New members of Eastern Michigan Board of Regents look forward to helping EMU remain a top student and community-centered university

Eunice Jeffries, Alexander Simpson bring variety of skills and perspectives to eight-member board

LANSING – Gov. Rick Snyder has announced the appointments of Eunice Jeffries of Farmington Hills and Alexander Simpson of Southfield to the Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents.

The eight-member board is the governing body of the university.

“I thank Eunice and Alexander for their commitment to this board and ensuring the Eastern Michigan University community continues to grow and succeed,” Snyder said.

"I am pleased to hear of the appointments of Eunice Jeffries and Alexander Simpson to our Board of Regents," said EMU President James Smith. "They bring an impressive skill set and perspectives to the board – including an understanding of community relations, grant management, contracts and fundraising. I look forward to working with Eunice and Alexander in creating future successes at Eastern Michigan University."

Jeffries is the Regional Community Affairs Manager for Beaumont Health. Previously she held positions with the Council of Michigan Foundations, Farmington/Farmington Hills Foundations for Youth and Families, the Executive Office of the Secretary of State as well as associate director of the Southeast Michigan Office under the administration of former Gov. John Engler.

 "I am looking forward to joining the Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents, and I want to thank Governor Snyder for this wonderful opportunity,” Jeffries said. “It is deeply gratifying to know that I will have an opportunity to make a mark on an institution that since 1849 has successfully prepared thousands of people for successful careers in Michigan, across the United States and in many countries worldwide. I very much look forward to meeting and working with the students, faculty, staff and my fellow members of the Board of Regents of this outstanding university." 

Jeffries holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and accounting from Fisk University and a master’s of business administration from Northwood University. She will replace Beth Fitzsimmons, who had served since February 2011 after being appointed by Snyder to replace Mohamed Okdie.

Simpson is legal counsel for IHS, Inc. and was previously an associate for Bodman PLC. He is the president-elect of the Wolverine Bar Association, Wolverine Bar Foundation, and recently served on the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.


Alexander Simpson

"I am honored to be appointed by Governor Snyder to the Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents, and I am looking forward to ‘returning home’ to serve the EMU community,” Simpson said. “As a Regent, I will work hard to help EMU continue fulfilling its vision of being a premier public university recognized for student-centered learning, high quality academic programs and community impact.”

He holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from Eastern Michigan University, a master’s degree in social work from the University of Michigan, a law degree from Indiana University Maurer School of Law, and is currently attending Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management for a master of business administration.

During his time at Eastern, he was voted Homecoming King, and later was named an Outstanding Young Alumni by the EMU Alumni Association.

Simpson will replace James Stapleton, who had served 10 years on the board. Stapleton was appointed by Governor Jennifer Granholm in January of 2007 to replace Karen Valvo, and then was reappointed by Governor Granholm in January 2009 to his own eight-year term that expires December 31, 2016.

Board members serve eight-year terms expiring Dec. 31, 2024. Their appointments are subject to the advice and consent of the state Senate.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest university in Michigan. It currently serves 22,000 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 21, 2016

Written by:
Geoff Larcom

Media Contact:
Geoff Larcom