Letter: WSU board exercises proper oversight

The Detroit News
President of the Wayne State University Roy Wilson listens during a Board of Governors meeting at Wayne State University.

In Nolan Finley's recent column ("WSU's Roy Wilson is a Detroit asset," March 19), which is riddled with errors, he claimed I voted against the Mike Ilitch School of Business gift. That is blatantly false.

First, the board did not vote on approving the gift but instead voted on renaming the Business School, the Mike Ilitch School of Business, and on the construction of the Ilitch Business School.

Second, if he had done his homework and checked the minutes of the board meeting, he would see I voted to abstain on these issues because I did not have access to the gift agreement in time for me to make a reasonable judgment on the entire issue.

Third, it appears that Nolan Finley is willing to carry Roy Wilson’s water for him by claiming board members who are raising questions about the Henry Ford deal as envisioned under the letter of intent, as is required by our constitutionally authorized roles as board members, are “acting on personal grievances rather than in the best interest of the University.” That is false.

The four of us who are asking tough questions of the administration about the Henry Ford deal are not uninformed malcontents. An underreported aspect of those of us questioning the deal is that we are two doctors and two lawyers who bring years of professional experience and judgment to this debate. Michael Busuito is a surgeon and Anil Kumar is a urologist. Sandy O’Brien is a lawyer and I am a corporate lawyer and a law professor.

Here at Wayne State University, we are exercising oversight in a deal that we believe, as envisioned under the letter of intent, is not in the best interest of the University.

Aside from the Henry Ford deal, Roy Wilson’s performance at Wayne State University is a matter of perspective. Yes, overall enrollment at the University has increased but the overall numbers of Black students at the University continues to dramatically decrease.

The Henry Ford deal is becoming Roy Wilson’s albatross. We as members of the Board of Governors are privy to information that others do not have about the University.

Roy Wilson may be considered an asset to Detroit, but I was elected to protect one of Detroit’s assets, Wayne State University. Nothing will dissuade me from doing what I was elected to do.

Dana Thompson

Wayne State University Board of Governors