WMU News

Grant total tops $50 million for 2000-01

Oct. 30, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University received more than $50 million in grants during the 2000-01 fiscal year, surpassing the funding received the previous year by nearly 10 percent, according to a report presented to the WMU Board of Trustees at its Oct. 26 meeting.

Trustees at that meeting also learned that more than $16.7 million in grants was received by the University in the first three months of the current fiscal year.

The total of grants received by the University for the 2000-2001 year was $50,656,030, which is nearly $5 million more than the 1999-2000 total of $45.8 million and sets a new mark as the second- highest total for grant funding in the University's history.

"WMU is continuing to perform top-level research, instruction, public service and academic support initiatives, and those efforts are being recognized through increased external funding," notes Dr. Donald E. Thompson, vice president for research and dean of the Graduate College. "Our faculty, staff and researchers are to be commended for their outstanding work, which is drawing notice not only nationally, but internationally as well."

The year-end total reported to the board included grants recorded during June, the final month of activity for the 2000-01 year. Grants received during that month alone amounted to more than $25.5 million, accounting for nearly half of the year's overall total. Among those awards were nearly $5 million received by the University's College of Aviation from Delta Air Lines Inc., British Airways, European Pilot Selection and Training, and Emirates Airlines to support its pilot training programs.

The grant total for first three months of the current fiscal year, which began July 1, was reported at $16,787,774. The largest grant received was a $10,304,200 award from the Moldflow Corp. to Dr. Michael Atkins, chairperson of the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, to provide continued support for the Moldflow Center for Design Excellence at WMU. Moldflow, a developer of design software used in the auto, aviation and electronics industries, established the center in 1998 to provide training, seminars and customer visits as well as give WMU students and faculty access to the center for class projects, consulting and research.

More than $3.4 million in funding was received from the U.S. Department of Education for a variety of University initiatives that range from the Midwest Educational Reform Consortium, a collaborative effort to increase students' academic achievement by restructuring public schools and reforming teacher preparation, to efforts to encourage low-income and first-generation students and those from underrepresented minority groups to pursue graduate education.

Other grants received during this period included a $405,739 award to Carol Sundberg, director of the Center for Disability Services, to continue providing daily living, communication, behavior control and social skill services to developmentally disabled adults; and a $389,993 award from the National Science Foundation to Dr. David D. Shoemaker, assistant professor of biological sciences, to study the impact of Wolbachia bacteria infection on Panamanian wasps.

Media contact: Marie Lee, 616 387-8400, marie.lee@wmich.edu

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