. Time for a change?  What do you think are the benefits and downsides of having a majority board made up of alumni?  Let us know your thoughts.

Upper Peninsula and Statewide Heating Bills Expected to Soar

Observers say we could have up to a 28% increase in heating bills this winter. These anticipated heating costs are due to supply disruptions and most likely colder weather this winter. The Russian war against Ukraine isn’t helping this situation here in our nation or in Europe where it could be worse than in the U.S.

Eight Days Till Election Day

Don’t forget to vote, including for your local government boards. There are some very important elections all over the Upper Peninsula.

The World Around Us–Rolling Elections and Voting

Seems like today we do not anymore have election days but rather election months. This is due to early voter law changes in Michigan and across the country.

The 2020 election is the first time in American history where a majority of voters voted early and not in person, not on election day. The US Election Assistance Commission reports that just 30.5% of voters voted in person on Election Day in 2020, compared to 58.2% in 2018.

This trend is repeated around the Upper Peninsula, Michigan and the nation.

Might this be a permanent change in American voting life and practices?

Quotes That Make Us Go Hmmm

“Human beings have an infinite capacity to ignore things that are not convenient.” Jan Karski.

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” Maya Angelou.

Talk To Us

Keep your raves, laurels, rants and darts coming. Send them to us at david@ruralinsights.org. We love to read them. 

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David Haynes

David Haynes has served as a professor of public administration and public policy. He previously has served as President of Northern Michigan University. David has been involved in the public administration and political science field for over 45 years.


  1. Joan Miller on October 31, 2022 at 10:03 am

    The article seems to lay blame on supply chain disruption Putin’s war on Ukraine. What’s missing? There is NO MENTION of Biden’s war on fossil fuels. His policies shut down drilling, discouraged investments in production, and stopped construction of new pipelines. Doing so guaranteed shortages and price increases. It’s time for the press to get real. Biden’s policies are devastating and should be called for what they are, loud and clear.

    • Susan Dewey on October 31, 2022 at 5:05 pm

      Joan. You are Absolutely Correct

    • Cindy Dutcher on October 31, 2022 at 6:05 pm

      we really, really need to transition AWAY from oil. This inflation is not Biden’s fault, heck I just read that inflation in Europe is much higher than here (in Turkey the rate is 70%) I realize that many younger folks do not remember the inflation in the 1980’s, and when we bought our farm here in 1981 we paid 18 1/2 percent interest, but before the US changed the economy from “manufacturing” to “service” under Reagan, we always had a savings account that paid us enough interest to be worthwhile also. I do not see how the Biden Administration has waged a “war” on fossil fuels, as an environmentalist, I have been quite sorry to see how badly the oil companies are gouging the American people, maybe you should actually be angry about the lobby and Citizens United ruling by the Supreme Court that has left all of us with no unbought legislators. Big oil is pushing back, and it is corporate greed that is fueling the worst of inflation. After all big oil just made another quarter of record profits. This is a GLOBAL problem, please read more about this!

    • Alexander Raskind on November 1, 2022 at 8:51 pm

      Poor embattled fossil fuel companies make record profits quarter after quarter, so do natural gas and oil traders. But let’s blame the inflation on Biden.

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