Wayne State University has picked a former auto executive to head up the university.

Allan Gilmour moves from the interim to permanent president of Wayne State University following a vote by the Board of Governors Tuesday afternoon.

The 76-year-old retired Ford Motor Company Vice Chairman, who served as the interim president of the university for the last five months, first said he didn’t want the job. But over the holidays, he started thinking.

“I thought I like this job. This is fun. And these are interesting people and they’re doing good work. But I thought it also requires a lot of hard work from the president. And I wasn’t sure that I was the person that was interested in hard work. But as I thought about what I think we can do over the next couple of three years here, what needs to be done, the momentum we’ve got, the people we’ve got. I thought if they’re interested, I’m interested,” said Gilmour.

Gilmour says his priority goals include continuing to improve student retention and graduation, working on academic standards, and then there’s the money issue.

“We’ve got to figure out how, in the time of difficulties in the state government in terms of appropriations, how we can do what we want to do without probably any more money coming in, despite the fact that demand increases. So those are the things we need to do in the short run,” said Gilmour.

He replaces Jay Noren, who resigned this summer. Gilmour is Wayne State’s 11th president.


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