Trustees evaluate WMU president, laud his accomplishments

Contact: Paula Davis
Portrait shot, Edward Montgomery greeting patrons in the Bronco Mall.

Dr. Edward Montgomery

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—At its Dec. 12 meeting, the Western Michigan University Board of Trustees unanimously approved a positive annual performance evaluation for WMU President Edward Montgomery and also approved a 2.5 percent pay increase recognizing his accomplishments. The increase brings his salary to $461,250.

As part of their assessment, trustees gathered input from a variety of stakeholder groups, including students, deans, senior staff and the Faculty Senate, board Chair Jeffrey Rinvelt said. 

The Board of Trustees singled out a number of Montgomery's achievements since he was appointed Aug. 1, 2017.

Achievements Cited by board

  • Motivated revitalization plans for WMU's South Neighborhood/Stadium Drive corridor to include a new student center and dining facility, beginning with razing Elmwood Apartments. 
  • Led the President’s Cabinet in fiscal discussions and decisions resulting in the allocation of more than $8 million through a Budget Protocol Process, involving:

    1) Allocation of an additional $3.9 million to the Student Financial Aid office and for help desk support;
    2) $250,000 toward accommodations for students with hearing and/or visual impairments;
    3) Just under $1 million to increase capacity in the offices of Development and Alumni Relations and Vice President for Research;
    4) Over $1.7 million toward new academic programs in physical therapy and product design; 
    5) Over $1.5 million toward the Office of Marketing and Strategic Communications; and 
    6) $50,000 toward staff professional development and training programs.

  • Envisioned WMU's Transformational Initiative process and campuswide proposal vetting by the President’s Cabinet, leading to the selection of the Success at WMU Program and Esports at WMU initiative.
  • Facilitated five national searches resulting in successful recruitment and hiring of executive leaders.
  • Championed contribution to other public institutions in the state of Michigan by providing the template for Title IX guidelines and policy development, and hosted Michigan first lady Sue Snyder's summit to end campus sexual assault in September 2018.
  • Collaborated with and provided engagement opportunities for local/state/federal business leaders and government officials to better understand the value of a WMU degree across one's lifespan and the subsequent impacts on quality of life and the economy. The efforts resulted in additional state-earmarked funding for key programs:
    1) $1.5 million for WMU's Unified Clinics, which provide services for thousands of patients in southwest Michigan and beyond;
    2) $500,000 for the Seita Scholars program, which provides support and resources for students who age out of the foster care system and seek higher education at WMU; and
    3) $500,000 for the MI Geological Survey based at WMU.

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