Wayne State University names former Ford Motor Company executive Allan Gilmour as interim president


DETROIT — The Wayne State University Board of Governors is pleased to announce the appointment of Allan D. Gilmour as interim president.

Gilmour begins his tenure on Aug. 30, 2010, and will continue until a permanent president is named. A national search for a permanent president is now being planned.

Mr. Gilmour, a graduate of Harvard University and the University of Michigan, is perhaps best known for his remarkable career at Ford Motor Company, where he had two stints in leadership positions. He retired as vice chairman from his first in 1995 after 35 years. In 2002 he was asked to rejoin the company as vice chairman, and retired again in 2005, having overseen Finance, the General Auditor’s office, Human Resources, Corporate Affairs and Corporate Strategy.  He also led Ford’s financial services sector—Ford Motor Credit and Hertz Corporation.

Mr. Gilmour now serves on the board of directors of DTE Energy and Universal Technical Institute, and previously was a member of the boards of US West, MediaOne Group, Prudential Financial, Dow Chemical and Whirlpool. He is also chairman of Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and Henry Ford Health System Foundation, and a trustee of Henry Ford Health System, Citizens Research Council and St. Johnsbury (VT) Academy.

In his distinguished career he earned a reputation for leadership that balanced rigorous business acumen and a probing intellect with an inclusionary management and communications style that helped build teams and motivate employees. Having been a successful corporate leader, a trustee of the University of Detroit Mercy and a member of the President’s Advisory Group for the University of Michigan, he has an appreciation for the complexities of higher education and the critical role of a major research university in forming mutually advantageous partnerships that promote both higher education and economic development.

He was co-chair of a $1 billion fund-raising campaign at the University of Michigan that resulted in total gifts to the university of $1.4 billion, and served as honorary co-chair on a second campaign that exceeded its $2.5 billion goal by $700 million.

“Higher education is a great calling,” said Gilmour. “It provides unparalleled opportunities for so many to fulfill their greatest potential for personal and career success.  I am excited about this opportunity to lead a top research university with such a talented faculty, a long history of academic excellence and a profound commitment to community engagement, and I appreciate the Board’s confidence in me.”

“We believe Mr. Gilmour’s enthusiasm and experience are a great fit for Wayne State, and will help the university maintain the positive momentum it has enjoyed over the past several years,” said WSU Board Chairman Richard Bernstein. “Despite a career that reached lofty leadership levels and was marked by extraordinary achievements, Mr. Gilmour is approachable and personable, and known for being a consensus builder who is open to consultation and counsel. He shares our vision for the future and we are excited to have him join the Wayne State family.”

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering more than 400 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 32,000 students.