It’s no secret that Wayne State University under President M. Roy Wilson is no fan of the media.
The publicly funded university routinely declines to answer basic questions and has criticized media coverage in e-mails to faculty members.
The university went a step further when someone recently posted a flyer of Motor City Muckraker‘s Steve Neavling at the university’s Alumni Affairs office at the Tierney Mansion, warning that he is “dangerous” and should not be “let in (the) building.” The flyer appears to be an inside job because it includes the non-public cell phone number of Wayne State Police Chief Anthony Holt, who said he was unaware of the flyer, does not condone it and is looking into the matter. We blurred the chief’s cell phone number in the photo.
The warning was posted next to an unrelated flyer from the president’s wife, Jacqueline Wilson, who works at the mansion and was the subject of a recent Freedom of Information Act request filed by Motor City Muckraker. Both flyers were posted with the same clear plastic tape. Jacqueline Wilson, who uses Chief Holt as a personal chauffeur, did not respond to our call or text message this morning.
University spokesman Matt Lockwood, who has declined to answer basic questions about the university’s enrollment numbers and the suspension of the math requirement, said Wayne State did not “sanction” the flyer.
“We are having the sign taken down,” Lockwood responded this morning. “Its posting was not sanctioned by Wayne State and we do not view you as dangerous.”
That comes as no surprise since we’ve never threatened the university or its students and faculty, and we have never been at the Tierney Mansion.
Motor City Muckraker launched an investigation into Wayne State this year after the university raised tuition by 4.2%, while continuing to deplete cash reserves on cosmetic changes at the school. We revealed a controversial gift agreement involving the new Mike Ilitch School of Business that puts students at risk and a secret meeting in which the Board of Governors approved a $25,000 bonus to President Wilson. Two top rating agencies also downgraded the university’s outlook to “negative” because of declining enrollment and dwindling cash reserves.
The coverage has prompted outcry from students, faculty members and taxpayers, who plan to attend Friday’s Board of Governors meeting to protest the $25,000 bonus to President Wilson, whose base salary jumped to $522,000. By contrast, former President Allan Gilmour received a $400,000 salary in 2011.
The public meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m. at the McGregor Memorial Conference Center, 495 Gilmour Mall.
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Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.