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.
The 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.
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.