Wayne State University's Board of Governors unanimously elects 2021 officers and committee chairs


The Wayne State University Board of Governors unanimously elected Marilyn Kelly and Mark Gaffney to one-year terms as the board's chair and vice chair, respectively, at its Jan. 29 meeting.

Kelly’s term as governor runs through 2022, and Gaffney’s through 2024. Wayne State University's Board of Governors is one of three university-governing bodies in Michigan — along with the University of Michigan and Michigan State University — that has constitutional independence. Its members, who serve eight-year terms, are elected by voters throughout Michigan.

“The start of 2021 is the perfect time to reflect on the past and frame intentions for the future,” said Kelly. “To that end, I’ve consulted in recent weeks with every member of the Board of Governors.
Each of us has pledged to renew our efforts to work together in the best interests of this great university. We have agreed on our intentions. The unanimous votes today for the leadership of the board are an indicator of those intentions. Another good indicator is the cooperation that went into the appointment of the board’s committee chairs and committee members. The appointments include all board members and reflect their personal leadership skills and interests. I believe we are coming together and will be working productively this year.”

Kelly is the Distinguished Jurist in Residence at the Wayne State University Law School, where she teaches. She is the former chief justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, where she served for 16 years, having been elected to the court in 1996 and re-elected in 2004. She previously served for eight years on the Michigan Court of Appeals after being elected in 1988 and re-elected in 1994.

Gaffney retired in 2020 from Teamsters Local Union #214, the largest Teamsters Local in Michigan, with statewide jurisdiction for the public sector. He represented and negotiated on behalf of municipal and education workers in all walks of life. Prior to working for the Teamsters, Gaffney served 12 years as president of the Michigan AFL-CIO, an association of 40 national labor unions representing more than 700,000 active and retired union members in Michigan.

As board chair, Kelly appointed committee memberships and committee chairs for February 2021 through January 2022. The committee chairs are as follows:

Academic Affairs – Mark Gaffney

Student Affairs – Shirley Stancato

Budget and Finance – Bryan Barnhill

Personnel – Mark Gaffney

Health Affairs – Michael Busuito

Bylaws Review – Marilyn Kelly

Advocacy – Bryan Barnhill

The board chair also appointed members to serve on the following boards:

TechTown Executive Committee – Dana Thompson

TechTown Board of Directors – Terri Lynn Land

WSU Foundation – Bryan Barnhill and Terri Lynn Land

Karmanos – Anil Kumar

William Decatur and Julie H. Miller both were elected to one-year terms as 2021 board officers.

Decatur was elected interim treasurer of the board. He is vice president for finance and business operations, treasurer, and chief financial officer at the university.

Miller was re-elected secretary to the board. She has been an administrative officer to the Board of Governors since 2001. Miller also is vice president and secretary of the university.


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