WMU News

WMU and Cooley Law School offer new joint degree

Oct. 26, 2001

LANSING, Mich. -- Western Michigan University and The Thomas M. Cooley Law School will offer a joint degree in public administration and the law through a new partnership agreement between the two institutions announced today (Oct. 26).

Terms of the partnership call for WMU to administer its Master's of Public Administration degree, which includes a new concentration in public law, while Cooley will offer its Juris Doctor degree. As Michigan's capital city, Lansing is the heart of government for the state, and the MPA/JD degree should appeal to those individuals who are specifically looking for an educational background that will springboard them into a role of leadership.
"This venture is a wonderful example of the benefits achieved through partnership and collaboration," said Dr. Elson S. Floyd, president of WMU. "We're joining the resources of two premier programs that have been serving Michigan's capital city for many years and have established reputations for producing public servants who hold important leadership posts in government."

"In a democracy, nothing is more important in executing the will of the people than an informed, responsive, and capable government. Graduates of this program will possess both an understanding of the constitutional and legal framework in which governments operate and the knowledge of the processes through which governments function. We are excited that we can team with a great school like Western Michigan University in making this opportunity available in Michigan's governmental and legal center," said Cooley Dean Don LeDuc.

Both WMU and Cooley officials also felt that the partnership was a perfect fit for many other reasons, including the fact that both institutions stress practical education and offer flexible scheduling options. This includes evening and weekend classes that work around the schedules of individuals with busy lives.

Students from either WMU or Cooley can start either the MPA or JD program before deciding to apply for the joint degree program. The MPA/JD joint degree will allow students to acquire the knowledge of both degrees as well as expedite the completion of degree requirements by reducing the total number of hours required and eliminating duplicative course work. Law classes will be held at Cooley's downtown Lansing classroom building one block south of the Capitol and public administration courses will be held at WMU's new Lansing regional center located in Delta Township on West St. Joseph Hwy.

A signing ceremony will be held at 3 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3, in the Cooley Center lobby, 300 S. Capitol Ave., Lansing, Mich. Officials from both Cooley and WMU will be available to answer questions regarding the program. The public is welcome. Additional information about the joint degree program can be found on Cooley's Web site at <www.cooley.edu> or Western Michigan's Lansing Web site at <www.wmich.edu/lansing>, or by contacting Associate Dean and Professor Ann Miller from Cooley at (517) 371-5140 ext. 2915 or Gus Breymann from Western Michigan University-Lansing at (517) 327-1480.

WMU media contact: Cheryl Roland, 616 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

Cooley media contact: Terry Franklin, 517 371-5140, ext. 2916, franklit@cooley.edu

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