Longtime area businessman and prominent Eastern Michigan University alumnus James Webb elected chair of EMU Board of Regents

YPSILANTI – James Webb, a two-time Eastern Michigan University graduate and a longtime contributor to the Eastern community, has been appointed chair of the EMU Board of Regents.

James Webb
James Webb, Chair of EMU Board of Regents

Webb was elected to a two-year term Friday, Dec. 15, during the board’s regularly scheduled meeting. Regents Michelle Crumm and Mary Treder Lang were both elected vice chairs of the board. Webb was appointed by Governor Rick Snyder in December 2012 to replace the vacated seat of Thomas Sidlik. He is appointed for a term expiring December 2020.

"As a two-time graduate of Eastern Michigan with an ongoing and active role in the EMU community, I have first-hand experience with the outstanding educational opportunities and outcomes Eastern provides for students,” Webb said. “I am looking forward to continuing to work with the University's administration, and with the students, faculty and staff as we move this historic institution forward."

Webb received an A.A. in Business Administration from College of the Sequoias in Visalia, Calif. in 1968, a B.B.A. in Management from Eastern Michigan University in 1971, and an M.B.A. in Finance from EMU in 1976. He also competed on the EMU varsity swimming team.

Webb has enjoyed a successful and varied business career. He worked for the United States Fidelity & Guaranty Company from 1971 to 1974 as a Property Underwriter, and from 1974 to 1976 he worked as a Corporate Insurance Analyst for Masco Corporation. He also served as Assistant Insurance Manager for The Budd Company, and from 1977 to 1981 he worked as an Assistant Risk Manager for Republic Steel Corp. Webb retired as Chairman of Aon Risk Services, Inc. of Michigan in 2017. He has been appointed by the Michigan Supreme Court to the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission.

In addition to his work experience, Webb has been very active in the EMU community. In 1988 he received the Alumnus Achievement Award, and in 1989 he was Chair of the Campaign for Champions fundraising campaign. He was an original member of the EMU Foundation Board, served as treasurer from 1993 to 1995, vice chair from 1995 to 1997, chair from 1997 to 1999, and in 1999 he became an emeritus member. He received the Dr. John W. Porter Distinguished Service Award in 1992, was a member of the EMU President Search Committee in 2005. He was an Ethos Week Supporter for the College of Business from 2007 to 2012 and was on the College of Business Dean Search Committee in 2012.

Webb, who currently resides in Northville, has also been involved in numerous not-for-profit activities. He is a member of the Greater Detroit Chamber of Commerce, Farmington Hills Police Benevolent Association, Michigan Property & Casualty Association, and previously served as a Director of the Detroit Athletic Club. He is active in Rainbow Connection (Brooks Patterson's charity that grants wishes for terminally ill children) and the City of Cleveland/Operation Improvement Task Force. In addition to the Not-for-Profit activities, he is involved in the Boards of FDI Insurance Limited (Ireland) and FCE Reinsurance Limited (Ireland).

Webb is currently the Regents’ EMU Foundation Board of Trustees representative and is a member of the Eagle Administrative Services Board. As a Regent, he is chair of the Faculty Affairs Committee, vice chair of the Finance and Investment Committee and a member of the Personnel and Compensation Committee.

Webb is originally from Hanford, California, and was a member of the 1966 graduating class at Hanford Union High School.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 20,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Health and Human Services; Technology, and its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

December 19, 2017

Written by:
Geoff Larcom

Geoff Larcom