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WMU to open Detroit-area office in Royal Oak

Nov. 4, 2009

KALAMAZOO--During its Nov. 2 meeting, the Western Michigan University Board of Trustees approved a three-year lease for a Woodward Avenue location in Royal Oak, Mich., that will be come the University's base for recruiting and future program offerings.

Trustees signed off on a three-year lease, effective Jan. 1, 2010, for more than 1,800 square feet in a building located at 32820 Woodward Ave. The move gives WMU a physical presence at the heart of the region that is home to 37.4 percent of WMU's student body.

The office will serve as a base for recruiting efforts. Work is also under way and aimed at bringing some new academic programming to the Detroit area through WMU's Extended University Programs unit, which manages regional sites for WMU around the state.

Dr. Keith Hearit, Vice Provost for Enrollment Management, told trustees the initiative and the selection of the Royal Oak site was guided by three basics:

  • The importance of tradition of Southeast Michigan as a recruiting base for WMU.
  • An analysis of sites in the region with the potential to need and support new academic programming.
  • The desire for a location that is easily accessible to students from both the city of Detroit and the suburbs.

"Royal Oak is a great terminus with bus lines to and from the city and good contact with the suburbs," Hearit said. He noted that Royal Oak also will likely be at the heart of any light rail system for the region in the future.

Hearit also noted WMU has initiated talks with Oakland Community College for partnering to offer academic programming in the future that would allow metro area students to begin work toward a WMU bachelor's degree near their homes. In addition, he noted, the University could begin offering classes in Royal Oak as early as fall 2010.

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

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