Facility Sharing Bears Affiliation Fruit

WMU-Cooley President Don LeDuc and WMU President John Dunn

WMU-Cooley Dean and President Don LeDuc and WMU President John Dunn

In January of this year, WMU President Dr. John Dunn and WMU-Cooley President and Dean Don LeDuc signed a ground-breaking facility-sharing agreement between the university and law school. The agreement gave both institutions opportunities to use one another’s facilities to promote their educational missions, improve programs, and extend their geographic reach.  Immediately, the law school was able to use a WMU classroom in Kalamazoo to offer two elective courses in Employment Law and Environmental Law, the first law school courses offered in Kalamazoo.

The university has now relocated its WMU-MetroDetroit offices and distance-education classrooms from Woodward Avenue in Royal Oak to a suite at the law school’s Auburn Hills campus.

springThe relocation enables the university to accomplish at least three affiliation synergies.  One advantage is that the university can now maintain its high quality WMU-MetroDetroit offices and distance-education facilities at reduced cost under the facility-sharing agreement.  A second advantage is that the university now has a strong and convenient local presence in Southeast Michigan’s famous Automation Alley, a key technology, business, and engineering hub.  A third advantage is that the university increases its access for residents of Oakland, Livingston, and other suburban counties. The law school’s Auburn Hills campus lies at the intersection of two major Southeast Michigan arteries, the north-south Interstate 75 and east-west M-59, directly across the street from Fiat-Chrysler’s headquarters and right nearby the sports-complex Palace of Auburn Hills.

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Representatives of each institution have inspected other university and law school facilities in Kalamazoo, Lansing, Grand Rapids, and even Tampa, Florida, for reciprocal use under the facility-sharing agreement.  The law school just announced that it will hold first-term courses on WMU’s main campus in Kalamazoo starting this September in WMU’s Haworth College of Business building.  Expect more facility-sharing announcements soon.  Both institutions have long held strategic visions to offer premier learning facilities.  The facility-sharing agreement was a perfect extension of each institution’s commitment to provide new, attractive, comfortable, convenient, and accessible facilities for students, faculty, staff, and community use.

“The facility-sharing agreement took significant work,” law school Associate Dean Nelson Miller said, “particularly on the part of the school’s facilities leaders and general counsel.  Once the presidents put the agreement in place, though, things felt as if they were ready to really take off.”  The schools also have in place master-academic and parking-services agreements, and just recently put in place an employee-and-student-services agreement that gives law students and WMU graduate and undergraduate students access to health, recreation, library, and other facilities and services.  “I can’t say enough how encouraging the affiliation has been and remains,” Miller added, “and we still are only scratching the surface of a powerful affiliation.”
(Left to right) WMU-Cooley Associate Dean Nelson Miller, WMU President John Dunn, WMU-Cooley President Don LeDuc, WMU Professor and Affiliation Liaison Mark Hurwitz, and WMU Provost Timothy Greene

(Left to right) WMU-Cooley Associate Dean Nelson Miller, WMU President John Dunn, WMU-Cooley President Don LeDuc, WMU Professor and Affiliation Liaison Mark Hurwitz, and WMU Provost Timothy Greene

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