Wayne State University to inaugurate M. Roy Wilson as its 12th president

Incoming Ohio State president to deliver keynote address

March 24, 2014

President M. Roy Wilson

Wayne State University will celebrate the inauguration of President M. Roy Wilson with events on its main campus April 3-4, 2014. The Board of Governors unanimously elected Wilson as the university's 12th president on June 5, 2013. 

Wilson will be formally inaugurated during a 3 p.m. ceremony on April 4 in Wayne State's Community Arts Auditorium that will feature an academic procession, formal installation, presidential address and keynote remarks from incoming Ohio State University President Dr. Michael Drake, currently the chancellor of the University of California, Irvine. Like Wilson, Drake is a medical doctor specializing in ophthalmology. 

During his first eight months at Wayne State, Wilson has stressed the importance of remaining a university of opportunity while simultaneously growing the institution's already extensive research portfolio. During his first university-wide address, he outlined several strategic priorities, including being more student centered, improving retention and graduation rates, and harnessing the school's expertise and resources to assist in Detroit's resurgence. Wilson has begun the process of creating a new strategic plan for the university.  

"President Wilson is the visionary leader Wayne State University sought," said Debbie Dingell, chair of the WSU Board of Governors. "Roy's experience as an administrator at urban institutions and his background as a physician and researcher have made him an ideal fit for this university. We look forward to the continued transformation of the university under his leadership." 

Several events -- including a concert, student research poster session and faculty research symposium -- will precede the inauguration ceremony. For a complete schedule, visit

Prior to joining Wayne State, Wilson served as deputy director for strategic scientific planning and program coordination at the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health. As deputy director, Wilson led the development and implementation of an integrated system for planning, coordinating and evaluating the NIH health disparities research portfolio in collaboration with the NIH institutes and centers. 

Previously, Wilson was dean of the School of Medicine and vice president for health sciences at Creighton University, president of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, and, concurrently, chancellor of the University of Colorado Denver and chair of the Board of Directors of University of Colorado Hospital. Immediately prior to joining the NIH, Wilson chaired the Board of Directors of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science and was acting president during part of that time. 

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering more than 370 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 28,000 students.