Northwestern Michigan College will be visited on Aug. 5 and Aug. 6 by members of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) as part of a review regarding the Maritime program. This organization accredits the college and is concerned with the programs and governance of colleges. The HLC’s review process allows for third-party comments.
I encourage third-party comments by college and community members concerned with the college’s many actions through the years to stifle and eliminate free speech on campus. This includes the administration’s 2005 attempt to impose a “Code of Silence” on the trustees and their recent attempt to create a specific “free speech zone” on campus.
Colleges are intended to foster the free exchange of ideas and the skills of critical thinking. NMC’s actions, over many years, show that the administrators at NMC consider these items to be a threat to their style of governance.
Is it any coincidence that due process, open meetings and freedom of information have also suffered at this institution?
A July 28 Record-Eagle article disclosed the sad fact that high levels of cyanide are probably migrating into West Bay. Our town’s best symbol of “Pure Michigan” is severely tarnished by industrial business practices used 100 years ago.
We can’t undo those actions. Hopefully they can be mitigated. But we can learn from this sad experience and do better in protecting our beautiful streams, rivers and lakes of fresh water.
A huge experiment is being conducted in North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas, Wyoming and Colorado. Widespread fracking is already happening there. Let’s pause in Michigan for a period of time and see how these tests unfold. Today’s headline reminds us that it is dangerous to make important decisions solely on an economic basis. We need to have sound evidence that fracking has positive long term results and develops no unintended consequences.
Our Great Lakes basin deserves our best stewardship.
Pat and Sharon Timmons