It is with a blend of both great joy and great humility that I take the reins today as Western Michigan University's ninth president.
This is a great University, with a long track record of discovery, teaching and community engagement. It is both an academic powerhouse and a vital economic and human service force in society. I look forward to working with each of you as we write the next chapters in the story of WMU.
It has been almost four months since the day in April when the Board of Trustees introduced me to you as its pick to be the ninth president and next leader of our University. I am confident that by working together, we can reach new heights and make this the institution of choice for our state and region. I said at the time that my first job would be to get to know the faculty, staff, students and alumni communities, for its only by tapping into your ideas and talents that we can reach this goal together.
Since then, I have been a voracious consumer of information about WMU. I now know enough to be even more impressed with the Bronco community than I was before. I also know there's so much more I still need to learn about WMU. But I am learning quickly. Now that I'm on campus, and with your help, I'll be able to both speed the process along and engage you in developing a road map for action in the coming weeks and months.
Kari and I know from personal experience as parents what a transformational experience Western Michigan University offers the students and families it serves. Part of being an institution of choice is to offer transformational opportunities not just for our students but for our faculty and staff who commit their professional lives to this institution and the community we live in, as well.
We are both thankful to John and Linda Dunn for the kindnesses they've shown us and their pledge to continually assist during this transition. It's a personal honor and a challenge to be following in the footsteps of such a stellar leader, but by working together I can assure you, the momentum will continue.
I will be out and about on campus from here on in, and I look forward to meeting and talking with you. Please don't hesitate to introduce yourself when you see me on campus. I look forward to the opportunity to chat and learn about your ideas and role here.
Thank you for the warm welcome you have given us and for your commitment to Western Michigan University. Together, we'll achieve great things for our students and the broader communities we serve.
Western Michigan University