Dunn urges campus to move boldly forward

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Photo of President John M. Dunn.

President Dunn outlined University goals in annual address.

KALAMAZOO—Delivering his annual State of the University address Sept. 21, Western Michigan University President John M. Dunn urged members of the campus community to continue to be bold and seize opportunities in WMU's new strategic plan to move the University forward and promote a distinctive learning environment for its students.

The talk, which is posted online at wmich.edu/president, was delivered to a crowd of some 400 people who attended WMU's annual Academic Convocation. Also during the event, 11 faculty and staff members were formally recognized with Universitywide awards.

The state of the University

In his talk, Dunn pronounced the state of WMU as "vibrant, focused, healthy, efficient and committed to the well-being of our students and our nation." He noted that his message was being delivered "at a time of incredible energy and accomplishment."

Dunn also urged the campus to formalize a system that would ensure every student who graduates from WMU would do so having completed an experiential project that would be showcased in a portfolio the student could use as a credential. In addition, he urged members of the University community to support and use the three pillars of the University's strategic plan—being learner centered, discovery driven and globally engaged.

Another point Dunn stressed is the need for faculty, staff and students to join him in being vocal advocates for higher education.

"At no time in our history has there been a greater need for such proactive outreach," he said. "Public perception and understanding of higher education is at an all-time low—even as college attendance has become recognized as a necessity."