April 20, 2014

Tom Sidlik and Roy Wilbanks oversaw progress, change during terms on Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents

Eight-year tenures stand as period of unprecedented campus development

by Geoff Larcom, Published December 06, 2012

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YPSILANTI – Tom Sidlik and Roy Wilbanks are completing an eventful and productive eight-year tenure on the Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents, a time marked by unprecedented campus development, increased academic offerings and stability in top leadership.

Roy Wilbanks

Wilbanks, who is ending a four-year stint as chair of the board, and Sidlik, a former chair, will end their terms on Dec. 31, 2012. Each was appointed for a regular, eight-term by Governor Jennifer Granholm in Dec. 2004. Their last regularly scheduled board meeting is Dec. 6.

"I am proud and gratified by the changes and improvements that have occurred on campus during this time," Wilbanks said. "It's been important, complex and satisfying work that drew upon outstanding efforts by the regents, administration, faculty, staff and students."

Sidlik said, "It's been a privilege to represent the people of Michigan on the governing board of EMU for these past eight years. Starting with our great faculty in the classrooms to the board of regents, Eastern is a student-focused university that truly cares about student success in all aspects of their stay here."

Since joining the board at the same time, Wilbanks and Sidlik have had what Wilbanks labels a "consistency of commitment" to making EMU the best university possible in serving its students. Highlights of their terms include:

  • Appointing Susan Martin as President. One of the primary functions of the regents is to appoint a president. Martin began at EMU in July 2008 and has brought a sense of caring, leadership and stability to campus.
  • New and renovated facilities. During the tenures of Sidlik and Wilbanks, Eastern completed the Student Center; built a new addition to the Science Complex and a refurbished Phase II for the complex; renovated the Pray-Harrold classroom building; opened a new police and safety building; built a new indoor athletic practice facility; refurbished McKenny Hall and renovated a variety of residence halls.
  • Safety and security. Along with the new police headquarters, Eastern has instituted a wide variety of measures, including increased police staffing and patrols, increased camera surveillance, enhancement of residence hall security and new emergency alert and communications systems.
  • Kept student costs as low as possible. EMU has led the state of Michigan in tuition restraint the past four years, with an average annual increase of only 2.86 percent. That effort includes EMU's nationally recognized measure of freezing tuition, fees and housing costs two years ago.

Tom Sidlik

Wilbanks, an Ypsilanti native who attended Ypsilanti High School and earned a Master's from Eastern Michigan, has served the University in a variety of key roles. Those include assistant to the president for government and community relations, vice president for university relations and secretary to the board of regents and president and chief executive officer of the EMU Foundation. In 1989,  between the terms of EMU presidents John Porter and William Shelton, Wilbanks served as executive vice president and chief executive officer the University.

He was an All-American wrestler at Colorado State University and was inducted into the Ypsilanti High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Wilbanks received the John W. Porter Distinguished Service Award from EMU, as well as a distinguished service award from the Ypsilanti Area Chamber of Commerce.

Sidlik, of Ann Arbor, was elected board vice-chair in 2005, soon after joining the board of regents, and in January 2007 he was elected to serve as board chair for a term ending in February 2009. He has served as chair of the EMU Educational Policies Committee since January 2007.

In 2007, he retired from the DaimlerChrysler AG Board of Management in Germany after a 34-year career in the automotive industry. He received a B.S. from New York University and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

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Geoff Larcom

glarcom@emich.edu

734.487.4400

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