2011 was a fairly quiet year at Western, at least politically. The big news on campus continues to be the effort to establish a medical school. The school continues to raise money and hire administrators. It was also given a building downtown to serve as the location of the new school. (Presumably, the business that donated it will get a big tax writeoff.)
Construction continued on the new Sangren Hall, with the exterior now mostly complete and interior work continuing. Work is also progressing on an expansion to the Lee Honors College.
There has been little political activism on campus from either the College Republicans or the various leftist groups on campus. The Students for Life were revived from near death. The Western Herald has cut publication down to twice a week and seem to have lost significant readership. The WSA hasn't been involved in any recent controversies.
In February, Governor Snyder reappointed businessman Ken Miller to the WMU Board of Trustees and also appointed former Granholm staffer Dana Debel. Retired professor Joseph Ellin passed away. Veterans of the WMU College Republicans celebrated the five-year anniversary of Ann Coulter's speech on campus.
In March, the speed limit on Stadium was increased to 45 mph. In April, Jesse Jackson spoke on campus. The great Paul Maier finally retired as a history professor at Western. In May, university continued living well. In July, a federal appeals court panel overturned the MCRI; the ruling is being appealed to the full 6th circuit court of appeals . Western bought the University Bookstore , establishing a monopoly on physical bookstores on campus.
In August, Western's 'weak' education college was debated in the Gazette. A Western alumnus was involved in one of the big political stories of the year in Michigan. Western was rated as a 'gay-friendly' campus. In September, the costs of college continued to be debated. Western remembered 9/11.
In October, Human Events editor Jason Mattera spoke at Kalamazoo College, causing controversy. Later in October, it was announced that communist Van Jones would speak at Kalamazoo College. After the Gazette told a little too much truth about Jones' past, Kalamazoo College professor Any Elman and employee Hussain Turk lied about his record. His speech promoted big government under the guise of 'green energy'.
Former Congressman and WMU professor Howard Wolpe passed away. Khan Academy is changing math and science education. Western cut down trees to install solar panels.
What's next in 2012?
2010: The year at Western
2009: The Year at Western
2008: The Year at Western
2007: The Year at Western
2006: The Year at Western