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John M. Dunn named eighth president of WMU

April 27, 2007

KALAMAZOO--Dr. John M. Dunn has been named the eighth president of Western Michigan University and will take office July 1.

Dunn, interim chancellor of Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, was selected by unanimous vote of the WMU Board of Trustees at the board's April 27 meeting. His appointment follows a nationwide search that began last fall and involved all key University constituencies and the public. Dunn will replace Dr. Diether H. Haenicke, WMU president emeritus, who has served as interim president since August.

"Dr. Dunn is the right choice at the right time to lead Western Michigan University," said Dan Pero, chair of the WMU Board of Trustees. "He is energetic and experienced. He has earned a reputation as a consensus builder. And he is committed to making the student experience at WMU the best in Michigan and the country."

Dunn, who was named Southern Illinois' interim chancellor in November 2006, had previously served as provost and vice chancellor there since 2002. He says his interest in the WMU position was piqued by the similarities between WMU and SIU, a research university with more than 21,000 students, an extensive portfolio of grants and contracts, a number of major research centers and a historical background as a state teachers college.

"I am particularly impressed with WMU's continuing commitment to quality in its undergraduate and graduate programs. From my years at research universities, I know that the benefit of educating students in a research environment adds immeasurably to their university experience," Dunn said. "I am excited about my new duties at WMU and am honored to be able to serve others in my new role as president. During the interview process, I was struck by the sentiments shared with me by those who participated--faculty, staff and students. Their presence, questions and obvious pride in WMU helped me determine that this was the right place and choice for me."

Dunn will officially take office on July 1. His five-year agreement calls for an annual salary of $345,000, and he will have a deferred compensation plan equal to $50,000 annually.

An educator for more than 30 years, Dunn was dean of the University of Utah's College of Health before moving to SIU, holding that post from 1995 to 2002. Before that, he was at Oregon State University for 20 years, last serving as associate provost there from 1990 to 1995. Also at Oregon State, Dunn was assistant dean of Health and Human Performance from 1987 to 1990, chair of the Department of Exercise and Sport Science from 1980 to 1987 and director of the university's Special Physical and Motor Fitness Clinic.

Internationally known for his research and writing about the long-term health of individuals with disabilities, Dunn is the author of more than 50 professional papers and book chapters. He is a past president of the Research Consortium of the American Alliance for Health Physical Education, Recreation and Dance; past editor of Quest, a professional publication for kinesiology scholars; and president-elect of the American Academy of Kinesiology and Physical Education.

Dunn, who began his teaching at the University of Connecticut in 1972, earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Northern Illinois University in 1967 and 1969, respectively. He earned his doctoral degree in physical education from Brigham Young University in 1972.

Dunn and his wife, Linda, are the parents of three adult children who live around the nation.

WMU's search for a new president was led by University Trustee Ken Miller, who served as chair of a 14-member presidential search advisory committee made up of faculty, staff and students from across the University. It also included representation from the University's alumni base and the local community. Miller says input from the campus community played a key role in the successful outcome of the search.

"Our committee's first interaction with Dr. Dunn was extremely positive," Miller said. "Our initial impression was validated when those who met with him on campus and in the community shared with us the same overwhelmingly positive response. Trustees Sarah DeNooyer, Bill Johnston and I visited Chancellor Dunn's campus last week, and the praise we heard for Dr. Dunn's abilities and leadership style convinced us that he is the right person to serve as president and a wonderful fit for our institution."

Additional details on Dunn's background and the University's presidential search process can be found at www.wmich.edu/president/search.

Founded in 1903, Western Michigan University has an enrollment of 25,000 students and offers 141 bachelor's degree programs, as well as 66 programs at the master's level and 29 programs at the doctoral level. WMU is Michigan's fourth largest higher education institution, attracting a diverse and culturally rich student body from across the United States and some 80 other countries. In addition to its main campus in Kalamazoo, the University has eight branch campuses around the state, all of which provide primarily graduate and professional education.

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Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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