May Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference, Friday, May 20, 2022 in Lansing.
Photo courtesy of Michigan Department of Treasury.
Work Continues on State Budget, Potential for Historic Investment at WMU

As the Governor and Legislature continue to negotiate the Fiscal Year '23 state budget, that begins October 1, WMU is poised to receive substantial investments that will bolster our efforts to support students and help address the growing inflationary cost increases we are experiencing. All sides (Governor, House and Senate) have included substantial funding increases for university operations. The House and Senate however, have included additional funds specifically directed to payoff state-mandated retirement pension liabilities in their respective budget recommendations. Resolving this long standing debt is a top priority for WMU. We would especially like to thank our local State Representatives and Senator, Rep. Julie Rogers, Rep. Christine Morse, Rep. Matt Hall and Sen. Sean McCann for their ongoing support of these funding priorities, they are helping us secure these critical investments and their support is key to our success!

At the recent Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference held in May, it was determined that the state has even more money to add to the earlier identified current-year budget surplus and projections for FY '23 remain strong. So, now is the time to make these critical investments in higher education. Additionally, by finally resolving the unfunded liabilities associated with the state-mandated retirement pension accounts will free up additional revenue for WMU to invest back on campus to support our students, faculty and staff.

We are hopeful that budget negotiations will conclude with an agreed to budget by the end of June or beginning of July. You can help us advocate by reaching out to your elected officials in the state House and Senate and let them know that you support efforts to invest in higher education, including funding to resolve the unfunded liabilities associated with the MI Public School Employees' Retirement System (MPSERS).
Community Benefit Project Funding

We'd like to thank our elected federal representatives for their support in securing $1.85 million in community benefit project funding for WMU. This included $1.5 million towards a STEM workforce collaboratory pipeline project and $350,000 to the WMU InterEnergy Center. A special thank you to Senator Stabenow and Representative Upton for their efforts and support on the STEM front and Senator Peters for his commitment to cybersecurity projects.
Thank you and Congratulations to Rep. Upton

Congressman Fred Upton has represented and advocated WMU's interests in Congress for nearly 30 years. We deeply appreciate his support for the university and his honorable, ethical, thoughtful, and respectful public service during his tenure representing Michigan's 6th congressional district. While he may bleed maize and blue, he will always be an honorary Bronco in our eyes. Thank you Mr. Upton and congratulations on your well deserved retirement!
Thank you to Katie John and Kara Wood, we will miss you!

It is a time of major transition for the Office of Government Relations and Community Partnerships, full of hard goodbyes but also exciting new beginnings for our team. We would like to announce the departures of Katie John back in March and Kara Wood coming up on June 10. We want to take this opportunity to thank them for their commitment and dutiful service to WMU and we encourage you to do the same!
Katie John served as the associate vice president for government relations since 2006. During her tenure she represented our institution in Lansing with pride and integrity. While we were sad to see her go, we wish her all the best in her new role at her alma mater, Michigan State University!
Kara Wood has served as associate vice president for community partnerships since 2019. We will miss her talent, drive and passionate advocacy representing WMU in our community. We are excited to see all that she will accomplish as Executive Director of Grand Action 2.0 in Grand Rapids!
Welcome to our new team members!

Please join us in welcoming our two new team members, Fred Schaible and Lisa Garcia!
Fred Schaible is our new assistant vice president for government relations!
Fred is a 2005 graduate of WMU. Since graduating he has served in various roles in both the Michigan Legislative and Executive branches of government, most recently serving as deputy director for engagements for the Michigan Department of Military and Veteran Affairs. If you see Fred around campus or Lansing make sure to say hello!
Lisa Garcia is our new interim assistant vice president for community partnerships starting June 28! Lisa comes to us from the Haworth College of Business where she served as director of business connection and co-founded BroncoConnect, a student-led marketing agency. We are excited to see how she will continue to expand WMU's impact and create experiences for students as a member of our team!
Lt. Governor to attend Statewide Commission Meeting at
WMU College of Aviation

The Michigan Aeronautics Commission will hold a public meeting at the Aviation Education Center in Battle Creek.This hybrid meeting is open to the public. Meeting information is as follows:

Date: Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Location: Western Michigan University College of Aviation
237 North Helmer Road, Room AEC 1801
Battle Creek, Michigan 49037
or via Microsoft Teams, Conference Call- Dial 1-247-509-0316; Conference ID 573131935

Time: 2:30 p.m.

Please contact the Michigan Aeronautics Commission Office at 517-335-9283 with any questions regarding the meeting.
The Western Michigan University Office of Government Relations will ethically 
operate with transparency, civility, bipartisanship and inclusivity to support public 
higher education. We advocate for and advance public policy and partnerships
benefiting Western Michigan University and the communities we serve.