Dr. John W. Dunn, who has led Western Michigan University for a decade, announced his retirement today, to be effective June 30th, 2017.

WMU President Dr. John Dunn
Photo: WMU Office of University Relations. Used by permission.

The launch of the WMU Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine, an affiliation that created the WMU Cooley Law School, are just two of the major accomplishents during his tenure at the school.

Dunn, who is WMU's eighth president said in a message to the University community that he plans for a coming year full of work still to be completed, and he said announcing his retirement date now is to "ensure that the trustees, in consultation with the University community, have adequate time to conduct a national search for the person who will become the ninth president of WMU."

Dunn's current contract extends through June 30, and he has accepted a request from the WMU Board of Trustees to serve in the capacity of president emeritus for the year following his tenure as president. That agreement was built into his most recent contract extension.

"I will undertake assignments, as determined by the trustees and the president-designate," Dunn wrote." My intent is to be helpful, but not intrusive, in the leadership and direction of the new president."

Board of Trustees Chair Kenneth Miller followed Dunn's message with one of his own, praising Dunn's accomplishments and outlining the board's next steps in the process of identifying the next WMU president. Miller, who led the search that brought Dunn to WMU in 2007, noted the level of accomplishment during Dunn's tenure.

"In just nine short years, President Dunn's record of accomplishment and the transformation he has led on campus and in the community have been remarkable," Miller said. "We are, today, a markedly different and stronger University than we were in 2007."

Dunn came to WMU in June 2007, from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale where he had been Provost, and interim Chancellor. Prior to that, his career took him to the University of Utah and Oregon State University.

Since moving to Michigan, Dunn has been actively engaged with state and community efforts that focus on quality-of-life issues and enhancing economic development. He is a member of the boards of First National Bank, Southwest Michigan First and the WMU Foundation as well as the governing boards of the Greater Kalamazoo Area United Way and the W.E.Upjohn Institute.

He also is in his second term as chair of the Mid-American Conference President's Council and is in his final year as a board member of ACE--the American Council on Education.

Since his arrival in Kalamazoo, Dunn and his wife, Linda, have been unabashed fans of West Michigan and the Kalamazoo community. In his message to the campus Dunn pledged his continuing commitment to the University.

"This has been an incredible time in the lives of Linda and John Dunn, and we will always be thankful for the opportunity to be part of Western Michigan University, the Kalamazoo community and the region," wrote Dunn, who will be nearly 72 when he retires. " I hope it is clear to all that my respect and affection for this University will be sustained forever, and that I fully intend to be a supportive and helpful Bronco for the remainder of my life."

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