MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – Northern Michigan University President Dr. Brock Tessman gave an online address on Wednesday, greeting faculty, staff, and the student body, as well as the community in general. Tessman wasted no time in getting out and meeting with students. His first day on the job included a stop at a business department social, where he gave a short address, then mingled with everyone and spoke to many students and faculty. Dr. Stacy Braun-Davis, had a most favorable first impression.

“He just wanted to share his vision for what to expect over the next year that he wants to come in and listen to everyone and be engaged with all of us and as a leader that to me is extraordinarily impressive,” said Dr. Braun-Davis. “So very pleased to have him here today.”

Tessman comes to NMU from Montana, where he served as the Deputy Commissioner of Higher Education for the Montana University System. His academic career included positions at the universities of Georgia, Colorado, and Montana. Tessman makes the move to Marquette with his wife Kristen and daughters, Frances and Leona.

His challenges are many among the most urgent are enrollment and retention of students, community involvement, serving our Indigenous population, athletics, and mental health.

“There’s no doubt that the enrollment picture at Northern plays a really important role in our budget,” said Dr. Tessman. “Our ability to launch new initiatives. The thing I’ve been really emphasizing is that a lot of that is in new students and recruitment. I think even more of it is in retention and completion, making sure the students who are here already have the best chance to stay and complete.”

Dr. Tessman is a native Michigander having been born in Detroit and raised in Plymouth. As a long-distance runner and outdoor enthusiast, he eagerly awaits exploring our vast trail network. Tessman is grateful to all those who assisted in his move.

“I just want to say thank you to all the folks who welcomed me and my family,” said Tessman. “My wife Kristen, Francis and Leona will be visible around town and really looking forward to becoming part of the broader community, not just this campus.”

Dr. Tessman has been published extensively in many Journals, he even has a widely used textbook to his credit. He pledges to remain accessible and visible, with the well-being of students as his greatest priority.