Coming year will fundamentally change WMU, Dunn says

contact: Cheryl Roland
| WMU News
Photo of WMU President John M. Dunn.

President Dunn speaks at the Oct. 4 Academic Convocation.

KALAMAZOO—By this time next year, Western Michigan University will be an institution that is "a fundamentally changed organization," WMU President John M. Dunn told a campus audience during his annual State of the University address Oct. 4.

Citing major initiatives that include a new medical school, a law school affiliation, new areas of research collaboration, the push to be a tobacco-free campus and reorganization of residential living, Dunn pointed to the University's ability to embrace change and its positive impact as one of its enduring traditions.

Embracing change

"One thing is certain," Dunn said in his address, "Western Michigan University's strengths and periods of greatest success resulted when the campus came together to identify needed change and then embraced that change. We're at such a point in our history now. It's our turn to step outside our comfort zone and emulate those who came before us."

During his 30-minute speech, Dunn assessed the current status of the University. He also outlined an extensive list of achievements during the previous year and pointed to a number of challenges in the coming months and years. In addition, he explored campus enrollment trends and how they impact allocation of resources.

"The State of Western Michigan University is strong, full of challenges that reflect the times we live in, full of opportunities that reflect the future we intend to have and firmly rooted in the traditions and innovative spirit that have made us the University we are today," Dunn said.

The State of the University address is a major element to WMU's annual Academic Convocation, which also includes recognition of faculty and staff members who have won campuswide awards for service, teaching and scholarship.

The text of the address can be found online at To listen to the address, visit campus radio station WMUK at