Message from the President: Making meaningful change together

Dear NMC Family,

As I look out to the world from our northern Michigan community, my heart breaks at the frustration and anger that is overflowing onto the streets of cities across our country in response to years of racial injustice. My first reaction is to acknowledge the pain, seek to understand the struggle and empathize with the emotions. As important as that response is, I also know it is not enough. I must also take action. We must take action. It is not enough to be “not racist” we must actively work to be “anti-racist.”

When I first arrived at Northwestern Michigan College earlier this year, I was proud to see the work that we are already doing on diversity and inclusion through areas like the Experiential Learning Institute, the Dennos Museum Center, International Affairs Forum, and throughout our classrooms, student groups and support services. And while we will continue to use those areas to live our values, I believe we can and must do more.

Starting this week, I am championing a new committee at NMC that will focus solely on addressing inequities and injustices faced by our students, employees and the community. This will be led by Mark Liebling, associate VP of human resources, and Lisa Thomas, dean of students. We will look closely at our own NMC community and act as a convener of discussions for the larger community to engage thoughtfully and work collaboratively.

I also intend to lead and learn by doing. This week I have actively sought input from throughout our college community, participated in robust discussions with President’s Council, we will continue that discussion in our virtual employee town hall Friday, and I will join our Phi Theta Kappa students in their Racial Justice Issues/Honors in Action meeting and other student and employee groups. I know this is just a start, but it is a start and I am committed to prioritizing this work as your president.

I also remain committed to listening. I know that will be essential to seeking deeper understanding. I encourage you to share your thoughts with me and together we will work to make meaningful change in our world.



Nick Nissley, Ed.D. | President | Northwestern Michigan College

Northwestern Michigan College

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Release date: June 4, 2020

For more information:

Diana Fairbanks
Executive Director of Public Relations, Marketing and Communications
(231) 995-1019


Northwestern Michigan College is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, disability, genetic information, height, weight, marital status or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions.