Dean's message

This year, we are surrounded by history as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Wayne State University's founding. As we honor our roots in Midtown, we are very much looking forward to the opening of our new home in the District Detroit in the weeks to come.

A large part of WSU President M. Roy Wilson's vision for moving the Mike Ilitch School of Business downtown ­– into the heart of the business community ­­– was the opportunity to strengthen and multiply our partnerships with powerhouse Detroit organizations.

Even before we transition to our new building, we have begun to tap the extensive resources opened to us by our new name and neighborhood. This winter, we launched two partnerships that are already rooting the Ilitch School deeper into the city and across the region.

In January, a cadre of Detroit Police Department and WSU Police Department officers began learning the ins and outs of management in our DPD Leadership Academy, a program built with organizing and development support from Deloitte. Taught by Ilitch School faculty and local business leaders, the program offers participants the chance to earn a graduate certificate in business and almost half the credits needed for an MBA. We see training future law enforcement leaders as instrumental in sustaining the city's ongoing crime reduction, making Detroit an even better place to learn, work and play.

Just days ago, The Kresge Foundation made a major commitment to hands-on financial education in the Ilitch School, setting up a $2 million student-managed investment fund. As a result, our students will get real-world investment experience as they monitor the portfolio throughout the semester and make buy, sell and hold recommendations to Kresge based on their analysis of the selected stocks.

Ultimately, these relationships embed us in the city's organizational landscape and greatly enhance the educational experience of our students. Just imagine how such opportunities for success will exponentially expand when we are fully in the new building.

There are many ways for you to be part of the excitement, from naming opportunities to hosting events in our state-of-the-art space. I hope to see you in the District Detroit very soon.


Robert Forsythe