Western Michigan University Trustee Ron Kitchens is leaving his job as the head of a local economic development agency and heading south to take a similar position in Birmingham, Alabama. But Kitchens says that’s no reason to quit Western’s Board.
“The mission to provide access, particularly access for first-generation college students is something that’s in my heart and I look forward to continuing that for the remainder of my term,” Kitchens, the longtime leader of the commerce-boosting organization Southwest Michigan First, told WMUK.
He added that there was no legal issue with his continuing as a Trustee.
“Western has had this come up, where a Trustee resided in one place and continued to serve, and I continue to have business and personal interests in the region, so I’ll continue to be here regularly,” he said.
Kitchens said he will attend Trustees meetings in-person when those resume after the Covid-19 pandemic. He’s about halfway through his eight-year term.
Appointment of Officers
The Trustees also picked their leaders for the year in a virtual meeting today. Lynn Chen-Zhang is the new chair and Bill Johnston is the vice chair.