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Posted on Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 5:57 a.m.

Two regents step down after 8 years on Eastern Michigan University's governing board

By Kellie Woodhouse

Two long-serving members of the Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents are stepping down this month, making way for two new faces.


Roy Wilbanks

From EMU

Board chair Roy Wilbanks, who has also served as an administrator of the Ypsilanti university, and Tom Sidlik both end their eight-year terms on the governing body this month.

Francine Parker, a current regent and health executive, will replace Wilbanks as chair. Meanwhile, Gov. Rick Snyder has appointed Mary Treder Lang, a businesswoman from Grosse Pointe Farms, and James "Jim" Webb, a risk manager from Farmington, to replace Wilbanks and Sidlik, who were appointed by former governor Jennifer Granholm.

Among Wilbanks' former roles are stints as an assistant to the president for government and community relations, vice president for university relations and chief executive officer of the EMU Foundation. Though he is leaving the board, Wilbanks, an Ypsilanti native, was just appointed to a two-year term on the Eagle Administrative Services board, which oversees the Eagle Crest golf club, convention center and course.


Tom Sidlik

Both Wilbanks and Sidlik have served as regents since 2004 and, during their terms on the board, have seen EMU's campus grow in academic breadth, physical size and enrollment. They've also seen the university undergo a year-long tuition freeze, several leadership changes, the mishandling of a murder case on campus in 2006 and, most recently, endure national spotlight when a letter authored by the board of regents executive committee chatising EMU President Susan Martin was made public.

Lang and Webb begin as regents in January 2013.

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.


Geoff Larcom

Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 4:36 p.m.

It's important to understand the regents' vital role in the handling of the 2006 murder case referenced above. Tom Sidlik, who was board chair at the time, oversaw the hiring of an impartial outside law firm, Butzel Long, to investigate EMU's handing of information in that case. That highly detailed and critical report led to well publicized changes in EMU's top administration and paved the way for a wide variety of enhancements in EMU's safety and security procedures. Note: Geoff Larcom is executive director of media relations at EMU and a former reporter at the Ann Arbor News who covered EMU administration during this time.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 2:54 p.m.

Tom Brokaw, is that you?


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 12:04 p.m.

How typical. We just had an election, but both wait until the election so the governor can choose from the good-old-boy network also assuring both will run as incumbants next time. What a joke.

Mark H

Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 12:13 p.m.

EMU Regents serve eight year terms. These outgoing Regents served full terms. Regents at EMU do not "run" for office, Moonmaiden, they are appointed by the Governor, as stipulated in the state constitution of Michigan. So the election in November has nothing to do with this change of Regents. Facts are relevant.