Kim Trent Leaves WSU Board for State Position, Whitmer Appoints Shirley Stancato

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Shirley Stancato
Shirley Stancato // Photo courtesy of Wayne State University

Kim Trent, chair of the Wayne State University board of governors, has been assigned a leadership role by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. Trent began her campaign when she was elected to the board in November 2012, beginning her term in January 2013.  She was elected as the chair in February 2019.

“I’m excited about this new opportunity, especially since I share Gov. Whitmer’s vision for a stronger and more vibrant Michigan,” Trent says. “At the same time, I feel some sadness to be leaving Wayne State, a university I believe in and have been committed to serving for a long time. We’ve had our troubles over the past year or so, but I’m confident the board will work together to support our great institution in the months and years ahead.”

The board’s support of M. Roy Wilson, president of Wayne State, is split, according to The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press. Trent supports Wilson.

Shirley Stancato has been appointed by Whitmer to take fill the empty place. Marilyn Kelly, Wayne State’s current board vice chair, will serve as board chair until the next board elections. Kelly’s newly assigned position is effective immediately. Her term expires in 2022.

Stancato, who had taken part of New Detroit, a racial justice organization, hoped to improve race relations throughout the city. She led New Detroit from 2000-2018, when she retired, and is a former Wayne State undergraduate and graduate student.

“I’m thrilled to be joining Wayne State’s board,” Stancato says. “I’ve watched with admiration as President Wilson and his team have elevated the university’s stature and public profile and helped turn it into one of the best urban research universities in the nation. I’m excited to be a part of the university’s continued success.”

Stancato commended Wilson for his commitment of improving the graduate rate among students, particularly African Americans.

Wilson applauded Trent for her years of service while at Wayne State.

“Her passion and dedication to Wayne State have allowed us to accomplish many great things,” he says. “We thank her for her years of service to the university and wish her the very best in her new position.”

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