Former Ann Arbor councilman Leigh Greden named Eastern Michigan University government relations chief
Eastern Michigan UniversityÂ has named former Ann Arbor City Council Member Leigh Greden as its new government and community relations chief.
Greden, an attorney with Ann Arbor's Miller, Canfield, Paddock & Stone, was a finalist for the job, along with Eunice Jeffries, the director of civic and community affairs for the Michigan Secretary of State. He will be paid $135,000 a year in his new position.
The job was one of two executive positions approved by the EMU Board of Regents at its monthly meeting today.
Chad Wing, chief of staff for State Senator Tony Stamas, has been named director of state and federal relations. Wing will report to Greden and will mainly oversee relationships with Lansing lawmakers. He will earn $80,000.
Greden will begin in his new role March 22. Wing will start March 1.
"Our government community relations office were delighted to add Leigh Greden and Chad Wing today," Martin said following the meeting. "As we move forward, we need to increase our support - state appropriations for capital outlays to renovate Strong Hall, to get federal earmarks for a our research and to seek to serve our community. We want to reach out as a public university and be engaged with the greater Washtenaw County and southeast Michigan community and serve in whatever way we can."
Greden's six years representing the 3rd Ward on the Ann Arbor City Council ended in 2009 after he lost by six votes in the August primary election. Many attributed the lost to a public flap over e-mails Greden sent during meetings that discussed votes and made snarky comments about other council members. Greden publicly apologized at his last council meeting.
"We learn from our mistakes and move on," Greden said Tuesday. "I'm really excited about this new opportunity."
Greden said he brings to the table experience working with local elected officials, as well as knowledge of what elected officials need to make vital decisions that impact universities.
Most of all, he said: "I've been here my whole life, and I know the area."
Freman Hendrix held the position since 2006 but left several months ago to pursue other opportunities in the Detroit political scene, including his second run at mayor. Hendrix had the position at EMU when it was called chief government relations officer and focused on the capital outlay process in Lansing and the federal earmarking process in Washington, D.C.
During that time, Hendrix and EMU worked to secure $30 million in funding from the state to renovate the Pray-Harrold building. Before then, EMU hadn't received state money for renovations since 1996.
The work on the 1969 classroom building is set to being this spring.
Now, the position's focus will shift to entail more collaborative efforts with the city of Ypsilanti and Washtenaw County, in addition to working to help secure government funding and building relationships at the state and federal levels, EMU spokesman Geoff Larcom said.
Commencement speakers approved
EMU Regents also approved spring commencement speakers Tuesday.
Former EMU Regent, Ypsilanti mayor and 1961 EMU graduate Timothy Dyer, and former EMU track star and 1981 graduate Daniel McClory will speak at the April 25 spring commencement ceremonies.
The two will also receive honorary degrees, along with EMU sports legend and 1933 graduate Kenneth "Red" Simmons. Details, including what honorary degrees they are due to receive, are pending.
McClory will speak at the morning commencement ceremony and Dyer in the afternoon.
McClory has served as managing director for California-based Hunter Wise Financial Group, LLC, for seven years. While at EMU, he was a three-time captain and four-year letterman on the men's track and field and cross country teams.
Dyer worked in the field of education as a teacher and principal, served as Ypsilanti mayor from 1968 to 1970 and as an EMU Regent between 1973 and 1983. He led the Wayne-Westland school district and a large high school district in Phoenix, Arizona, before serving as a director of the National Association of Secondary School Principals.
Simmons, who turned 100 in January, was a successful athlete at Michigan State Normal College, lettering in track and winning three intramural boxing and three wrestling championships. He worked with the Detroit Police Department before he began to teach at the University of Michigan, where he started the first Ann Arbor women's track club.