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President Dunn issues message to WMU community

July 2, 2007

KALAMAZOO--Dr. John M. Dunn began his tenure as the eighth president of Western Michigan University by issuing a message to the University community. The following is the complete text of President Dunn's message sent today.


Since the announcement of my appointment as Western Michigan University's next president, I have encountered many individuals who have been touched by WMU and who are anxious to tell their story about WMU and its positive impact. The encounters have occurred on the SIU campus and in my travels to other sites, including Washington, D.C. One of my favorite meetings occurred in a Subway Sandwich Shop in Lebanon, Ill., where I met a young man who works for the Illinois Department of Transportation. When I asked what he did, he replied that he was a pilot, which led me to ask if he was a graduate of SIU's outstanding aviation program. "No," he replied, "I graduated from Western Michigan University." Then he quickly added, "It's an awesome university." And he is right.

I am very pleased and proud to officially be a member of the Western Michigan University community. While we face significant challenges, there are also numerous important opportunities we can leverage to move the University forward. We will sustain our commitment to provide a top-quality education for students and an exciting and enriching environment in which to teach, conduct research, produce scholarly work and serve the people of Michigan and beyond. There are many around the world who benefit from the resources and talent at WMU.

In the next few weeks, I will be focusing my energy and effort on getting to better know the campus and its people--both those out in front and those behind the scenes--all of whom make this outstanding University a great place to work, study and learn. There are several themes I will emphasize. One theme is that everyone on the campus, regardless of job, duty and responsibility, is critically important to the success of the University. We are a community, and as such, we have a responsibility to respect and support one another and to collectively emphasize our commitment to provide students with a first-rate education in a first-rate environment. Another theme will focus on the importance of quality service for our students wherever they congregate--in the classroom, library, bookstore, cafeteria, residence halls and, of course, in their academic homes. Our combined efforts will play a significant role in enhancing overall student retention, graduation rates and enrollment. While we have high expectations of our students, they, too, should hold us to high standards of service, regardless of the venue, whether it is in the classroom, laboratory or studio or in the offices that assist and support them.

There are many "points of pride" at WMU, and I intend to emphasize loudly and clearly the successes of our students, faculty, staff and alumni as well as the quality of our programs. The WMU story needs to be shared with external audiences, and we who work here must share the internal pride that we feel in being part of this wonderful university.

As I move about on campus and in the community, please take time to say "hello" so that I can quickly increase my familiarity with the University and members of the community. Linda and I are very thankful and appreciative of the opportunity to be part of Western Michigan University. We look forward to doing all we can to be part of the team committed to the continuing success of an awesome university. Thank you for your warm welcome and support.

Warmest regards,

Dr. John M. Dunn
Western Michigan University

Related article
President John M. Dunn begins his tenure

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

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