Mike Ilitch School of Business dean joins TechTown board

Robert Forsythe, dean of Wayne State University’s Mike Ilitch School of Business, has been named to the board of directors at TechTown, a Detroit-based nonprofit organization founded in partnership with Wayne State University, Henry Ford Health System and General Motors Corporation. It offers entrepreneurial services for both tech and neighborhood enterprises, and helps startup and established businesses develop, launch and grow.

The TechTown board of directors is comprised of a broad cross section of leaders from Southeast Michigan’s corporate, non-profit and governmental communities. Other WSU notables on the board include President M. Roy Wilson; William Decatur, vice president of finance and business operations; Stephen Lanier, vice president for research; and Farshad Fotouhi, dean of the College of Engineering.

TechTown President and CEO Ned Staebler is also Wayne State’s vice president for economic development. According to Staebler, Forsythe’s addition to the board will help build connections between TechTown, WSU and the broader community.

“Bob’s commitment to ensuring the Mike Ilitch School of Business is meaningfully engaged in the Detroit and Southeast Michigan community and to developing our next generation of entrepreneurs make him a perfect fit for the TechTown Board of Directors,” Staebler said. “I look forward to working with him as we continue to deepen TechTown’s partnership with Wayne State.”

Robert Forsythe became dean of what is now the Mike Ilitch School of Business on July 21, 2014. Prior to his arrival, Forsythe was on the faculty of the College of Business at the University of South Florida, serving as dean from 2006-2012.

In his two years at WSU, Forsythe has focused much of his attention on enhancing student success and better engaging the Ilitch School with the Southeast Michigan business community. To these ends, he has already launched several new programs, including the Warriors Business Community, a living learning community for incoming freshmen, and a Corporate Mentors Program that provides one-on-one professional mentorship for first-generation college students.

Forsythe has also transformed WSU’s graduate business programs to make them more accessible to working professionals without sacrificing program quality or rigor. Enhancements include waiving the GMAT for qualified applicants and implementing an accelerated 11-week/4-week delivery system. Due in large part to these enhancements, graduate enrollment in the school has nearly doubled since his arrival.

About TechTown

TechTown is Detroit’s most established business accelerator and incubator, offering a full suite of entrepreneurial services for both tech and neighborhood enterprises. TechTown helps startup and established businesses develop, launch and grow, while strengthening and diversifying the local economy. Learn more at http://techtowndetroit.org.

About the Mike Ilitch School of Business

The Wayne State University Mike Ilitch School of Business prepares students for challenging and rewarding careers, advances the boundaries of scholarly and practitioner knowledge, and enhances the economic vitality of the city of Detroit, the state of Michigan and beyond through its programs, research and community engagement. Established in 1946, the business school was renamed in 2015 in recognition of a $40 million gift from Mike and Marian Ilitch. Thanks to this lead investment, a new state-of-the-art building is slated to open in the heart of the District Detroit in 2018, and entrepreneurial programming and collaboration with city businesses are expanding. For more information, visit ilitchbusiness.wayne.edu

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