Research successes recognized during special event

Contact: Jeanne Baron

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Research at Western Michigan University took center stage during the first Excellence in Discovery luncheon held Feb. 10.

The event celebrated the success numerous faculty and staff members have been having in garnering external research dollars. It was hosted by WMU President John M. Dunn and Provost Timothy J. Greene.

During the event, Dr. Daniel M. Litynski, vice president for research, praised WMU faculty members as a whole and singled out those most responsible for bringing in a record level of external research funding from last July through September—the first quarter of the 2014-15 fiscal year.

Grants to WMU topped $13 million by the end of the first quarter and reached $21 million by mid-year, Litynski noted. The University received slightly more than $27 million during the entire 2013-14 fiscal year.

High-caliber researchers

During the Excellence in Discovery luncheon, 35 principal investigators were singled out for their outstanding work and for bringing in more than $1 million each cumulatively in external funding awards over the past five years.

Together, that group garnered $77 million, or 62.3 percent of the total amount. During the same five-year span, 260 P.I.s garnered more than $124 million.

Receiving honorable mentions for research funds acquired from 2009 to 2014 were Dr. Robert J. Bensley, professor of human performance and health education, who brought in $5.2 million and Dr. James A. Henry, professor of social work, who brought in $4.8 million.

"External funding is important to individuals, to the University, and to society at large, which benefits from advances in research," Litynski says. "Our mission is to support faculty, staff and students in their discovery activities, even as we continue to do the work of the University in generating knowledge and educating our students."

For lists of the faculty members recognized during the Excellence in Discovery luncheon, visit

For more news, arts and events, visit