The progress WMU-Cooley has made in implementing the Western Michigan University affiliation over the past 18 months has been strong. The partnership has already spawned 134 initiatives – in just over a year and a half – through the efforts of everyone, from the administration to the faculty to the students.
Now with the first two law classes underway on WMU’s Kalamazoo campus, Western Michigan University President John M. Dunn and WMU-Cooley Law School President and Dean Don LeDuc met with officials on Jan. 19, 2016 to sign three new agreements that covered facilities use, courses and programs, and parking. The classes in employment and environmental law will also pave the way for a group of first-year law students to begin basic legal education on the WMU campus in fall 2016.
Both Dunn and LeDuc had great praise and mutual respect for the affiliation and the ideas generated by both institutions. For students, this latest agreement lends support and excitement to the many opportunities it opens for them, in addition to endless possibilities for the faculty and staff of both institutions.
“This is a great affiliation with a very fine law school,” said Dunn at the signing. “It is also, for the people of Michigan and locations well beyond, a great example of how to work our way through challenging times and expand opportunity for our students in a powerful way without relying on state resources.”
“With WMU now looking to use space at our other campuses, and the law school now active in Kalamazoo, the synergy is evident and the opportunities are abundant,” stated LeDuc. “The rewards have already included a joint major grant to the Innocence Project for $418,000 obtained through the initiative of WMU-Cooley Professor Marla Mitchell-Cichon. Our affiliation with WMU is a great long-range priority, and it is already producing short-range benefits.”
New opportunities that are a result of the agreements signed Jan. 19 include the following initiatives.
- Accelerated programs that will allow WMU students to complete both an undergraduate and law degree in a time frame shorter than the traditional seven years — saving the students time and tuition dollars.
- Cross-listing of courses that will allow WMU graduate students to take law classes and law students to take graduate courses, with each earning credits toward their respective degree programs.
- Dual courses that will be team-taught by faculty at both schools.
Watch the Jan. 19, 2016 WMU/WMU-Cooley Jan. 19, 2016 Signing Ceremony