Norm was on the faculty at Eastern Michigan University from 1990 to 2015, serving as director of its Urban and Regional Planning Program for 17 years. He taught courses in urban planning, historic preservation, and geography.

Norm is a registered architect who throughout his career has worked in offices in Seattle, Pennsylvania, Michigan. He was partners with Ilene at Tyler/Tyler Architects/Planners and had a small practice of his own in Ann Arbor for a number of years.