The Thomas M. Cooley Law School will soon have a new name.
Western Michigan University's Board of Trustees approved a resolution allowing its name to be used. So Cooley will be renamed the "Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School." University trustees authorized use of the school's name during their meeting on Thursday. Western officials say their affiliation with Cooley is not a merger or an acquisition. Both schools will remain independent. Vice President for Business and Finance Jan Van Der Kley says accrediting agencies for both schools have to approve the name change before it can become official.
In other news from Thursday's board meeting:
Tobacco on campus
A committee is recommending that Western become a tobacco free campus beginning in the Fall of 2014. Currently smoking is not allowed within 25 feet of any university building. The proposal calls for continuing that policy through the next academic year as the new tobacco free campus is implemented. The board heard a report from committee members on Thursday. Trustees would have to approve a policy to make Western a tobacco free campus.
Protestors gathered outside of the Bernhard Center calling for the university to change course on its plans for East campus. The university plans to convert East Hall into an alumni center. Three other buildings on campus are slated for demolition. Construction fences recently went up to prepare for tearing down the three other structures. Two speakers addressed the board during the public comment portion of the meeting and again called on trustees to reconsider. Western President John Dunn and board members did not respond. The board also heard from contractor Tower-Pinkster about possible plans for the Alumni Center. A representative of the firm says plans are in the very early stages. But alumni centers at other institutions are being studied for ideas of how Western's center may develop.