Students and administrators representing WMU's Seita Scholars Program
participated in Fostering Advocacy Day at the Capitol in May.

The WMU Office of Government Affairs manages the network
and works on behalf of WMU to strengthen relationships
with state, federal, and local policy makers.

  • Wednesday, July 4, U.S. Independence Day--No classes. Many WMU offices closed or on reduced hours.
  • Monday, July 9, last day to register to vote to be eligible for August primary voting.
  • Friday, July 13, Broncos Night Out Magic Night featuring Gene Anderson and WMU celebrity amateur magicians, including Kahler Schuemann. 7 p.m. Outdoor Games. 7:30 p.m. performance.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 7, Michigan Primary Elections. Find your polling place.

Student occupational therapist working with a young patient
WMU nets general fund increase and special appropriations from state budget 

The Western Michigan University Board of Trustees approved at their June 27 meeting an estimated general fund operating budget of $424 million for the 2018-19 fiscal year that begins July 1.

Major revenue ingredients for the WMU budget include $111.1 million in state appropriations for base funding from the state. That amount is up $1.8 million, or 1.62 percent , compared to last year's allocation.

WMU also received $9.5 million in special appropriations funding--one of just two universities granted additional targeted support in this budget cycle, as follows:
  • $500,000--Seita Scholars Program, included in a supplemental 2017-18 appropriation for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
  • $500,000--Michigan Geological Survey at WMU, included in the budget for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.
  • $1,500,000--CHHS Unified Clinics, included in the budget for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. This funding is intended to upgrade clinical equipment and reimburse the clinics for uncompensated care. Read more about how the clinics serve tens of thousands of patients each year in the fall issue of WMU Magazine
  • $7 million--MiDocs, included in the budget for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is $28 million ($5 million from state sources) for a new state residency program for graduates of medical schools. Created by a consortium of medical schools from CMU, MSU, WSU, and WMU, this is a primary care state residency program for medical school graduates to serve under-served populations. Unlike existing residency programs administered by hospitals, this program will be administered by the medical schools. A provision is also included for student medical school debt relief.
The top revenue element in WMU's new budget is $304.9 million in expected tuition and fee income. The tuition revenue includes a board-approved 3.88 percent increase in tuition, which falls within the state's tuition-restraint policy.

As part of the appropriation process, the state required that tuition increases for resident undergraduate students be no more than 3.8 percent--or $490--whichever is greater. Based on the tuition restraint formula, $490 equates to 3.88 percent for WMU. 

Both revenues and expenses increased by nearly $16 million compared to the previous academic year.  On the expenditure side, compensation is the single largest expense in the University's budget. The budget reflects negotiated compensation increases for collective bargaining groups and a 2 percent compensation pool for non-bargaining employees, increases that will result in $6.7 million in new compensation costs.
Grand Hotel porch, Mackinac Island
President Montgomery meets state policymakers at Mackinac conference

WMU President Edward Montgomery and a small delegation of University administrators attended the Mackinac Policy Conference May 29 to June 1, which featured an an overarching theme of talent and workforce development. 

The annual conference is hosted by the  Detroit Regional Chamber. It  attracts hundreds of attendees from across the state with policy-making and business interests to discuss best practices to help the state thrive and grow.

While delivering his final address to conference attendees, Governor Rick Snyder emphasized the economic gains Michigan has made under his tenure and urged stakeholders to bring civility back to the political arena. 

Other keynote speakers, including former Speaker of the U.S. House Congressman John Boehner and Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan. Each delivered messaging on the current federal landscape, and both opined on the presidency of Donald Trump.  Also of note was a gubernatorial debate that featured all six primary candidates. View the debate.
Term limits shake up the make up of legislature

The Michigan Senate and House could see turnover rates of 71 percent and 40 percent, respectively, from this fall's elections, assuming incumbents seeking another term are reelected. Voters will have their first opportunity to put their support behind their candidate of choice during Michigan's primary elections on  Tuesday, August 7 .

Michigan utilizes an open primary system for state-level offices, in which registered voters do not have to be members of a party to vote in that party's primary.  With three open U.S. Congressional seats and several competitive primary races throughout the state, 2018 promises to be an interesting election year in Michigan. For a comprehensive listing of candidates, visit the Secretary of State's  website .

Not sure who the legislators are that represent your home districts? Find out via the "Find Legislator" page of the Bronco Advocacy Network website through a simple search based on your address. Website.
Ball State business dean named WMU's next provost

Dr. Jennifer P. Bott , former business dean at Ball State University, was recently selected as WMU's new provost and vice president for academic affairs effective July 1. 
At Ball State, Bott served as the Bryan Dean of the Miller College of Business and as a professor of management. 

"Dr. Bott brings to the position a strong background in teaching, research and community engagement," said WMU President Edward Montgomery. "She has held senior leadership positions in which she demonstrated her acumen in strategic planning, program development, budgeting and shared governance. She also brings to her new role a track record of success in fundraising, building enrollment and working across institutional silos." Read more.
WMU hires first VP for marketing and communication 

Welcome to Tony Proudfoot, the University's new and first vice president for marketing and strategic communication, effective June 27. Proudfoot is the former interim senior vice president for marketing and communications at the University of Arizona.

"As we move Western Michigan University forward, 'transformational change' has been our guiding principle and our goal for every major aspect of this institution," said WMU President Edward Montgomery. "I believe Tony Proudfoot has the transformational ideas, experience and thinking to reshape and elevate our efforts in marketing, brand positioning and communication. Our challenge is to make WMU the university of choice for this region and beyond. Tony's results-oriented approaches and deep expertise in higher education marketing will be crucial to this work."  Read more.
Bronco gubernatorial appointments

Congratulations to these Broncos recently appointed to a Michigan board or commission.

  • Pam Kies-Lowe, of Lansing, Interagency Council on Homelessness.
  • Lawrence Prokop, of Mason, Board of Speech Language Pathology.
  • Daryl Delabbio, of Grand Rapids, Municipal Stability Board.
WMU to host fall campus sexual assault summit

WMU will host Michigan's fourth "Inform. Empower. Prevent. Let's End Campus Sexual Assault" summit on Monday, Sept. 24--an initiative of Michigan's First Lady Sue Snyder to prevent sexual assault and change the culture on campuses by raising awareness.

"I'm proud of the leadership role Michigan has taken to address the prevalence of sexual assault on our college and university campuses," said Snyder. "These statewide summits are an important part of our work to raise awareness and prevention efforts to ultimately change the culture and put an end to campus sexual assault." 

Visit the initiative  website for more information or to register.
Gratitude and advocation focus of Fostering Success Day at the Capitol

A WMU Seita Scholar designed the
t-shirt given to all foster youth
participating in the event.
Foster youth who have transitioned to higher education spent a day of advocacy at the Michigan Capitol on May 22, highlighting May as Foster Care Month. 

Members of Western Michigan University's Sieta Scholars Program turned out in large numbers to thank law and policy makers for their support and assistance and to urge them to continue to do more. 

Participants were welcomed by Senator Margaret O'Brien and had meetings with individual members of the legislature.

Evening of magic planned for next Broncos Night Out

Join us the second Friday of each month through August for our annual summer entertainment series on Heritage Hall's Grand Lawn. All Bronco alumni, families, and fans are invited to our second full season of the "Broncos Night Out" Series, an open-air monthly event featuring free outdoor entertainment and snacks to unwind and take in the extraordinary view of the city lights. 

No advance registration is required to attend. Bring your picnic blankets and lawn chairs to kick back and relax! Next event is  Broncos Night Out Magic Night on Friday, July 13.
Advocate for your favorite university

Friends of WMU is a grassroots, bipartisan state political action committee of Broncos helping Broncos, which was established to promote the interests of Western Michigan University. Learn how you can be more engaged as a WMU supporter on the Friends of WMU  website.