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Posted on Mon, Feb 14, 2011 : 5:09 p.m.

Beth Fitzsimmons appointed new regent at Eastern Michigan University

By David Jesse

Gov. Rick Snyder appointed Ann Arbor resident Beth Fitzsimmons to the Eastern Michigan University's Board of Regents.

Fitzsimmons replaces Mohamed Okdie, who resigned last week after reported he hadn't been to a Regents meeting in nearly two years.

The Regents are scheduled to meet Tuesday.

"(Fitzsimmmons), a successful entrepreneur and businesswoman, will be an excellent contributor to Eastern Michigan University's Board of Regents," Roy Wilbanks, the chairman of the Board of Regents, said in a statement. "My colleagues on the board join me in welcoming her."

Fitzsimmons founded Information Strategists, LLC, which provides information services to high-tech businesses, according to a press release issued by Snyder's office.

Beth Fitzsimmons--color.jpg

New Eastern Michigan University Regent Beth Fitzsimmons

She served on the Department of Commerce National Technical Information Services Advisory Board and on the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Board of Visitors. She previously served five years as chair of the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science.

Fitzsimmons is president of the Rotary Club of Ann Arbor.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Simmons College, a master’s degree in library science from the University at Albany, State University of New York, and a doctorate in public policy from George Mason University.

“Beth Fitzsimmons is interested in seeing every Eastern Michigan University student succeed,” Snyder said in the release. “Her background and expertise in business consulting will be an asset to the university’s efforts and work in ensuring a world-class, affordable education.”

Fitzsimmons will serve the remainder of Okdie's term, which expires Dec. 31, 2016.

EMU's eight regents all serve eight-year terms and do not receive compensation.

David Jesse covers higher education for He can be reached at or at 734-623-2534.



Tue, Feb 15, 2011 : 2:35 p.m.

@roadman & lorie Even if all she does is show up at BoR meetings and twiddle her thumbs she'll be better than the twice appointed Democrat no-show she's replacing.

Ryan Munson

Tue, Feb 15, 2011 : 4:21 a.m.

Congratulations Beth!!! I'm sure we'll hold some good discussion in the near future. =)


Tue, Feb 15, 2011 : 1:43 a.m.

Well yes, my guess is that she will show up and that is an improvement - maybe. I hate the idea of a Mackinac Center rep on our EMU board or Regents. Its kind of like having a paid opinion before the actual understanding/study is done. Further, she doesn't have a connection to EMU based on what is written in this article. My guess is that it might be possible, and failed to report on this, that her donations or her husband Joe's donations might have been aligned properly too.


Tue, Feb 15, 2011 : 3:23 a.m.

Beth Fitzsmmons has regularly donated to the Michigan GOP and has also donated to the campaigns of moderate Republican Joe Schwarz


Tue, Feb 15, 2011 : 12:46 a.m.

Beth Fitzsimmons has a long history of supporting GOP causes and its great the Governor appointed her to this vacant seat.

Oscar Lavista

Tue, Feb 15, 2011 : 12:44 a.m.

She seems well qualified and I bet she'll at least show up for some meetings, which will be a plus.


Mon, Feb 14, 2011 : 11:25 p.m.

You would think with a name like "Information Strategists, LLC" they would have a web site.