Hancock City Council

Tyler Becker

On Wednesday, Oct. 19, the Hancock City Council held a meeting where the new president of Finlandia University gave a presentation on the state of the school. 

President Tim Pinnow was elected as Finlandia’s new president earlier this year. In his short time at the school, he has already seen how challenging the task is ahead of him. President Pinnow said they “Need to restructure to its reality, and this  is a smaller university than it used to be.” Since the first of the year, the school has managed to trim the budget by 12%.

President Pinnow says they have too many buildings for the 400 students they currently have enrolled. They are looking to remove buildings and land in the near future. The summer months and holiday season is when it is toughest for a college, as no new tuition is being collected. Should the college make it through this year, President Pinnow believes that the future is hopeful for Finlandia..

Next year they will move to zero based budgeting, which means that the budget will based on the current enrollment of the school. In addition, the university has decided to close its art gallery. Most of the remaining budget cuts will be seen through attrition, belt tightening, and the letting go of part time employees.

Finlandia University is also talking with the ISD to start a program for trade seeking students. This program would allow students to get an Associate of Applied Science degree, and further down the line a Bachelor of Applied Science. Both degrees would create opportunities for students to look at possibly owning a business in their trade. 

In hopes of dealing with the nationwide teacher shortage, President Pinnow mentioned promoting student teachers going forward. Pinnow hopes to work with Northern Michigan University in producing new teachers that would move to Finlandia for work after graduation. President Pinnow said, “There should be no difference between town and gown,” showing his dedication to improving not only Finlandia University but also Hancock as a whole.

Outside of the presentation, the council also spoke on the police officer shortage. In hopes of improving the situation, they are looking to hire a full-time officer. This will reduce the number of hours the existing officers have to work, as they are currently working overtime on a consistent basis.

It was also announced that Make a Difference Day was thrown in honor of Deb Mann. Deb Mann was actively involved with this event in the past, and thus the motto “You’ve been Debbed” was used in promoting the event this year. The motto means that you are successfully making a positive impact in the community. Also, an evergreen tree will be planted behind the Hancock sign in memory of Deb, as she always wished for a Christmas tree behind it.

The next council meeting is scheduled on Nov. 2 at 6 pm. It is open to public viewing via Zoom, the link for which can be found on the City of Hancock website inside of the meeting’s agenda.