President, Northern Michigan University
Fritz Erickson was named Northern Michigan University 15th president on July 1, 2014. Northern Michigan University has a student population of just under 9,000 and is located in Marquette.
Erickson is known for his strong student-centered decision-making and for successfully developing university partnerships with community, business, industry and K-12 schools.
Since coming to NMU, Erickson has helped to launch Invent@NMU, a product incubator run by a student entrepreneurship team, and a manufacturing technician certificate, which he identified as an industry need of U.P. manufacturers while meeting with Upper Peninsula business leaders across the peninsula in the first year of his NMU tenure. He is currently leading a campus-wide strategic planning initiative at Northern.
Prior to his tenure at NMU, Dr. Erickson served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Ferris State University in Big Rapids. He also held administrative positions at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Eastern Washington University and Michigan Technological University.
Before entering higher education administration, Erickson was a professor at Millersville University of Pennsylvania. Earlier in his career, he was an elementary and middle school teacher and worked for the Colorado Department of Education as an advisor for school districts on how to employ computer technology into the schools and curriculum.
Erickson is the author of a technology book series and has written numerous magazine and journal articles. He has published textbooks based on a pedagogical model designed to enhance learning outcomes, as well as books on the topics of youth suicide and children with reading problems. He also worked on the second edition of Wilber Brookover's Creating Effective Schools – a book that influenced the effective schools movement.
Erickson holds an interdisciplinary Ed.D. in educational psychology, technology and research methodology and a master’s in curriculum and instruction, both from the University of Northern Colorado, and a bachelor’s in social sciences from Western Michigan University.
Erickson grew up in Kalamazoo, Mich. He and his wife, Jan, have two grown children, Jenna and John. In the summers, Fritz enjoys golf and in the winter, downhill skiing. He made quite a splash with the NMU students by including a downhill skiing event (and video) as part of his presidential installation activities in February 2014. He also enjoys sailing and is a big hockey fan.