DETROIT – Wayne State University announced Monday that its president will not be renewing his contract next year.
President M. Roy Wilson’s contract concludes on July 31, 2023. Wilson is the 12th president of the university.
“Wayne State today is strong and has a promising future,” Wilson wrote in a press release. “Together we have made great strides and I am proud to have served this institution and privileged to be a part of this community. Wayne State’s values and mission aligned closely with my personal values, and I am deeply grateful that this university gave me my voice as a leader. I did not have a place that I called home when I first came here, but going forward I will always proudly call Wayne State and Detroit my home.”
The university acknowledged many of Wilson’s accomplishments during the nine years of his presidency. One of the initiatives he launched was Student Success. This initiative focused on graduation and retention rates. According to Wayne State, the school welcomed its largest incoming class in 2020.
As the pandemic hit, Wilson helped guide students, teachers and facilities to be as efficient as possible. Along with navigating school-life balance with COVID-19, Wilson hired the university’s first chief diversity officer and created an Office of Multicultural Student Engagement and Social Justice Action Committee.
Also, during his presidency, the university partnered with the Detroit Pistons. This partnership led to a new $25 million arena on the school’s campus that served the women’s and men’s basketball teams. In addition, Wayne State opened a new business school near Downtown Detroit. The Hillberry Gateway Performance Complex broke ground in 2018, and the school also adopted a housing plan in 2016 to expand living space for students.
“The impact of President Wilson’s transformative leadership will be felt for years to come,” wrote Board of Governors Chair Mark Gaffney in a statement. “He has led our campus in putting students and their success above all else, furthering the university’s role in providing life-changing opportunities for all students to earn a college degree. We are grateful for his years of service and commitment.”
Before Wilson joined Wayne State, he was the vice president for health sciences and dean of Creighton University’s school of medicine. He was the president of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, served as a chancellor for the University of Colorado Denver, and was one of the board of directors for the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science.
During his free time, one of Wilson’s hobbies is long-distance cycling. Wilson participates in Wayne State’s The Baroudeur, a cycling event that raises money for economically disadvantaged students.
Wayne State University will begin the search process for a new president in the fall.