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Panel discussion addresses future of WMU

Nov. 21, 2006

KALAMAZOO--Five people actively involved in shaping the future of Western Michigan University will share their thoughts as part of a panel discussion Tuesday, Nov. 28, from 3 to 5 p.m. in Room 210 of the Bernhard Center

The forum will provide an opportunity for faculty, retirees, staff and community members to discuss issues that are vital to WMU's future. The event is sponsored by the Western Association of Retired Faculty and the WMU Center for the Study of Ethics in Society.

Panelists include WMU Trustee Sarah DeNooyer; Dr. Katherine Joslin, professor of English; Dr. Mary D. Lagerwey, associate professor of nursing and president of the Faculty Senate; Dr. Edmund Tsang, associate dean of the WMU College of Engineering and Applied Sciences; and Dr. Paul T. Wilson, associate professor of special education and literacy studies and president of the WMU chapter of the American Association of University Professors.

"Only a few years ago, WMU saw itself as a recognized research university that would remain 'student-centered,'" says Dr. Joseph Ellin, professor emeritus of philosophy, who is organizing the event. "With this identity, WMU had a unique place among universities in the state. Implicit in this description was a strong 'core' program of arts and sciences, with graduate as well as undergraduate programs and a range of professional programs, also offering graduate and undergraduate degrees."

Since adopting this identity, Ellin says, WMU has experienced a number of challenges and is now making decisions that will have far-reaching implications.

"Currently the university is searching for a president and a provost and examining the way it markets itself," Ellin notes. "This creates an unprecedented opportunity to shape the university for years to come."

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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