NMU presidential candidate speaks at student forum

Northern Michigan University presidential candidate Debra Larson speaks at a student forum on Friday. (Journal photo by Brennan White)

MARQUETTE — Northern Michigan University presidential candidate Dr. Debra Larson spoke at a student forum on Friday where she answered questions covering topics ranging from fun winter activities and her time at Michigan Tech University, where she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering, to more serious topics like her stance on student housing issues and COVID-19.

“I’m very much interested in following the science,” Larson said. “Following the data and letting that kind of information inform the types of practices that would be needed on campus. I can’t tell you what my future stance would be about requiring masks, but I can tell you I would let the data guide that.”

Larson is currently the provost and vice president of academic Affairs at California State University, Chico. According to that university, during her five-plus years there, she has managed the successful reorganization of its research and sponsored program units, growth of online curricula its related enrollment and has strengthened a campus-wide focus on student success.

She recently served as a member of a small bargaining team for the CSU system, whose efforts culminated with a contract agreement with the 29,000-member faculty union.

Four presidential candidates are visiting NMU’s campus this week and next week. Each candidate will be on campus for two days of sessions with a variety of groups and individuals. Each candidate will participate in forums for students, faculty and staff. Additionally, there will be a reception for area residents and alumni to meet each candidate.

For more information, visit https://nmu.edu/boardoftrustees/presidential-search.


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