May 2019
Groundbreaking for the new 67,000-square-foot instructional facility at the W.K. Kellogg Airport
in Battle Creek May 10 drew praise by local economic development partners.
(L-R with shovels: President Edward Montgomery, Trustee Lynn Chen-Zhang,
Provost Jen Bott, Dean Dave Powell, former Senator Mike Nofs and Mike Corby.

  • Saturday, May 18--Foster Care Awareness Walk, hosted by WMU Seita Scholars program, 9 to 11 a.m., Kanley Track. Information.

  • Thursday, June 6--Livable Communities Conference, Floyd Hall, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Information.

  • Friday, June 7--WMU Night at Comerica Park, Detroit Tigers vs the Minnesota Twins, Stampede Tailgate, on-field festivities. Charter bus transportation option. Information.

  • Friday, June 14--Broncos Night Out, live music featuring Yolanda Lavender, 7 p.m., Heritage Hall. Information.
Artist's rendering of the entrance to the forthcoming Aviation Education Center.
Aviation college on the grow to help meet industry demand

Western Michigan University's new state-of-the-art Aviation Education Center will provide additional space for the College of Aviation's soaring enrollment fueled by demand for pilots and aviation mechanics.

Groundbreaking for the new 67,000-square-foot instructional facility at the W.K. Kellogg Airport in Battle Creek May 10 drew praise by local economic development partners. Completion of the $20 million building project—including a $15 million grant from the state secured with legislative support from former Senator Mike Nofs of Battle Creek—is expected in summer 2020.

Construction at the W.K. Kellogg Airport in Battle Creek adds classroom space, a computer room, composites/paint laboratory upgrades, a state-of-the-art simulation center, a premier research center, student briefing rooms, faculty office space, a café and other amenities, as well as the latest technology.

The college has seen its enrollment grow 35 percent in the past five years to about 1,000 students as high job growth and demand for aircraft pilots, aircraft technicians and management place WMU in the position to be Michigan's major resource to prepare students for these jobs, says the college's dean,  Dave Powell .

"We will increase our classrooms from four to 10, greatly improving the scope of our instruction and research capabilities," Powell says, adding the center will be built to LEED Silver standards. "The needs of our industry are tremendous, and these trends are expected to continue as projected increases in passenger traffic fuel the demand for these highly skilled, highly paid industry jobs."

Read the full story at WMU News .
Capital Intern spotlight

WMU alumna Bionca Stewart wrapped up her senior year as a Capital Intern in Rep. Jon Hoadley's Lansing office and collected her WMU degree at the commencement ceremony held April 27.

A graduate of Center Line High School, Stewart majored at WMU in behavioral science and minored in Mandarin Chinese. She accepted the internship in Hoadley's office to gain firsthand experience and understanding in how state government works.

"I was interested in learning how legislation and policy was conducted and who were the people involved in creating legislation and policies," said Stewart, who calls Warren, Mich. home. "I also wanted to observe all of the systems used in the legislative process to see if there is a way to make politics more effective and efficient so politicians can better serve their communities."

Stewart was able to witness House and Senate committee meetings, which were helpful in understanding how politicians make, or should make, their decisions.

"I have been able to meet many wonderful and powerful people at these committee meetings," she said, "which has led to many different incredible opportunities for my future."

Stewart also had the opportunity to meet Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II (at right in photo) as one of 20 WMU Capital Interns who served in Lansing for the 2018-2019 academic year. The program, co-sponsored by the Department of Political Science and the Lee Honors College, enlists student interns to serve state representatives, senators, lobbyists and various officials. The interns travel to Lansing twice a week to attend session meetings, help research and draft legislation and work directly with constituents.  Dr. Lauren Foley , assistant professor of political science, serves as program director.  Learn more .
Greg Rosine set to sail into retirement

After more than 40 years of distinguished service to the State of Michigan in Lansing and at Western Michigan University, Greg Rosine , vice president of WMU's Office of Government Affairs, will retire effective June 1.

Rosine joined WMU in September 2003, bringing 25 years of experience in state government focused on the budget process and transportation. He was hired by former WMU President Judy Bailey and successively served in the administrations of Dr. Diether H. Haenicke, Dr. John M. Dunn and Dr. Edward Montgomery.

Rosine’s leadership of the WMU government affairs team and collaborative efforts with WMU's senior administrators and the southwest Michigan delegation of legislators has netted the University more than $80 million in special appropriations and capital outlays over his tenure.

Greg Rosine has been a tireless champion for WMU with our state, federal and local elected officials,” said WMU President Edward Montgomery . “We can see just some of his successes by walking around campus where Sangren Hall, the College of Aviation, and Dunbar Hall stand as reminders, or from visiting the Autism Center, Unified Clinics, Michigan Geological Survey and other academic programs that have benefited from his work. Bottom line—Greg has left his mark on WMU and will be sorely missed.”

Rosine’s career in government began in 1979 at the nonpartisan House Fiscal Agency, where he served as a fiscal analyst for for eight years and as associate director from 1987 to 1997. He spent the following five years at the Michigan Department of Transportation, serving initially as chief administrative officer and later as the director. He worked collaboratively with the state legislature, Michigan's Congressional delegation, local units of government and a variety of constituent groups.

Rosine's leadership has extended beyond his University responsibilities in Lansing as a past chair and active member of the State Relations Officers of the Michigan Association of State Universities (MASU). Locally, he serves as the chair of both the Kalamazoo County Transportation Authority (KCTA) and the Central County Transportation Authority (CCTA).

If you’re out on the Great Lakes this summer, look for Rosine, and his wife, Shari Glaser, director of WMU Family Engagement, on their sailboat, Wanderlust . A joint retirement reception honoring Greg and Shari is planned for 5 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 22, in the lobby of Sangren Hall.
Fast fact: Michigan ranked "dead last" in revenue growth
for K-12 schools

Michigan ranks “dead last” among all states in revenue growth for K-12 schools since voters approved property tax and finance Proposal A in 1994, according to  a report released in March 2019  by researchers at Michigan State University.

After adjusting for inflation, tax revenue generated for the state’s K-12 system in 2015 was roughly 85 percent the amount in 1995, and “no other state is close to a decline of this magnitude,” the report's authors said. Michigan’s per-pupil funding revenue dropped by 15 percent over the same period, ranking 48th out of 50 states, according to the report.
The Western Michigan University
Office of Government Affairs
manages the network and works on behalf of WMU
to strengthen relationships with state, federal, and local policy makers.