NMU and MTU Bounce Up, 2023 UP Pasty Fest, Housing Shortages Continue in the UP, UP Senator Introduces Transparency Bill, & From the World Around Us



This Week in RI

On Wednesday we will be publishing a research piece by Michael and John Broadway on the potential positive effects that climate change and migration could have on Marquette County. Watch for this on Wednesday morning.

NMU and MTU Bounce Up

Both of these Upper Peninsula universities announced increases in student enrollment for this Fall. The increases are in both headcount and credit-hour count. State funding for public universities is based on headcount AND credit-hour count.

These numbers are not only important for the universities and the programs they offer to their students but also adds to the economic impact universities have on the region. More students means more spending in our stores, restaurants, and other businesses. All the UP universities have a large overall economic impact in Houghton, Sault Saint Marie and Marquette counties. Missing LSSU numbers, but will report once we receive them.

Upper Peninsula 2023 Pasty Fest

3,500 pasties were sold in one day at the fest held in Calumet. “Thousands of people flooded the village’s historic streets to enjoy the pasty-themed fun on August 19th.” (MLive. 9.8.23).

Housing Shortages Continue in the UP

Costs and availability of housing continue to plague many communities in the UP. What are the causes of these shortages and the increases in prices of available housing? Rural Insights will be working with the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy and its CLOSUP program to get some answers to some of these questions about housing in the UP.

This past week we published an article about what the Ford School is doing on this issue and future research. Take a look at it. We will keep you posted on future developments.

UP Senator Introduces Bill on Government Transparency

This legislation would increase transparency by strengthening the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and would provide stricter guidelines for how governments at all levels must respond to FOIA requests by citizens. It is Senator McBroom’s goal to bring “higher accountability and more transparency into the way things operate in Lansing.”

McBroom also has legislation to tighten up the Open Meetings Act requirements for boards of trustees of public higher education institutions in Michigan. Some observers also are wanting application of the Freedom of Information Act to foundations that are part of public universities. They believe that this would bring much-needed transparency to the secrecy that cloaks higher-education foundations.

From the World Around Us

  • The United Nations predicts that food production must increase by 70% by 2050 in order to feed the world.
  • 60% of American workers live paycheck to paycheck.
  • Child poverty has doubled in our country.
  • US Child care costs are beyond the reach of many families.

Quotes That Make Us Go Hmmm

“Home is not where you are from, but where you are wanted.” Abraham Verghese. Cutting for Stone.

“Health care is usually assessed with three ‘vital signs’: cost, quality and access.” James Rebitzer.

Books Recommended by Readers

“Tyranny of the Minority: Why American Democracy Reached the Breaking Point. Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt. 2023.

Talk To Us

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

About Us

Rural Insights connects policy, information, news and culture to raise topics and stories/information you might have not seen or overlooked. We bring you original writing from Rural Insights and other researchers, change makers, and storytellers, as well as our latest research and analysis.

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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. Eric Luttinen on September 26, 2023 at 9:03 am

    Thanks for offering these nuggets of information. They serve as a reminder that while we live in a country that gives opportunity to all, some struggle with daily needs and are overlooked. It’s still astonishing to me that there’s food, and shelter, insecurity in the developed world, and in our corner of it as well (the U.P.). In our own ways, I’m hopeful that we can make things better for at least some folks every day…

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