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President Haenicke returns to lead WMU

Sept. 1, 2006

KALAMAZOO--Dr. Diether H. Haenicke, who served from 1985 to 1998 as the fifth president of Western Michigan University, has returned to lead WMU as its interim president.

Haenicke was appointed to the interim post by unanimous vote of the WMU Board of Trustees at a special meeting held Aug. 15. He succeeds Dr. Judith I. Bailey, who had served as president since 2003.

James Holden, chair of the board, expressed the trustees' gratitude to Haenicke for agreeing to take the position. He cited Haenicke's intellect, ability to reach out to the rest of the University and skill at setting strategic priorities as traits that will help in the coming months.

Planning is underway for a national search for a new president, and the board is expected to announce more details of the search process later this month.

During Haenicke's 13-year presidency, WMU experienced significant growth in research, private support and enrollment. The University conducted a successful $62 million capital campaign and several major buildings were constructed, including the Student Recreation Center, University Computing Center, Lee Honors College, Gilmore Theatre Complex and Schneider Hall, home of the Haworth College of Business. Other major facilities were renovated and expanded, including Waldo Library, Read Fieldhouse and Waldo Stadium.

Prior to assuming the WMU presidency in 1985, Haenicke served as academic vice president and provost at both Wayne State University and Ohio State University. During his more than 40 years in higher education, he served as a faculty member, department chair, dean and at every other level of academic leadership.

Haenicke is the author of more than 200 scholarly and professional papers, reviews, articles and books on a wide variety of topics, ranging from European romanticism and contemporary German poetry to higher education administration, budget management and academic research. His works have been published in a variety of American and European journals.

Since 2000, Haenicke has written a popular weekly column published in the Kalamazoo Gazette. A book containing about 100 of his earliest Gazette columns was published in 2003.

Following his tenure as president, Haenicke returned to the faculty and officially retired from WMU as president emeritus in 2004.

Born and raised in Germany, Haenicke came to the United States twice as a Fulbright lecturer in the early 1960s. He immigrated and became a naturalized U.S. citizen 10 years later. He earned a doctorate, magna cum laude, in 1962 from the University of Munich. His major fields of study were German and comparative literature, history and philosophy.

Haenicke and his wife, Carol, reside in Kalamazoo.

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Trustees decide to end Bailey's contract

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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