Construction, planning professional joins Western as associate vice president for Facilities Management

Contact: Deanne Puca

Chad Stirrett

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—A higher education planning professional with more than 27 years of diverse leadership experience within facilities and construction management has joined Western Michigan University as associate vice president for Facilities Management.

Chad M. Stirrett began as a new administrator in the department responsible for Western’s construction, custodial, landscaping, power plant operations, capital projects and space planning on Aug. 21. He oversees day-to-day operations on campus as well as helps position the University for future growth and development.

Part of that strategy involves the development of a new campus master plan, which will guide the development of the campus-built environment now and for decades into the future.

“There’s always challenges to balance between older facilities and the newer ones and the decision as to where investments are made to best support the living, learning environment,” he says. “Western is really well positioned for this. We’ve shown with projects, such as the new WMU Student Center, when we invest in a new facility, we do so with a focus on support for the students to build the most dynamic learning environment possible for them.”

This includes focusing on sustainability and efficiency with new projects, he adds. “We built the student center with the most up-to-date technology, so it is easy to operate and maintain. It’s very functional and going to last.”

Stirrett says he’s looking forward to working with various units on campus to determine how current buildings are being used and the frequency of that use, balancing what campus needs are in relation to space.

“We want to create the most comfortable and functional space possible and be a destination for students, faculty, staff and the community,” he says. “I’m excited and appreciative to be here at Western. It’s an exciting time to be on board.”

Prior to coming to WMU, Stirrett served in the same role at Ferris State University and a similar role at Mott Community College in Flint prior to that. He has also served as the chief of planning and organizational performance of the facilities group at Michigan State University, project manager at Central Michigan University and various roles in industrial construction. He began his career as an officer in the 18th Airborne Corps. After his active service, he held the rank of captain and served as the company commander of the Army Reserve in the 980th Quartermaster Company in Bay City, Michigan.

Stirrett received his Bachelor of Science in building construction management from Michigan State University and received his Master of Business Administration from the University of Michigan-Flint. He is a LEED-Accredited Professional, holds a Michigan Residential Builders License and has served on the national Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award Board of Examiners, to name but a few of his many professional credentials.

“We are excited that Chad has joined us. His facilities experience at three other Michigan public universities as well as his professional licenses ensures he brings both experience and skill to strategically position campus facilities for the future,” adds Jan Van Der Kley, vice president for business and finance.

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