Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced today that she has appointed Wayne State University Board of Governors Chair Kim Trent to serve in a leadership role in the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. The governor has appointed former President and CEO of New Detroit, Inc. Shirley Stancato to the Wayne State Board of Governors, and current board vice chair Marilyn Kelly will serve as board chair until the next board elections.
Trent was elected to the board in November 2012 and began her term on Jan. 1, 2013. She was elected chair in February 2019.
“I’m excited about this new opportunity, especially since I share Gov. Whitmer’s vision for a stronger and more vibrant Michigan,” Trent said. “At the same time, I feel some sadness to be leaving Wayne State, a university I believe in and have been committed to serving for a long time. We’ve had our troubles over the past year or so, but I’m confident the board will work together to support our great institution in the months and years ahead.”
Stancato led New Detroit from 2000 until her retirement in December 2018. New Detroit is a coalition of leaders working to achieve racial understanding and equity in metropolitan Detroit, and Stancato presided over many initiatives aimed at improving race relations in the city. She also earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Wayne State.
“I’m thrilled to be joining Wayne State’s board,” Stancato said. “I’ve watched with admiration as President Wilson and his team have elevated the university’s stature and public profile, and helped turn it into one of the best urban research universities in the nation. I’m excited to be a part of the university’s continued success.
“Moreover, President Wilson’s commitment to improving the graduation rate of Wayne State students — especially among African Americans — has made a tremendous difference in providing Michigan with a highly educated influx of new talent.”
Kelly will assume the chair of Wayne State’s board effective immediately; her term expires in 2022. An alumna of Wayne State’s Law School, Kelly spent 16 years as a member of the Michigan Supreme Court.
Wayne State President M. Roy Wilson thanked Governor Trent for her service: “Kim has been an outstanding leader and board chair. Her passion and dedication to Wayne State have allowed us to accomplish many great things. We thank her for her years of service to the university and wish her the very best in her new position.”