Ten seeking two seats in Board of Regents race


Ten candidates, including two incumbents, are vying for two eight-year terms on the University of Michigan Board of Regents in the Nov. 8 election.

The candidates are: Bridgette Abraham-Guzman, Natural Law-Brighton; Regent Laurence B. Deitch, Democrat-Bloomfield Hills; Audra Driscoll, U.S. Taxpayers-Ann Arbor; Richard A. Hewer, UST-Big Rapids; James Lewis Hudler, Libertarian-Chelsea; Regent Denise Ilitch, D-Bingham Farms; John Jascob, L-Temperance; Carl Meyers, Republican-Dearborn; Latham Redding, Green Party-Detroit; and Ron Weiser, R-Ann Arbor.

The Record contacted the candidates, requesting biographical information, a photo and a platform statement. Seven responded; their information follows.

Bridgette Abraham-Guzman

Political affiliation: Natural Law

Website: miboecfr.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/cfr/com_det.cgi?com_id=517948

Regent Laurence B. Deitch

Laurence Deitch

Political affiliation: Democrat

Website: facebook.com/VoteDeitch/

Background: Deitch received Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor degrees from U-M in 1969 and 1972, respectively. He is a partner in Bodman PLC, a law firm with offices in Detroit, Ann Arbor and Troy.  He has previously served as vice chair of the Michigan Civil Service Commission, president of Temple Beth El in Bloomfield Hills and treasurer of the Michigan Democratic Party.  He was elected to the Board of Regents in 1992.

Platform statement: I am a believer in “Michigan exceptionalism.” I believe that the University of Michigan is the greatest university in the world given the breadth and depth of its excellence. Moreover, it is both very great and very egalitarian. Truly, it is a place that provides “an uncommon education for the common man.” I believe that I have contributed significantly in my 24 years to both its excellence and to its egalitarianism. Manifestations of the University’s excellence to which I have contributed include: its strong balance sheet and top credit rating; the three (3) Presidents selected during my tenure (Bollinger, Coleman, Schlissel); its first class facilities and maintenance of a culture where great scholarship is valued. I have also contributed tangibly to its diversity and inclusion including co-sponsoring the effort, in 1993, to add sexual orientation to its anti-discrimination policy and have strongly supported generous financial aid.

Put simply, if re-elected, I will work hard to accomplish more of the same.

Audra Driscoll

Audra Driscoll

Political affiliation: U.S. Taxpayers

Website: facebook.com/VoteForAudraDriscoll2016/

Platform statement: The University of Michigan is a diverse echelon of higher learning and a jewel in Michigan’s crown of many achievements. As Regent, with my vote, I want and will represent ALL of who make the University an outstanding educational institution — administration, faculty and students and all Its employees. 

My three top priorities:  Education, Fiscal Responsibility and Ethics. 

The escalating costs of high education are ridiculous. Students are the backbone of any university. It’s why the University of Michigan was created in 1817, to provide an outstanding education. As Regent, I propose working collectively with state and local governments to provide the legislative wherewithal that will encourage private and industry with tax incentives to donate generously to the University in forms of grants and scholarships.

Regarding campus safety — zero tolerance for any offenders. The University needs to “walk softly and carry a big stick” as it applies to meting punishment to said offenders. Furthermore, I do not encourage “gun free” zones, or at the least the advertisement of such.  This advertisement only encourages felonious behavior as demonstrated in recent events and history. Rather, as Regent, I will encourage and promote self-preservation and protection and awareness. 

With my career background, I bring over 15 years of administrative experience cohesively working with several teams to service a multi-state territory that provides comprehensive quality care to both external and internal clients while adhering to a budget and providing a positive work environment conducive to our employees.

On a personal note, I am a proud parent of two wonderful children, a life-long resident of Michigan and a recent transplant to Ann Arbor.  I received my Liberal Arts degree from the University of Toledo with concentrations in photography, computer science and art history.

Richard A. Hewer

Richard Hewer

Political affiliation: U.S. Taxpayers

Website: miboecfr.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/cfr/com_det.cgi?com_id=517938

Background: Hewer graduated from UM-Dearborn in 1964 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. After graduating, he worked for H&R Block as an office manager, tax associate and tax payer adviser for IRS audits. He then worked as a systems analyst for major computer companies, and has worked as an associate professor at Ferris State University since 1982. He is married and has 17 grandchildren.

Platform statement: I believe my background as an alumnus of the University of Michigan Dearborn, professor, parent, and grandparent will provide a unique and needed voice on the Board of Regents.

I am running for U of M regent to maintain the university’s position as one of the top institutions, in the world and to strengthen the university for Michigan students and taxpayers.

My priorities as a U-M regent will be:

1. Maintaining the Ann Arbor Campus’ position as one of the top universities in the world.

2. Improving the Dearborn and Flint Campuses to better meet the needs of Michigan residents.

3. Obtain better funding for students from Michigan, from the state of Michigan.

4. Expand university-contracted military research and ROTC programs.

5. Expand Online education and free classes.

6. Expand instruction to private companies to increase training and income for students and faculty.

James Lewis Hudler

Political affiliation: Libertarian

Website: miboecfr.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/cfr/com_det.cgi?com_id=517876

Regent Denise Ilitch

Denise Ilitch

Political affiliation: Democrat

Website: ilitchforregent.com

Background: Ilitch received her Bachelor of Arts degree from U-M in 1977 and her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Detroit in 1980. She is president of Ilitch Enterprises and co-owner of 220 Restaurant Hospitality, and previously served as president of Ilitch Holdings. ​She is a trustee of the Skillman Foundation and an ACLU advisory committee member, and served on the Board of Directors of the Detroit Branch of the NAACP. Seeing the need for greater diversity in our education and business worlds, Ilitch has endowed a scholarship at Walsh College in 2010 to make sure that more women get advanced degrees, and a LEAD diversity scholarship at U-M in 2015. Ilitch’s passion for affordable, accessible, quality education comes not only from her own experience as a first-generation student, but also her two children, one of whom graduated from U-M.

Platform statement: I am running for re-election because I am committed to an affordable, accessible, quality education for all. I’ve voted “no” on tuition increases 6 times because hardworking Michigan students and their families should not be crippled by tuition prices and debt in order to get a quality education. I will also tirelessly advocate for programs that foster a safe, diverse and inclusive campus environment where students and faculty share their ideas and learn, and continue using all of my abilities to keep our world-renowned university an institution of the leaders and best.

John Jascob

(No photo provided)

Political affiliation: Libertarian

Website: miboecfr.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/cfr/com_det.cgi?com_id=517875

Background: Jascob received a Bachelor of Arts from U-M in 1987, graduating with highest distinction with a concentration in classical archaeology. He subsequently earned a Master of Arts degree in teaching Latin from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1990, a Juris Doctor from Concord University School of Law in 2002, and a Master of Laws in business transactions from the University of Alabama School of Law.

Jascob works as a securities law editor at a leading legal publisher, after having spent many years in the financial services industry. Deeply committed to the value of a liberal arts education, he has taught elementary and intermediate Latin at both the university and secondary school levels. Jascob is a member of the State Bar of California and Phi Beta Kappa.

Platform statement: The University of Michigan is one of our state’s great institutions. We must affirm its commitment to freedom of inquiry and expression, while increasing transparency and student and faculty participation in university governance. I strongly oppose speech codes or other attempts at prohibiting expression protected by the First Amendment. I will oppose further tuition increases, while advocating privatization, decentralization, and the development of student cooperatives to reduce costs. I also advocate ending university contracted military research and university investments tied to the occupation of Palestine.

Carl Meyers

Carl Meyers

Political affiliation: Republican

Website: facebook.com/carl.meyers.10

Background: Meyers has more than 30 years of experience in finance and investment management.  He presently holds the position of senior vice president of investments at Raymond James & Associates in Dearborn, Michigan.

Meyers is a 1979 graduate of the UM-Dearborn School of Business, where he earned a Bachelor of Science and Arts degree.

He is active in his local community and serves on several boards.

Presently, Meyers is the chairman of the city of Dearborn’s Police and Fire and General Employee’s pension boards with responsibility for administration and plan assets of more than $400 million dollars. 

Also, he serves on the Board of Member Focus Credit Union and Megan’s Dreams Charity.

He is a past gubernatorial appointee to the Michigan State Police Pension Board. 

Meyers was a Republican Party nominee for the Board of Regents in the 2004 general election, where he received nearly 2 million votes.

He and his wife Mary  have three children.

Platform statement: Budget and Tuition:

The greatest challenge facing UM is maintaining academic excellence in a constrained budgetary environment.

The Board of Regents and University must exercise fiscal discipline, eliminate waste and redundancy, and freeze tuition for Michigan resident students. 


The University should be more open and transparent in governance and fulfillment of the academic mission.  I will advocate for the budget to be available online, and for all Regent meetings to be open.


The University must be financially and academically accessible for students of all socio-economic backgrounds.

Latham Redding

Political affiliation: Green Party

Website: miboecfr.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/cfr/com_det.cgi?com_id=517962

Ron Weiser

Ron Weiser

Political affiliation: Republican

Website: ronforregent.com/

Platform statement: I’m a lifelong Michigan man. Years ago, when I was a student at the University of Michigan, I founded my own small business in Ann Arbor. Through my commitment to the free market and fair competition — and a lot of hard work — I grew my business to create hundreds of jobs in the Ann Arbor area. I also earned my business degree from Michigan. My family and I have remained in Ann Arbor, and we’re proud to say that we are lifelong supporters of the University.

 I’m also proud to have served my country as a dedicated citizen-servant. Shortly after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, President George W. Bush appointed me as the United States Ambassador to Slovakia. At the time, Slovakia was a country transitioning from communism to democracy. As Ambassador, I helped Slovakia remain free and democratic by encouraging free markets, less regulation, and fiscal responsibility.

When I came back from Slovakia, I wanted to give back more to the University of Michigan. That’s why my wife Eileen and I have founded two educational institutes at the University: the Center for Emerging Democracies and the Center for Europe and Eurasia. These schools help students and faculty study how democracies are born, and assist countries that are struggling to achieve freedom.

I am running for University of Michigan Regent because I have the experience, dedication, and commitment to make sure Michigan continues to be one of the finest universities in the world!



  1. Kelsey May Fraser
    on November 4, 2016 at 10:45 am

    This was really helpful. Thank you!

  2. Jud Kastner
    on November 8, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Basic information and wonder as to why two of the candidates did not submit any information. My interest is candidates that are committed to U of M and not so bogged down with other commitments. Deitch and Ilitch have done well but are they over committed to so many other interests can they give enough time and commitment to U of M. That is a question and a concern that I have in my mind. Hope I and others make the right choices for two new posts to the Regent position.

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