Redefining the Classroom

LSSU Board of Trustees approves budget, sets tuition, room and board rates

Posted: May 12th, 2012

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – Lake Superior State University's Board of Trustees approved its budget for the 2012-2013 academic year, including tuition and room and board rates, during its meeting April 27 on campus.

Also during the meeting, the board approved promotion of 12 members of the faculty and granted emeritus status to six faculty who have retired. The panel also approved establishment of four new public school academies (charter schools) and allowed expansion of two of its established schools, Advanced Technology Academy, to accept grades 10-12, and Bay City Academy, which is adding campuses.

The budget includes a general fund of $37.8 million and auxiliary budget of $10.1 million, 7 percent of which will be reserved for capital improvements on campus. It assumes a 3 percent increase in state appropriation, which is still being determined by the state legislature.

Tuition was increased by 2.98 percent over the 2011-2012 rate, while room and board was increased by 1.95 percent over last year's rate. Cost per semester for the coming academic year is $4,770 or $397.50 per credit hour. Room and board is $4,032 for the fall semester.

LSSU will increase financial aid available to students by 2.15 percent.

LSSU Vice President Sherry Brooks noted that the tuition increase allows the university to keep up with rising costs but still allows it to remain competitive.

FOR DISTINGUISHED SERVICE -- Six recently retired LSSU were granted emeritus status for their years of service at LSSU. Four of them are pictured here during LSSU's Board of Trustees meeting on April 27. Left-right are LSSU Board Chair Jenny Kronk; Prof. Lewis Brown, Geology; Prof. Rich Conboy, Political Science; Prof. Ann Marinoni, Management; Prof. MaryAnne Shannon, Nursing; LSSU President Tony McLain and LSSU Provost Morrie Walworth. (LSSU/John Shibley)

A print-quality version of this photo is available here.

During his enrollment report, LSSU Vice President of Enrollment Services Bill Eilola said the number of students registered for the fall semester, so far, is down slightly from this time last year but well ahead of the same time in 2010. More definitive numbers will be available later in the summer after orientation programs, which are showing increased registration from 2011.

Also in his report, Eilola said LSSU's Laker Gold Scholarship Competition, which invites academically talented students to campus in the winter to compete for two full-tuition scholarships, continues to be popular and many of the students who compete end up enrolling at LSSU. He noted that the top three academic areas of interest among students applying at LSSU now are nursing/health sciences, criminal justice/fire science, and biological sciences.

In his remarks to the board, LSSU President Tony McLain noted LSSU's progress with strategic planning over the past year. Under the university's shared governance system, volunteers from throughout campus work on strategic planning and problem solving, and employees are encouraged to submit issues for discussion and resolution. This year, the campus Strategic Planning and Budget Committee completed a "balanced scorecard" that prioritizes outcomes and assigns responsibility. The plan will be updated annually.

"The process is a great help to the university," McLain said. "It makes life easier if we are all in agreement as to what our goals are – it's easier for budgeting, planning and makes for a better university."

LSSU Vice President of Student Affairs Ken Peress discussed improvements to the campus cafeteria, which was opened in late 1990s. While work goes on, patrons of the cafeteria will be eating in a large tent set up on the north side of the Walker Cisler Center. The refurbishments are being financed by Sodexo, which oversees campus food service. Peress said construction is scheduled to be completed by Aug. 1.

Peress also introduced new Student Government President Ramsey A've, a political science major from Detroit who is a graduate of Advanced Technology Academy, one of LSSU's charter schools. A've is replacing former Student Government President Robert Steinhoff, Munising, who graduated this spring with a political science/pre-law degree.

Four new public school academies came under LSSU's oversight at the board meeting, bringing the number of chartered schools from 10 to 14. The new schools include: WSC Academy (Work Skills Corp.) with campuses in Brighton and Hazel Park; Innocademy, Zeeland; Grand Rapids Ellington Academy of Arts and Technology, Grand Rapids; and Charlton Heston Academy on the campus of Kirtland Community College in St. Helen. A fifth school, La Academia del Sol, which will serve a predominantly Hispanic population in Detroit, is expected to be approved at the board's next meeting.

Also during the meeting, LSSU Foundation Director Tom Coates reported that $461,000 has been raised toward $3 million LSSU needs to raise for its share of the proposed improvements to the School of Business, which will be housed in South Hall. Coates also noted that the annual LSSU Phonathon, which supports academics, exceeded its $20,000 goal during the spring semester.

In his academic affairs report, LSSU Provost Morrie Walworth recommended emeritus status for six faculty members who have retired or are preparing to do so. They are: Lewis M. Brown Ph.D., who taught geology for 33 years; Richard T. Conboy Ph.D., a political science professor and former dean who started at LSSU in 1988, James P. Madden, who taught in the criminal justice program for 26 years; Ann B. Marinoni Ph.D., who taught in the School of Business for 36 years; MaryAnne P. Shannon Ph.D., who taught for more than 30 years in the School of Nursing; and Deborah K. Stai Ph.D., (posthumously) who taught biology for 20 years. Four of the six emeriti – Conboy, Madden, Shannon and Stai – were recipients of the LSSU Distinguished Teaching Award during their tenure.

The board also granted promotions to 12 faculty, including:


Chad Barbour Ph.D., assoc. prof. Described as an outstanding classroom instructor in consistently high course evaluations from students, Barbour has been the advisor of the English Club and has provided guidance to many students seeking to pursue writing careers. He is chair of the School of English and Language Studies and the Development Education Committee. In the past five years, Barbour has presented at six conferences, including the Nineteenth-Century Studies Association, Popular Culture Association, and Children’s Literature Association.

Deborah Choszczyk, asst. prof. Choszczyk came to LSSU from Marquette in 2007 and has successfully designed and implemented the first dance minor in the Upper Peninsula. She is the creator of curriculum, recruiter, advisor and promoter of the dance program. She has produced a dance production every semester and two full-length performances that she designed and choreographed. She has the ability to take young students with virtually no dance experience and help them develop into performing artists before they graduate. She is a member of the National Dance Educators organization and the Michigan Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. She attended the Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s Teacher Summer Dance Intensive program in New York last year to acquire new techniques to bring to her students. Choszczyk is the driving force behind the dance program at LSSU and truly dedicated to the students of LSSU.

Paul Duesing

Paul Duesing, prof. Duesing is recipient of the LSSU Distinguished Teaching Award and the Distinguished Faculty Member Award from the Michigan Association of Governing Boards of State Universities. He served as chair of mechanical engineering for many years and had the primary responsibility for LSSU's conversion from offering mechanical engineering technology degrees to mechanical engineering. He also had a key role in the preparation for three of the last five engineering accreditation visits. A member of the American Society of Engineering Educators (ASEE) and American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Duesing has presented numerous papers at ASEE conferences, -- winning first place at a regional conference -- and has been a faculty advisor for the LSSU ASME student chapter for many years.

Sheri Duesing

Sherilyn Duesing, assoc. prof. Sherilyn Duesing who started at LSSU in 1993, initially taught the developmental mathematics courses for students needing to improve their mathematical skills in preparation for college-level courses. Recently, she has also taught the mathematics courses required for elementary education majors and a variety of college algebra courses. She was awarded the LSSU Distinguished Teacher award in 2005. She is the faculty advisor for students in mathematics and mathematics education, but also advises students who are liberal arts-undecided majors. Duesing has served as vice president of the Eastern Upper Peninsula Learning Center Board and is a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics, where she served as a member of its board of directors.


Jason Garvon Ph.D., assoc. prof. Hired as an assistant professor of biology in 2005, Garvon has taught courses in general biology, human anatomy and physiology, fish and wildlife management, invertebrate zoology, general entomology, animal behavior, and parasitology. He has served as the faculty advisor for many senior research projects and also has served as co-advisor for the LSSU student chapter of Ducks Unlimited and advisor of the LSSU Fisheries and Wildlife Club. Over the past five years, he and his co-investigators have been awarded more than $700,000 in grants from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and has published seven manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals. In 2011, he was accepted into the NEA Emerging Leaders Academy and this was elected president of the faculty teachers' union, the LSSU Faculty Association. He also sits on advisory councils for the MDNR and Little Traverse Conservancy.


Kirk Mauldin Ph.D., prof. Mauldin is a dedicated instructor of sociology who has helped his students earn the highest honors at the Michigan Sociological Association and the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Humanities in the past two years. His teaching evaluations reflect rigorous teaching. He is very active on campus and has served on nearly every major standing committee while keeping himself active in his field. During the past five years, he has published articles in a number of refereed journals including: Current Research Journal of Social Sciences, Active Learning in Higher Education, International Journal of Humor Research, and the Research Journal of Social Science. Mauldin is involved in the local community and has been a guiding force in the Chippewa Theater Guild.


Dennis Merkel Ph.D., prof. Merkel began teaching biology at LSSU in 1986. Over the past 26 years he has taught many courses in his area of expertise, including forestry, soils, conservation biology and natural resource technology. A devoted teacher and advisor, Merkel's service to the university has been exemplary. His interest in assessment led to his appointment as the university’s assessment coordinator during the reaccreditation process with the Higher Learning Commission in 2000. He currently serves on the university’s Shared Governance Assessment Committee and the School of Biology’s Assessment Committee. Recently, Merkel was awarded a one-year sabbatical to research Jethro Otto Veatch, a prominent soil scientist who lived from 1883-1974. He will spend the next academic year gathering information on Veatch from the National Archives and the information that he learns there will be included in a book that he is writing: J.O. Veatch: The Man who Mapped Michigan.

Ranson Olson

Britton Ranson Olson Ph.D., assoc. prof. Ranson Olson was hired as an assistant professor of biology in 2007. She has taught a variety of courses including human anatomy and physiology and clinical microbiology, and has been a mentor to many senior students as their senior thesis advisor. She also is one of the advisors for students majoring in the health professions. Ranson Olson has taught biomedical camps for high school students during the summers and is active professionally, maintaining memberships in several professional societies, including the American Society of Microbiology, the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society, and the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions. In research, she has collaborated with scientists at Bowling Green State University and with Environment Canada in a study to monitor PFC levels in Great Lakes fish populations, and has several manuscripts published in peer-reviewed journals. She also is working with the Chippewa County Health Department to develop quick protozoan and bacterial detection methods.


Linda Schmitigal Ph.D., prof. Schmitigal has taught at LSSU for 22 years, starting as the director of a federally-funded jobs training program designed to provide career training to disadvantaged students. She’s been active in many university committees, including taking a leave of absence for one year when she worked in the Registrar’s Office to implement a one-stop student service center. She has served as Faculty Association treasurer and president and has been extensively involved in implementing a shared governance structure at LSSU. She currently chairs the Strategic Planning and Budget Committee. Schmitigal served five years as chair of the School of Business and is considered an excellent academic advisor. She recently passed the Professional Human Resources national certification.


Brian Snyder Ph.D., assoc. prof. Snyder was hired at LSSU in 2000 and has taught algebra, calculus, linear algebra, differential equations, discrete mathematics number theory, and the art of mathematics. Recently, he pioneered the use of classroom technology at LSSU to demonstrate difficult mathematical concepts. Snyder has advised mathematics students and also acted as the advisor for several student thesis projects. In fall 2011, he served as a Visiting Scholar at Ohio State University and in 2008, he was the recipient of an award that allowed him to attend the Mathematics Institute for Advanced Study in Park City, Utah. He is co-author and editor of Algebraic Geometry through Problems, which has been submitted to the Mathematics Institute for publication and is on several university committees, including those for intercollegiate athletics, the faculty executive, and general education.


Marshall Werner Ph.D., prof. Werner was hired as assistant professor of chemistry in 2001 and has taught courses in organic chemistry, biochemistry, and life chemistry. He was awarded a sabbatical in 2010 to work on expanding nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) capabilities for 60 MHz permanent magnet systems. He later organized a “Bootcamp for NMR Educators” conference that was held on campus in summer 2011. Werner has advised numerous students in the physical sciences and mentored many senior thesis students. He has published several manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals and this year was guest co-editor for a special edition of the International Journal of Great Lakes Research that focused on the St. Mary's River. Werner has been president and vice president of the faculty union and has served on a variety of university committees. He was recently appointed chair of the School of Physical Sciences.


Brian Zinser, assoc. prof.: Zinser has taught marketing since 2005 and has been instrumental in the rejuvenation of the LSSU Students In Free Enterprise program. As a Sam Walton Fellow, he has guided the LSSU SIFE team to three regional championships and three runner-up titles in the past seven years. Zinser has published articles in peer reviewed journals, including two with a regional focus: a case titled "Stormy Kromer" and "Retail Islamic Financial Services in North America: the (Upper) Michigan Connection." In addition, he is working toward a doctoral degree in business administration from Anderson University. -LSSU-

CONTACT: Tom Pink, 906-635-2315,; John Shibley, 635-2314,