Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson recently announced that the school will begin providing free tuition to all high school graduates from Detroit, which prompted some members of the Board of Governors to call for his resignation.
Governors Michael Busuito, Sandra Hughes O’Brien and Dana Thompson released a statement Monday night criticizing Wilson’s “lack of transparency and accountability to his employer,” since the Board of Governors wasn’t notified of the Heart of Detroit Tuition Pledge until the last minute.
“The announcement of the Tuition Pledge was a desperate move by a President on the ropes who has exhausted all options and is digging in but as Board members, we will continue to hold him accountable,” read the statement.
According to The Detroit News, some members of the Board of Governors are now calling for Wilson’s resignation.
“This tuition pledge has major financial, political and reputational implications, yet the President did not inform nor discuss with all members of the board the details of the pledge prior to the morning the tuition pledge was announced,” the statement adds.
Wayne State spokesperson Matt Lockwood apologized for not informing the Board of Governors of the tuition pledge until two hours before it was announced.
“While we did inform the board chair and work with her in the planning of the event, we regret the entire board was not informed in a timely manner,” he told The Detroit Free Press. “That was clearly an unintentional oversight on the part of the administration, and the oversight was acknowledged to the entire board.”
Board of Governors Chair Kim Trent told The Detroit News the three board members are “obsessed with punishing President Wilson because they did not have enough votes to stop the extension of his contract last December and haven’t had enough votes to remove him since.”
“In fact, the university is thriving under his stellar leadership and his leadership is being recognized throughout the academic world, except in the minds of these three board members who can’t push past their own egos to acknowledge the progress the university continues to make,” Trent added.
A number of Michigan lawmakers praised the new free tuition program, including Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, as The Michigan Star reported.
“Every Michigander deserves an affordable post-secondary education, and Wayne State has been a tremendous leader on this issue,” said Whitmer.
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Wayne State University” by Wayne State University.