Registrar's Notes

September 15, 2008

Spring 2009

Registration booklets for Spring will be delivered across campus this week. And the schedule will be open for viewing beginning next Monday, September 22nd, this is earlier than previously announced. Registration will open as scheduled on October 20th.


Information on the fall census numbers can be found on: http://www.wmich.edu/ir/reports.php?type=enrollment&year=2008&sem=40

Note that we are up 385 students overall from last fall, with a total enrollment of 24,818.

FERPA reminders – letters of reference

This seems a good time to remind faculty that it is strongly recommended that they get a signed release from a student before writing a letter of reference.  

Statements that a faculty member may make about a student based on their own memory of that student's performance, based on their own personal knowledge of that student, do not require a written release. However if any personally identifiable information is included in the letter of reference, such as a gpa, a grade, standing in the course, etc., this does require a signed release from the student. The written release must include specifics on what records may be disclosed, the purpose of the disclosure, and the party or parties to whom the disclosure is made.

A release form can be found on: www.wmich.edu/registrar/pdf/AuthorizationforRecommendationsandReferences.pdf.

Our legal counsel has recommended that these written releases be kept for at least two years.

The student does have the right to read the letter of reference, since it is part of their education record, unless she/he has waived that right to access. Keep in mind though, that even if the student waives their right to see the letter, after the letter is sent, we lose control over what the recipient does with it.

I ask that chairs do share this information on letters of reference with faculty in their department.

Classroom start/end times

Please remind instructors that there’s no scheduled ‘set up’ time between courses. So, instructors need to allow the previous instructor all the time allotted for that course. For example, a course that is scheduled from 9:00 to 9:50 has the room until 9:50. Thanks for your cooperation.

Removing GoWMU Advisor Access

Please remember that maintaining advisor access for GoWMU is the responsibility of the department. This access is maintained on SIAINST in Banner. When a person who has been granted this access leaves the department, it is the responsibility of departmental personnel to remove this access. Additionally, when anyone has a duty change that results in that person no longer performing advising activities, the access needs to be removed by someone within the department.

Beginning with the semi-annual reauthorization this October, lists of people who have advisor access through GoWMU will be distributed. Departments will be required to review the lists and adjust the access on SIAINST as appropriate. If you know of people who once were providing advising services, but no longer are, they could be updated now.


At this point in the semester, students can withdraw from any WMU course online through GoWMU. No approval is required. Instructors will see a ‘W’ recorded for that student.

Upcoming dates

  • September 15 – Last day for 50% refund for partial withdrawal
  • September 15 – Summer I/II 2009 schedules available for review/update
  • September 22 – Spring 2009 schedule open for viewing
  • September 26 – Last day for 50% refund for complete withdrawal
  • September 29 – Summer I/II 2009 schedules due in Registrar’s Office
  • October 4 - Homecoming
  • October 6 – midterm grading opens
  • October 22 – Last day for 25% refund for complete withdrawal
  • November 3 – last day to withdraw from fall courses

Office of the Registrar
1903 W Michigan Ave
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5256 USA
269 387-4300 | 269 387-3545