Ad Hoc Civility Committee

Freedom of expression is one of the hallmarks of effective shared governance in the University. The Western Michigan University Faculty Senate is dedicated to fostering productive, vigorous and meaningful dialogue and debate in an environment of civil discourse that respects various points of view. To guide our efforts and appreciate the meaning and practical applications of civil discourse as we strive to advance the Academy, the Faculty Senate approved a general aspirational statement related to civility.

Civility Statement

Western Michigan University is committed to creating and sustaining an environment that honors the inherent dignity and worth of all members of the WMU community. Respectful behavior expressed verbally, textually, visually, and physically should be the norm in all university communications and venues including classrooms, meetings, offices, workplaces, forums, events, social media, and residential communities.

As an institution of higher education, we welcome a diverse range of perspectives and opinions and uphold the importance of civil debate. We fully support the free exchange of ideas and beliefs, as well as the expression of provocative or unpopular ideas. It is through this process that we generate knowledge and deepen our understanding of humanity.

Freedom of thought and expression may create conflict, strong emotions, and divergent ideological positions. While these effects are expected and welcomed, all members of the community have a responsibility to behave in a manner that does not harm others nor creates a hostile environment. Behavior that attacks, humiliates, belittles, or conveys hatred towards others diminishes our thriving and safe university environment.

Each member of our academic community is encouraged to be thoughtful and sensitive in their choice of words and behaviors. We should be aware of how our behavior affects others. Furthermore, we carry a responsibility to challenge those who communicate intolerance, hatred, and bigotry. Words and actions matter. Everyone is asked to do their part in creating a healthy and positive university community and a culture that truly values each member’s uniqueness, experiences, and perspectives.

Printable copy of the Civility Statement

Ad Hoc Civility Committee


Develop a general, overarching, statement on civil professional interactions expected of Western Michigan University faculty, administrators, and staff.

Committee Officer

Robert Wertkin, Chair

Ex Officio Member

Matthew Mingus
Faculty Senate Executive Board

Appointed Faculty Members

Haluk Aktan
Civil and Construction Engineering

Ila Baker
Center for English Language and Culture for International Students

Lori Boothroyd
Integrative Holistic Health and Wellness

Elyse Connors
Blindness and Low Vision Studies

Michael Duffy

Thomas Edmonds
Finance and Commercial Law

Mingming Feng

Wanda Hadley
Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

Nathan Tabor
Comparative Religion

Elizabeth Terrel

Zeljka Vidic
Human Performance and Health Education

Robert Wertkin
Interdisciplinary Health Programs

Lisa Whittaker

Appointed Administrative Members

Nicole Albee
Student Conduct

Jane Baas
Lee Honors College

Keith Hearit
College of Arts and Sciences

Nancy Mansberger
Academic Collective Bargaining

Appointed Staff Members

Doreen Brinson
Facilities Management

Nancy Kibler
College of Health and Human Services

Heather Rood
Enrollment Management

Nathifa Davis Sligh
Academic Services

Tim Unangst
WMU Public Safety