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WMU Trustee Will Stay On Board Despite Moving Out Of State

A screenshot from a virtual meeting with 12 participants.
Sehvilla Mann

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.

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