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Posted on Mon, Feb 7, 2011 : 7:56 p.m.

EMU regent who missed meetings announces resignation, citing health reasons

By Kelly Davenport

Eastern Michigan University Regent Mohamed Okdie has resigned due to health reasons, Gov. Rick Snyder's office said today. The resignation is effective immediately.

An report published this morning showed that Okdie hadn’t been to a meeting in nearly two years and attended just six meetings out of 20 since he was appointed to the university's governing board in November 2007 by then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

Okdie could not be reached for comment Monday night.

Okdie, a retired school social worker from Detroit, took over the seat vacated by Ishmael Ahmed, who left the board to become the head of the Michigan Department of Human Services.


Mohamed Okdie

Okdie was reappointed in January 2009 by Granholm. His current term was to expire in 2016.

Sara Wurfel, the governor's press secretary, said Snyder would be looking to fill the seat as soon as possible. The new appointee would finish Okdie's term and then potentially be considered for another, she said.

The change comes on the heels of Snyder's appointment of two new regents to the board — Mike Hawks and Mike Morris. EMU's eight regents serve eight-year terms in office and do not receive compensation.

Kelly Davenport is a news producer/copy editor at Reach her at or at 734-623-2515.



Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 12:38 a.m.

Congratulations to for these investigative pieces. You are providing a real service to the community. Thank you!


Tue, Feb 8, 2011 : 9:35 p.m.

I still would like to see do some investigative reporting on the rest of the board and the "hold" they have on the University...FOIA anyone?

Rod Johnson

Tue, Feb 15, 2011 : 3:16 a.m.

What do you think the issues are? What is this "hold" you mention? Something beyond the fact that they're the governing body of the university?


Tue, Feb 8, 2011 : 9:28 p.m.

Buster W.: Snyder's oversite wasn't that good in respect to Hawks and Morris.


Tue, Feb 8, 2011 : 9:25 p.m.

North: You are correct.

Buster W.

Tue, Feb 8, 2011 : 9:17 p.m.

The lack of oversight by Granholm and her administration is more disturbing than the appointment, itself. Two years? Really?

Buster W.

Tue, Feb 8, 2011 : 7:15 p.m.

We can thank former Governor Granholm for this debacle!


Tue, Feb 8, 2011 : 3:24 p.m.

"He can now move to California and write a book with Janet ." heh... it is always so amusing here in the comment section. Again, someone wants to be critical of our former administration, but exhibits a lack of real knowledge by not even knowing her name.

Rod Johnson

Tue, Feb 15, 2011 : 3:15 a.m.

@jondhall: non sequitur city, but congratulations on getting her name right this time.


Tue, Feb 8, 2011 : 8:40 p.m.

Her name is Jennifer, she was born in Canada, there is no chance for her to be President, unless she gets a New Birth Certificate.

Elaine F. Owsley

Tue, Feb 8, 2011 : 2:13 p.m.

A great example of what a free press can do in a democracy. Someone has to mind the store, check the register, audit the books, whatever it takes to make things work right. We see today what the absence of the free press as watchdog of a democratic society does to places like Egypt, Tunisia, and others, and what the people will do to restore that power.


Tue, Feb 8, 2011 : 1:43 p.m.

He can now move to California and write a book with Janet . What I learned screwing up a state in Eight years ! That's fine new book new chapter already well underway . I love you Mr. Snyder , thank you for serving your State !

Bucky Dornster

Tue, Feb 8, 2011 : 12:39 p.m.

Our watchdogs of society putting the rakes to the muck ... three cheers for the Ann Arbor!


Tue, Feb 8, 2011 : 10:37 a.m.

"Mohamed Okdie has resigned due to health reasons"....more likely from the headache that gave him. was right to call this out.


Tue, Feb 8, 2011 : 7:32 a.m.

Is this the same Mr. Okdie who ran in TWO very public elections? He ran first in 2009 for a seat on Detroit's City Council and again in 2010 for the Michigan State Senate? If he is, then the sitting (2009-2010) EMU Board of Regents should be ashamed of themselves for allowing Mr. Okdie to show such disrespect for the position of regent. Steps should have been taken long ago to remove this man.


Tue, Feb 8, 2011 : 2:35 a.m.

It would be great indeed if we could get the Michigan legislative bodies to make the EMU Regents positions a voter-determined reward. That would I believe mean an amendment to the state constitution. These are no-pay positions but due to the influence the role includes- I think its easy to see that its not a no-reward position. At least to your cousin, the contractor.


Tue, Feb 8, 2011 : 6:08 p.m.

It's not done "behind closed doors". State party conventions are covered by the press and duly elected delegates vote at the convention via secret ballot. The identities and qualifications of candidates that run at the convention are publically disclosed. Just call your county chairman or state party HQ for this information.


Tue, Feb 8, 2011 : 11:51 a.m.

Make sure they are real elections. Candidates for the three elected Boards must be nominated by their parties, which is done behind closed doors at the party conventions, so their is no primary and the campaign is less than 6 weeks. Thus, nobody really knows the positions or qualifications of the candidates and generally vote by party, if at all.

Craig Lounsbury

Tue, Feb 8, 2011 : 2:26 a.m.

I hope whatever health problems he has are manageable and wish him well. But the timing of the resignation is curious.


Tue, Feb 8, 2011 : 2:18 a.m.

This is great news! The story obviously ruffled some feathers and was able to ultimately apparently cause Mr. Okdie's abrupt resignation. If Regent Okdie had health problems, it does not explain why it took two years of absences until he finally did the proper thing and quit so a person capable of discharging a Regent's duties could fill his stead. My best wishes to Mr. Okdie and I welcome his upcoming replacement. And my thanks to for giving this situation the needed attention.