Letters: Other views on WSU board, Izzo

The Detroit News

Community members support WSU President

We were present at the March 20 Wayne State University Board of Governors meeting and expressed our support for the outstanding leadership of the WSU president, Dr. M. Roy Wilson.We were appalled by the behavior of Governors Michael Busuito, Sandra Hughes O’Brien and especially Dana Thompson.

WSU board member Sandra Hughes O'Brien questions parts of WSU President M. Roy Wilson's contract during the Wayne State University Board meeting on Dec. 7, 2018.

Busuito, O’Brien and Thompson attacked Wilson, impugning his reputation and making accusations that have been repeatedly discredited by several news outlets and leaders we trust. More troubling, Thompson verbally attacked us, questioning our motives and urging constituents to “stay in their lane.” She also reminded the president that he works for the Board of Governors.

Thompson has forgotten that she works for us, the citizens of the state of Michigan. Voters selected the members of the Board of Governors and we are well within “our lane” to question the BOG’s decisions, voice our concerns and to hold elected officials accountable. Thompson’s attack on us was unbecoming of an elected official.

Wilson has earned our support. His list of accomplishments as leader of the university is long and includes:

  • Doubling the six-year undergraduate graduation rate since 2011, from 26 percent to 47 percent.
  • Boosting the number of minority students admitted to the Wayne State University Medical School from seven students in 2014 to 60 students last year.
  • Creating programs like MED-DIRECT, which offers funding for housing and undergraduate and medical school tuition to talented students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • Establishing the Access Award, which gives students with the most financial need access to no-loan tuition and fee assistance.

We urge the WSU Board of Governors to approach their duties with a spirit of collegiality, respect and soberness that has been missing as of late.

Yvette Anderson

Director, Fannie Lou Hamer Political Action Committee & WSU doctoral student

Jane C. Garcia

Board chair, Latin Americans for Social & Economic Development

Elena Herrada

Community activist and former Detroit Public School Board member

Rogelio Landin

Community activist

Keith Williams

Chair, Michigan Democratic Party Black Caucus

Finley wrong on Izzo

Nolan Finley's column, "MSU Should Throttle Izzo, March 23" does a disservice to the survivors of Larry Nassar's predatory sexual assault by falsely connecting those heinous crimes to a single, heated moment between a player and coach in the middle of a high-stakes basketball game. The survivors deserve better than Finley dragging them into this kerfuffle, and minimizing their trauma.

Aaron Henry, along with other former and current Spartan basketball players, have defended Izzo and decried the media hand-wringing as much ado about nothing.

Karen Stoychoff


Don't single out Whitmer tax breaks

In Greg McNeilly's recent column ("Whitmer's record of corporate tax giveaways, March 20"), he continually bashed Whitmer’s record in the Michigan Legislature because she voted in favor of business breaks. Aren’t those breaks usually voted in because they bring jobs to the state or keep them here? Would he rather there were no new jobs or opportunities for Michigan residents? 

He had strong words for her decision to support a new industry — movies — in coming to the state. It was a fledgling business that had the capacity to do much more when it was abruptly stopped by a Republican vote. Was there anything else in the offering that would have filled in the creative job market gap? 

I am sure it was not only Whitmer’s vote that brought breaks for electric cars or solar  panels to the state. And, yes, some industries do not pan out as expected, but does anyone know for sure which will or won’t? 

I get his anger at the gasoline tax. No one really wants to pay more taxes. And the final vote on the tax may show it to be much less. But his dismay about votes that might actually keep or bring jobs to the state baffles me.

I do not always understand why tax credits are offered, but those who are involved in state efforts to bring viable industry to the state do understand. Why condemn any vote to improve our options for new business when those options are few and far between?

Patricia Russell