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Trustees reject tuition proposal, call for bold alternative

June 7, 2007

KALAMAZOO--Acting at its June 7 meeting, the Western Michigan University Board of Trustees, which was to consider a 9 percent tuition increase, altered its agenda and asked the administration to come back to the board in July with a bold approach that is both creative and sensitive to the needs of students, their families and the state's economy.

Board Chair Dan Pero of Laingsburg, Mich., called on the administration to bring back "something better that is bold and different," after opening the board's formal session. The meeting came after an informal closed session in which trustees wrestled with the issues of tuition and budget.

"Bring us something that challenges us to be bold and more creative about how we approach the governance of this great University," Pero said in the board's public session. "We as a board have a responsibility to ensure that the hard-earned money that comes from our students and their families is used as efficiently and creatively as possible. Business as usual is simply not good enough."

All of the trustees spoke in support of the call for a bold alternative, with most noting that the University offers nationally and internationally recognized programs--the kind that produce the type of graduates most needed by Michigan.

"Students on our campus entrust us with the responsibility of providing them with an outstanding education," said Trustee Dennis Archer of Detroit. "We offer some of the best programs of any university in the state, and dollar for .dollar, our faculty deliver an outstanding level of education. We have to preserve access to that education."

The board's decision to amend its agenda meant that decisions on setting a budget and revising off-campus program tuition also were postponed until the July 13 meeting.

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

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