bronco advocacy network newsletter

Catch up on the latest news from Government Relations in our monthly Bronco Advocacy Network newsletter.

Newsletter archive

Public service loan forgiveness

LANSING, Mich-- Governor Gretchen Whitmer is encouraging Michiganders working in public service to review the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program to see if they qualify for federal student loan relief no later than October 31, 2022. Thousands have already utilized the program to pay off their debt, and over 148,000 more Michiganders may be eligible due to the recent PSLF waiver. 

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Call for cooperation, not duplication, for state's nursing programs

Michigan community colleges across the state are advocating for legislation in HB 5557 that would allow them to offer bachelor’s degrees—more specifically Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees. Viewed as duplicative and counterproductive in solving Michigan’s current nursing shortage, Michigan universities—public and private—are pushing back on the initiative.

Read more at Bronco Advocacy Network.


On September 15, 2021, Western Michigan University officially inaugurated its Business Technology and Research (BTR) Park North, situated alongside Drake Road between Parkview Avenue and Stadium Drive. This is the Northward Expansion of Western’s original business park that is operating at full capacity with 40 companies and more than 850 employees including 100 alumni. Over the past 20 years, the original BTR Park has attracted more than $150 million in investments, generated more than 1,400 jobs, and has helped to create numerous internships, co-ops, and other experiential learning opportunities.

"The Kalamazoo area has a long history in nurturing business, health care, education and technology. … When a community values its people, their education, and their future, it leads to advances like the expansion of the BTR and the opening of the Ascension Borgess Cancer Center," WMU President Edward Montgomery said at the event.

WMU collaborated with a variety of entities to make this a reality, including Oshtemo Township, Kalamazoo County Road Commission, Southwest Michigan First and the U.S. Economic Development Administration. Ascension Borgess Cancer Center is the new park’s first tenant and welcomed its first patients on Sep.20, 2021. The cancer center is one of the twelve Ascension Michigan comprehensive cancer care facilities across the state.  It offers medical oncology, hematology and infusion services in a multilevel, contemporary clinical space with a patient-centered wellness program, access to prevention and early detection programs, cancer education and a full array of support services among other amenities.

Read more at WMU News.

$29.5 million grant received to support Grand Rapids children, families

The College of Education and Human Development has received $29.5 million grant that will help two of its faculty members Drs. Patricia Reeves and Jianping Shen to provide educational opportunities to Grand Rapids children and families. This grant was awarded through the U.S. Department of Education’s Promise Neighborhood Program. One of the largest federal grants in University history, it will fund the Grand Rapids Southeast Promise Neighborhood Project.

Read more at WMU News.                                                         

Michigan Geologic Survey determined to protect state’s natural resources

The Michigan Geologic Survey is a statewide asset that is housed at Western Michigan University. It provides ongoing research in geologic mapping to assess, protect and sustainably develop Michigan’s vital natural resources. A recent report issued by the Water Use Advisory Council recommends funding the MGS at a level of 3 million per year to receive optimum geological data. A support has been initiated in the Michigan Legislature, and legislation supporting the funding proposal has been introduced.

Read more at Bronco Advocacy Network.

New York Times bestselling author, Irshad Manji visits Western Michigan University

We Talk, The University’s civil discourse initiative, and organized by WMU Office of Government Relations hosted a campus visit of New York Times bestselling author of “Don’t Label Me: An Incredible Conversation for Divided Times” and founder of Moral Courage Project in September 2021. This led us to think about that we are much more than the labels that are applied to us and how everyone needs to feel respected and safe to express their views.

Read more at Bronco Advocacy Network.

Resiliency Center receives state funding

WMU’s Resiliency Center will receive $750,000 in one-time funding through the 2022 state budget process. Western’s appropriation from the budget for 2022 fiscal year was a one-time, 1% increase- $1.1 million dollars. This leaves Western’s base funding levels essentially flat over the past 5 years.

Read more at Bronco Advocacy Network.

Corporate Engagement Tailgate 2021

A tailgate party prior to the Oct.9 football game was held by WMU Corporate Engagement Team. Over 150 corporate and community partners and their guests were invited to thank them for their partnership and to celebrate accomplishments achieved together. Attendees enjoyed conversation with senior leaders from WMU representing the areas of Government Relations, Community Partnerships, Academic Affairs and Research and Innovation.

Read more at Bronco Advocacy Network.

Celebrations at the opening of BTR Park North, Ascension Borgess Cancer Center

In mid-September of 2021, Western formally marked the opening of Business Technology and Research (BTR) Park North and its first tenant Ascension Borgess Cancer Center. The new park was developed with a $2.1 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and through a three-way partnership with Oshtemo Township and the Kalamazoo County Road CommissionIt has the potential to generate investment of at least $50 million and over 200 high-tech jobs.

Read more at Bronco Advocacy Network.