WSU President M. Roy Wilson named Crain's Newsmaker of the Year
Under the direction of President M. Roy Wilson, Wayne State University made news on many fronts last year, from increasing enrollment and research dollars and raising a record amount of donations to breaking ground on the new Mike Ilitch School of Business and brokering a new clinical services agreement with the Detroit Medical Center. Research funding to WSU rose to $200 million last year, capping consecutive increases every year since 2013 when Wilson joined the university. Including funding for chemical trials at WSU's cancer institute, total funding reached $243 million last year as Wilson led a shift to a team science approach in grant proposals rather than individual researchers applying for grants. Last year the university stemmed enrollment declines for the first time in seven years on the strength of its graduate programs, nursing program and the Mike Ilitch School of Business. Total enrollment for the fall semester was 27,326, up 104 students or 0.4 percent from fall 2015. Wilson, who was also a Crain's Newsmaker in 2014, last year helped broker a deal with Rhode Island-based Corvias that will bring 842 new units of housing through two new residential buildings by the fall 2018. During its fiscal 2016 ended Sept. 30, WSU raised a record $131 million in gifts and pledges. Among the large gifts secured during the year was a $5 million donation from both Dan Gilbert and Stephen Ross. And a $40 million gift that Wilson helped secure late in 2015 led to the July groundbreaking on the Mike Ilitch School of Business.