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      Heated moments in NMU's board room

      The steady pace of NMU's Board of Trustees meeting Thursday morning was thrown off when it came time to approve a three-year contract for Interim President David Haynes.

      Haynes was appointed to the temporary position in May following former President Les Wong's abrupt departure.

      Board member Stephen Adamini, who's been critical of the appointment from the start, again displayed his opposition to Haynes' rise to the university's top spot.

      "He [Haynes] is unfortunately now burdened with the perception by a large number of people in the general public and the stakeholders of the university by having been appointed president, not because of what he knows, but who he knows," said Adamini.

      Haynes sat quietly for almost half an hour as board members around him went back and forth, voicing their support and opposition.

      "This is a process, the Board of Trustees sets policy and I implement policy," said Haynes. "They get to say what they want to say. I greatly appreciate that 75 percent of the board supported me today."

      The majority of the board ended up approving Haynes' contract, worth $201,995 a year. While there is no official time table, the board expects to start its search for a new president in the Spring of 2013. Haynes will spend his third year assisting in special projects and advising the new president.

      Headlines were also made when the board voted for a 3.5 percent increase in tuition, bringing the cost up to $8,709.

      "There has been a decade of decline of cutback of funding," Haynes said. "It is painful, as many of the trustees said, to raise tuition. But in order to keep offering an academic program, you have to have some revenue."

      The $148 increase a semester has some students scratching their heads.

      "The state gave them more money this year, and tuition still went up. I've been contacting a lot of students this summer, trying to get their opinions, their voices to be heard, and a lot of them are saying, well I don't go there anymore because I can't afford it," said Associated Students of NMU, President Benjamin Stanley.

      Despite the increase in tuition, NMU still remains the second most affordable public university in the state of Michigan.