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WMU provost steps down, will remain on faculty

Western Michigan University administration building - file photo

Western Michigan University provost Jennifer Bott has stepped down from the administration. In a message to the university Tuesday, Western President Edward Montgomery said Bott, who has been provost since 2018 (note: an earlier version of the story gave the wrong year Bott started at WMU), will remain at the school as a faculty member in the Haworth College of Business.

Bott’s resignation as Western’s chief academic officer was sudden. Montgomery’s message said she stepped down on Monday. Vice provost for budget and personnel Chris Cheatham will serve as acting provost. Montgomery says he will work with a firm to find an interim provost, and a national search will begin in the fall. Montgomery’s message also included a message from Bott:

“It has been my privilege to champion WMU’s high-quality education and ensure it serves the evolving needs of our students. I have considered it my personal mission to prepare them for a changing and challenging world. One of my greatest pleasures at WMU has been teaching my spring MBA and psychology classes, which has rekindled my love for teaching. I look forward to returning to the classroom fully to prepare the leaders of tomorrow and share with them insights about leading change.”

Bott’s departure from the administration comes during a tumultuous time. In December, Western’s faculty union voted “no confidence” in Montgomery. Shortly before that vote, the board of trustees approved a $75,000 bonus for the university’s president. The board defended the bonus, and the president’s leadership. However, it has refused to release Montgomery’s performance review. MLive requested the review and has appealed the decision to deny the request.

Gordon Evans became WMUK's Content Director in 2019 after more than 20 years as an anchor, host and reporter. A 1990 graduate of Michigan State, he began work at WMUK in 1996.