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UPDATE (9/29/21): NMU Board asked for Erickson's resignation before he was fired


Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees Chair Tami Seavoy responded to an element of this story, requesting it be corrected:

"Mrs. Erickson was never a party to Dr. Erickson’s employment agreement with Northern Michigan University and was not owed direct compensation through that agreement under any circumstance.

"Throughout this process, both parties engaged in good faith negotiations and were unable to find an alternative to the termination provisions outlined in Dr. Erickson’s employment agreement.

"Following the failed negotiations, a special meeting of the board was held to address the term of the president’s contract. At that meeting, Vice Chair Young made a motion to terminate the president’s employment agreement, effective immediately. In his comments following this motion, Vice Chair Young stated that termination would be in the best interest of the university, and the board voted unanimously to support this motion.

"To be clear, the termination provisions outlined in the employment agreement are being honored in full."

MARQUETTE, MI— The Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees negotiated for President Fritz Erickson’s resignation for about six weeks before he was fired on Friday.

Board Chair Tami Seavoy said members wanted Erickson to leave voluntarily by the end of this year. The former president refused to step down when he learned his wife wouldn’t get compensation if Erickson died before the negotiated payout date. That prompted the board to terminate Erickson’s contract immediately.

Trustee Steve Young said during Friday’s online meeting that declining enrollment cannot be accepted. Northern’s enrollment was 8,781 when Erickson took office in 2014. It stands at 7,214 this semester.

Trustees will discuss Erickson’s interim replacement at its regular meeting on Friday.