Francine Parker has been named the new chairwoman of the Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents. Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm appointed Parker to the board in January 2007.
Parker came to EMU after more than 40 years in the healthcare field. She served as president and CEO of Health Alliance Plan until her retirement in 2008. Parker is also the current executive director of the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust.
Parker said in a statement:
“Education plays a role in Michigan’s transformation to a knowledge based economy and EMU is front and center in this effort. As a regent, I am continually amazed by the economic and social impact that the university, our students and faculty have on the state of Michigan. Data shows that a large majority of our graduates make their careers in Michigan. I see evidence of this firsthand: EMU grads are leaders in every sector in our state and beyond.
“The Board of Regents are stewards of the university. One of our most important roles is to ensure that EMU continues to provide the high quality education that is accessible and affordable for our students. We take this responsibility very seriously.
“Over the past 6 years I have enjoyed working with my fellow regents, President [Susan] Martin, faculty and student leaders to continue our rich tradition.
“I would like to thank Regent [Roy] Wilbanks, immediate past chairman, and Tom Sidlik and acknowledge their contributions to EMU. I look forward to working with and welcome our newest regents Mary Treder Lang and Jim Webb.”