President Wilson in the news

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WSU Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies kicks off National Hispanic Heritage Month

As a kickoff to National Hispanic Heritage Month, Wayne State University's Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies (CLLAS) recently hosted its 48th Anniversary & Celebration. The capacity crowd at El Kiosko Banquet Hall was on hand to recognize accomplished students and community leaders. Chuck Stokes, WXYZ editorial and public affairs director, served as emcee. Jorge Chinea, director of CLLAS, put together the special event.
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U.S. Government targets foreign researchers

The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) have accused 180 foreign scientists of undisclosed financial conflicts of interest and other wrongdoing and have referred at least 18 of them to federal investigators for possible debarment, raising concerns about disruption of international medical research collaborations. Most cases involved Chinese researchers, but concerns also exist about scientists from other countries, such as Russia, Iran and Turkey. “I was surprised by the extent of the allegations”, said M. Roy Wilson (Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA), co-chair of a NIH working group on foreign influences on research integrity. “Scientific collaboration is a keystone of biomedical research and helps tremendously; I worry about an overreaction that could stifle continued progress.” “Universities will likely begin auditing or spot-checking scientists' disclosures, but it is important that be done across the board without targeting researchers from any particular country,” Wilson said.
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Wayne State University president Road Warrior bike tour stops in Ludington

Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson will be visiting Ludington during his third annual Road Warrior bicycle tour that includes stops at four different cities in five days. Seven riders will be participating in the entire tour, including Wilson. Others will do segments, like one day, Wilson said. “This year we wanted to focus on and visit with alumni, donors and friends of the university,” said Wilson. Rob MacGregor, senior director of philanthropy at Wayne State Law School, said his daughter is riding a 100-mile segment. (Full access to article requires subscription)
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Wayne State president to ride through Midland, host reception

If there are any Wayne State University alumni or supporters in the area, July 24 will be your chance to reconnect and celebrate during a reception at Midland Center for the Arts, as part of the third annual Road Warrior bike tour. The tour begins Monday, July 22, and will end when the group of about seven cyclists makes their way back to the WSU campus during the afternoon of Friday, July 26. By the end of the tour, the cyclists will have biked 450 miles and visited four communities other than Detroit – Traverse City, Ludington, Midland and Rochester. Among the group will be WSU President M. Roy Wilson who is making the trip for the third year. Wilson, an avid cyclist, said the point of the trip is to get out into the community, gain new insights and network with the university’s supporters. “This idea came to me after the 2016 election because it’s apparent we’re becoming more polarized and I thought that there were segments of the community that we just weren’t reaching,” he said. “And since we’re a state institution we serve the state, we should be serving all communities, including rural communities and other communities that we don’t typically reach out to on a routine basis.” He said biking the state allows him to gain new perspectives and a better understanding of the people and their concerns. Regarding WSU, he said the main concerns he hears is surprisingly not tuition, but the value of attending a university. “With all the talk about tuition and the emphasis on trying to keep tuition down, I thought that would be a more important topic, and it’s not to say it’s unimportant, but really people were concerned about value,” he said. “And they don’t mind paying the tuition if they think they’re going to get good value for their money and they think it’s going to make a difference in their lives or in the lives of their sons and daughters.” And while the previous two years of the bike tour have focused on community outreach, this year’s theme is centered around celebrations with donors, alumni and friends of the university, Wilson said. “We want to make more of a focus on our alumni and donors and hear what they’re thinking and what their priorities are, and what their ambitions are for how the university can best serve them,” he said. Having a significant population of alumni and supporters in the area, Midland made the list of this year’s cities to visit, Wilson said. He added that he hopes once it’s over that the people who participated feel a greater connection to WSU. “I want them to know that we care about them and I hope that by making an effort to reach out and see them that they realize that,” he said. “… To be able to share time and gain some perspective from people who we don’t typically connect with, I think is going to be really important.”
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Road Warrior Bike Tour begins July 22

Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson is about to set out on another bike tour of Michigan, and this year he's casting a wider net. Wilson will take the third annual Road Warrior bike tour farther north this summer, biking to four cities in five days. Beginning Monday, July 22 cyclists will bike 450 miles by the time they're done Friday, July 26. By the end of the tour, the cyclists will have biked 450 miles and visited four communities. This year's Road Warrior bike tour will differ from the previous two in terms of theme and focus. Whereas the theme of the first two tours was community outreach and telling the Wayne State story, this year's tour will focus more on celebrations with donors, alumni and friends of the university. Wilson dropped by the Fox2 News studios Saturday morning to talk about his trip and mission. The schedule for the Road Warrior tour stops: July 22 at Chateau Chantal Winery in Traverse City; July 23 at Ludington Bay Brewing Co. in Ludington, 6-8 p.m.; July 24 at the Midland Center for the Arts and Dow Garden in Midland, 6-8 p.m.; July 25 at Rochester Mills Beer Co. in Rochester, 6-8 p.m.; July 26 at Tony V's Tavern in Detroit, 2 p.m.
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Students call him ‘Super Stanley’

Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson went to Harvard Medical School with Samuel Stanley Jr. and stayed in touch over the years as part of the small group of university presidents who were also medical doctors. “I think it’s an absolutely outstanding pick,” Wilson said about MSU’s selection of Stanley. Wilson has the unique perspective of someone who knows both Stanley and Lou Anna Simon, the MSU president forced out because of the Nassar scandal. “I like Lou Anna, but in terms of personality, (Simon and Stanley) are very, very different," he said. “Sam is warmer. He’ll engage you in conversation, and Lou Anna is just not that way. It’s not that she’s dismissive but she’s more analytical.” Wilson said that Stanley’s demeanor has been shaped by being a physician and working with patients in vulnerable situations. “In general, physicians get into the profession because they want to help people, and they tend to be empathetic and compassionate,” he said. “Sam has those qualities, and that’s going to be helpful in going forward at MSU.” Stanley’s reputation as a good listener also will help, Wilson said. “He’s very smart, but he’s also very understated. He’s not going to overtalk you."
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'Consensus builder' Stanley faces task of healing MSU

Michigan State University's next president is a skilled physician, nationally renowned researcher and a uniter who can help the university emerge from the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal, former colleagues said Tuesday. Those who have worked with Samuel Stanley Jr. hailed the former Stony Brook University president's broad range of academic, administrative, medical and research experience and his compassionate demeanor. Stanley, 65, was named president Tuesday by the MSU Board of Trustees after a decade-long stint as president of Stony Brook, a 17,364-student university on suburban Long Island in New York state. Stanley’s upcoming tenure, which begins Aug. 1, means that Michigan’s Big Three universities will all be headed by medical doctors. Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson and University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel are also trained as physicians. Wilson was a 1980 classmate of Stanley’s at Harvard Medical School and often played basketball with him in the university’s Vanderbilt Hall. Wilson also recently worked with Stanley on two national panels. One was a 2018 NCAA symposium titled “An ounce of prevention may keep you out of court.” Wilson also co-chaired a National Institutes of Health committee in 2018 for the director on Foreign Influences on Biomedical Research, with Stanley as one of the members. The WSU president spoke of Stanley with high regard, describing him as “compassionate” and “down-to-earth.” “MSU made an outstanding choice,” he said. “He’s a very smart guy. More than that, he is really well-rounded. He is not just a scientist. He is really well-rounded in the humanities.” Wilson added he felt Stanley will be able to navigate the university community through the turbulence of the Nassar fallout. “He’s very approachable,” he said. “I think the victims of sexual assault will feel like they can approach him in a way that may have not been able to with some other people.”
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Combatting undue foreign influence at U.S. research institutions

Stronger security measures may protect intellectual property, but how high is the cost? Aggressive actions could discourage top talent from coming to the United States. Tighter controls could disrupt collaboration and the free flow of information. But the most commonly cited fear is racial profiling. In its March 2019 issue, Science published a letter from three organizations, including the Society of Chinese Bioscientists in America, expressing concerns about polices that “single out students and scholars of Chinese descent … for scapegoating, stereotyping, and racial profiling.” Chinese American scientists have been wrongfully accused of spying in the past, the letter notes. Even supporters of measures to protect U.S. research worry about unfairly targeting scientists of Asian descent. “As a black male, I’m very sensitive to racial profiling,” says M. Roy Wilson, M.D., M.S., president of Wayne State University and co-chair of the NIH advisory committee that considered foreign influences. “The vast majority of foreign investigators in this country are contributing to the advancement of science and doing good work. It just so happens that a large proportion of people in this group are of Chinese descent. And we should not overly stigmatize an entire group of people, most of whom are great collaborators, great postdocs, and have no connection whatsoever with anything that could be considered even inadvertent subverting of process and policy.” 
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'A giant in law, in civil rights, and in life,' Judge Damon Keith

The late federal Judge Damon J. Keith was laid to rest Monday in Detroit. The Motor City native, civil rights icon, and distinguished jurist passed away at age 96 on April 28. His life and legacy were celebrated during a funeral service at the Hartford Memorial Baptist Church on Detroit's west side. “Damon Keith was a giant in law, in civil rights, and in life," said Dr. M. Roy Wilson, President of Wayne State University, one of Keith's alma maters. A grandson of slaves., Keith died as a celebrated federal judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He was nominated for that position in 1977. Many of his milestone decisions were mentioned during his funeral service Monday, including those that put him at odds with people in power at the time. Keith fought racial discrimination in public housing, schools and police departments.
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Mourners remember Judge Damon Keith as giant in law, life

The parade of fellow judges in their black robes took five full minutes Monday at the funeral of Judge Damon J. Keith at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church. Both of Michigan's senators were there — Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters — as were former U.S. Sen. Carl Levin. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, former Govs. Jennifer Granholm and Rick Snyder, Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist, Detroit Mayor Michael Duggan, and former mayors Dennis Archer and Dave Bing. Keith had been celebrated in his own time. He received dozens of honorary degrees, and his name is on the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights at the Wayne State University Law School. "Damon Keith was a giant in law, in civil rights, and in life," said Wayne State President Roy Wilson, standing at the altar behind a black casket. As mourners filled the church and watched a simulcast in the Wayne State Community Arts Auditorium, flags flew at half-staff at the State Capitol complex and on all state buildings.
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Leaders pay respects to late Judge Damon Keith

Federal Judge Damon Keith of Detroit died Sunday morning at 96. Dignitaries from around Michigan weighed in to offer their respects. Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson: "It’s a sad day. Judge Damon Jerome Keith passed away earlier today, and we are all mourning the loss of this outstanding civil rights pioneer, federal judge and great friend of Wayne State. I had the honor of being sworn in as the 12th president of Wayne State University by Judge Keith, but it meant even more to me to have met the man..."
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Science vs. Security

Over the past year and a half, national security agencies, federal granting agencies, the White House and members of Congress have all signaled their increasing concern about international students or scholars who might seek to exploit the openness of the U.S. academic environment for their own -- or their nations' -- gain. "I don’t think it’s necessarily that anything has changed so much as there’s just a growing awareness that there is a potential issue," said M. Roy Wilson, the president of Wayne State University and co-chair of the NIH working group on foreign influences on research integrity. "I do want to emphasize I think everybody on the committee -- most of us were university presidents -- were very, very, very sensitive to the fact that most foreign scientists who get NIH grants and who collaborate with scientists here, the vast, vast majority are very productive and have contributed a huge amount to science and are playing by the rules. We want to make sure that we don’t stigmatize the overwhelming majority of foreign investigators. But having said that, there’s just a growing awareness that there has been some small but nonetheless important problem that has to be addressed."
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Proposed Wayne State-Henry Ford Health System Relationship Offers Great Benefits

In a letter to the editor, Eugene Driker discussed Wayne State’s successes wrote a letter to the editor. “The success of Wayne State University is crucial to the revitalization of Detroit and in restoring the State of Michigan to its historical place as a national leader in higher education. WSU, which just celebrated its 150th anniversary, is enjoying a string of  unprecedented successes under the able leadership of its president, Dr. M. Roy Wilson. Last year saw the University enroll its largest freshman class ever, while achieving the greatest improvement nationally in six-year graduation rates. Completion of the greatest fundraising effort in the University’s history yielded more than $750 million in gifts from tens of thousands of  donors. The largest contribution ever received by WSU--$40 million from the Ilitch family—has produced the magnificent new Mike Ilitch School of Business in the heart of downtown. Campus life is flourishing, with 800 new apartments just built.  And, at the School of Medicine more applications for admission were received than ever in its history.
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Do student-athletes make good doctors?

In 2012, researchers published the results of a retrospective study looking at which candidates admitted to a otolaryngology residency program turned into the most successful clinicians as ranked by faculty. What they found was that those who got the highest faculty ratings were those with an “established excellence in a team sport.” While the researchers cautioned that not all residency program directors should rush to look for student-athletes, the study did isolate two traits of student-athletes that might translate into success in medicine: time management skills and teamwork. Indeed, it’s not specific athletic skills that matter, says M. Roy Wilson, M.D., president of Wayne State University and former chair of the AAMC Board of Directors, but the ability to juggle sport and academic responsibilities and excel at both. “Learning how to manage time efficiently is critical, and the main complaint that medical students have is just the volume of material they have to digest. So much of medicine is really about personality, or the ability to deal with people effectively and the ability to lead people. Those are characteristics we see in student-athletes who have been successful in team or individual sports.” 
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Wayne State, Microsoft Team to Strengthen Employability in Detroit

"We are a place of opportunity and upward mobility in the heart of Detroit, a city undergoing a significant transformation," says M. Roy Wilson, president of Wayne State. "Partnering with Microsoft's employability initiative will help move the city forward. We have enjoyed recent successes in student achievement, enhanced research funding and more, and this will ensure this momentum continues while building the digital economy workforce for Detroit and this entire region."
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NIH report scrutinizes role of China in theft of U.S. scientific research

Institutions across the U.S. may have fallen victim to a tiny fraction of foreign researchers who worked to feed American intellectual property to their home countries, an advisory committee to the National Institutes of Health found in a report issued Thursday. The report zeroed in on China’s “Talents Recruitment Program,” which the Pentagon has previously identified as an effort “to facilitate the legal and illicit transfer of U.S. technology, intellectual property and know-how” to China. A key qualification for becoming part of the Chinese program, also known as “Thousand Talents,” is access to intellectual property, said M. Roy Wilson, the co-chair of the advisory committee to the NIH director and the president of Wayne State University. While only a small fraction of foreign researchers in the U.S. are part of the Chinese program, many of the recruits have received U.S. federal funding from institutions including the NIH, the report said. The report represents NIH’s most concrete public action to date to combat the threat of American research being transported overseas to countries attempting to compete with the U.S. scientifically. While the report focused on China, it stressed that NIH has encountered similar problems with a small number of researchers from other countries as well.
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Wayne State University in Detroit joins national effort to increase college access

Wayne State University is participating in a national effort by 130 public universities and systems to increase college access, close the achievement gap, and award hundreds of thousands of degrees by 2025. The participating institutions will work in clusters of four-12, and Wayne State President M. Roy Wilson will lead a cluster of 11 urban universities. Together, the institutions enroll about 3 million students, including 1 million who receive Pell Grants, or federal grants for college. The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) is organizing the effort, which is called Powered by Publics: Scaling Student Success.
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WSUniversity nationally awarded for improvement in graduation rates

“Ensuring more students have access to college and are fully supported on their path to graduation has always been at the core of Wayne State’s mission,” said Wayne State President M. Roy Wilson. “Wayne State has made great strides by working hard to identify and support the differing needs of all students. We know that if our students thrive, then the university — and higher education — will, too.”