KALAMAZOO, Mich.—During his third State of the University address, Western Michigan University President Edward Montgomery thanked faculty and staff for their dedication and challenged them to continue elevating the institution as a school of choice for 21st century learners.
As part of WMU's Fall Convocation, an annual event that also features a faculty and staff awards ceremony, Montgomery presented the wide-ranging speech Friday, Sept. 20.
"At WMU, we meet students where they are, regardless of their circumstances, and add value to their lives. From our Medallion Scholars to those with more humble high school records, we make an impact. And you know what? You are really good at it. Yes, you are," he said to an audience of hundreds of faculty and staff.
Montgomery spoke of the importance of building innovative academic and support programming for students, such as the University's initiative to revise the general studies curriculum—WMU Essential Studies. He also pointed to the development of a new college that offers an academic home with the necessary supports for new students, exploring students and students who are transitioning between majors.
And citing a widely referenced report suggesting that 85% of the jobs that will exist in 2030 have yet to be invented, the president also stressed the need to help students develop the essential ability to adapt in a changing world while also helping prepare them for today's workforce.
As part of WMU's efforts to be a school of choice, Montgomery said that construction projects in the Hilltop Village neighborhood in the southern portion of Main Campus are designed to attract students while improving environmental sustainability and containing energy and maintenance costs. The Arcadia Flats residences that are currently under construction open next fall, while a formal groundbreaking recently took place for a new student center and dining facility.
Montgomery also thanked WMU faculty and staff for taking part in a recent employee engagement survey and for contributing their ideas to an effort that will identify and amplify what makes the University distinctive and unique.
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