Gov. Snyder appoints 2 new board members


Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder appointed two new members to the Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents.

Mary Treder Lang and James “Jim” Webb will replace current board Chairman Roy Wilbanks and former Chairman Tom Sidlik, both of whose eight-year terms expire at the end of 2012.

“They are great choices, and I am confident they will effectively serve and support the university and its students,” Snyder said in a press release.

Lang is currently the director of new business development for Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, a national full-service accounting and advisory firm. She has also held positions as business development manager for Accretive Solutions, senior executive for Siemens Building Technologies and director of sales for Mosler Inc. She is a certified public accountant and received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Dayton in Ohio.

“I consider it a privilege to serve as a regent at such a fine university,” Lang said. “I am honored to dedicate my term to the students and to ensure we provide a constructive and safe learning environment. I cannot wait to begin attending the athletic events and cheering Eastern on to victory.”

Lang said that she will be able to provide 25 years of financial and diverse professional experience combined with strong leadership and a team spirit approach while serving on the board.

She also said she seeks to effectively serve and support the university and its students, and ensure the board provides high quality education to students from all walks of life. She wants to guarantee students the opportunity to realize their potential.

“My ultimate goal is for Eastern to become the number one university in the state of Michigan by the conclusion of my eight-year term,” Lang said.

Webb has been chairman of Aon Risk Services of Michigan since 1981. He has also worked as an assistant risk manager for Republic Steel Corp., an assistant insurance manager for the Budd Company and a corporate insurance analyst for Masco Corp. He is also an emeritus member of the EMU Foundation Board of Trustees, and after receiving an associate degree from the College of the Sequoias in California, earned a bachelor’s degree in management and a Master of Business Administration from EMU.

Webb said his time spent at EMU and the dedication he has shown the school over the years permitted the dropping of his name at the governor’s office for appointment to the board. He said that a board member’s job usually entails setting policy and goals for the university.

Webb said he wants to make EMU the “best university” and a major concern that will most likely be addressed while he is on the board is the issue of affordability to attend college. He also said that when the board members are chosen, diversity is what the people are looking for, and someone who is devoted to and cares about the university.

“I am truly loyal to Eastern,” Webb said.

He also said he has a genuine concern for the university and its students.

EMU officials expressed optimism about the two new appointees.

“We’re very excited to have them on board,” said EMU Vice President and Provost Kim Schatzel. “I think they’re going to have a tremendous impact.”

“I look forward to working for our new regents,” EMU President Susan Martin said. “Their expertise will be helpful to Eastern as we plan our future.”

Both Schatzel and Martin acknowledged the contributions of the two outgoing EMU Regents.

“Regent Tom Sidlik led the board through some challenging times and was very supportive and helpful to me as a new president,” Martin said. “Chairman Roy Wilbanks led the board through some trying financial decisions as we absorbed a large cut in funding from the State. I thank regents Sidlik and Wilbanks for their service and leadership.”

“They’ve done so much to move the university forward,” Schatzel said.

Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm appointed the two outgoing board members in 2004.

Sidlik worked as vice chair from 2005-07 and chairman from 2007-09. He was appointed to be the vice chair of the Faculty Affairs Committee in March 2009, and has also served as the chairman of the EMU Educational Policies Committee since January 2007.

Wilbanks previously held positions at EMU, including assistant to the president for government and community relations, vice president for university relations, secretary to the Board of Regents, executive vice president and interim chief officer of the EMU Foundation and president and chief executive officer of the EMU Foundation.

Sidlik said that while he did not know the newly appointed regents, he was confident they would be up to the task.

“These appointments are not made lightly. I have a high confidence that these new board members will be very successful at EMU, as they have been in their professional careers. I find that all board members take their responsibilities very seriously and I have no doubt that they will also,” Sidlik said.

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