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WMU will remain open in event of state shutdown

Sept. 29, 2007

KALAMAZOO--President John M. Dunn assures the Western Michigan University community that WMU will remain open and will maintain normal operations in the event of a statewide shutdown of Michigan government services.

Dunn issued his assurance in a message to University faculty and staff Sept. 27, with the increasing likelihood of a statewide shutdown beginning Monday, Oct. 1. The president went on to say that the University could and would continue normal operations for several weeks, after which, further delays or reductions in state funding would have serious consequences.

Complete text of President Dunn's message

Sept. 27, 2007

Dear Colleagues:

I have no doubt that, like me, you are reading accounts of what is happening in Lansing with great concern. As things stand now, there is a chance that there will be a statewide shutdown of all but essential government services on Monday, Oct. 1.

With only days left to agree on a budget or even a continuing resolution, the Legislature and the governor seem no closer to resolving the budget crisis. Once September ends, the constitution does not allow the state to continue operating without a budget in place or a temporary continuation approved.

If a shutdown happens, you should know that Western Michigan University will continue to be open for business, and we all need to be on campus Monday, ready to perform the work that makes this great institution a place that serves Michigan and keeps its focus on student success.

For the short term, we will be able to continue normal operations. It is not until later in the month of October that such a shutdown would have a major detrimental impact on WMU. On Oct. 16, both our delayed final 2006-07 payment of $10.2 million and our first 2007-08 payment of somewhere near the same amount are due on campus. I am sure you all understand how important it is that we receive that $20 million in state appropriations to continue meeting our obligations to our students and employees.

In the coming days, you will be asked repeatedly what will happen at WMU if state government grinds to a halt. I wanted you to know how to reply and what to expect. I wish I had better advice to share, but for now, my best counsel is simply this: Let your state legislators and the governor know what you expect of them. That is the right and duty of every one of Michigan's citizens.

John M. Dunn

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

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