University of Michigan Regent

Denise Ilitch

Denise Ilitch

OUTCOME: Republican Ron Weiser and Democrat Denise Ilitch were elected to the UM Board of Regents in a statewide race. (In Washtenaw County, Ilitch and Democrat Larry Deitch received the majority of votes.) For more results, check the Washtenaw County elections site.

Denise Ilitch is president of Ilitch Enterprises, co-owner of 220 Restaurant Hospitality, owner of Denise Ilitch Designs, and owner/publisher of Ambassador Magazine, a Detroit lifestyle publication. She was first elected to the University of Michigan board of regents in 2008 and is seeking her second term. She was nominated as a candidate for regent at the state Democratic Party convention on Aug. 27, 2016.

Ilitch, who also serves as of-counsel for the Detroit law firm Clark Hill, was previously president of Ilitch Holdings Inc., a privately held business that manages Little Caesar Enterprises, the Detroit Red Wings, the Detroit Tigers, and Olympia Entertainment. She is co-chair of the Horizon Global Corporation board of directors, and a member of the Women's Leadership Board at the Harvard Kennedy School. 

During her term as regent, Ilitch frequently has voiced concern over rising tuition rates. Most recently, she was one of three regents – along with Republicans Andrea Fischer Newman and Andrew Richner – who voted against a nearly 4% increase in tuition for UM in 2016-2017. She previously served as chair of the UM board of regents, and was involved in the UM presidential search that resulted in the hiring of Mark Schlissel.

Ilitch received a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan in 1977 and a law degree from the University of Detroit in 1980. She lives in Bingham Farms and is married to Jim Scalici. They have three children.

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Denise Ilitch:  In The News

Editorial: Ilitch, Deitch for Regents – Michigan Daily, Oct. 30, 2016

Regent Denise Ilitch highlights college affordability in reelection bidMichigan Daily, Oct. 18, 2016

Are U-M regents candidates using Jim Harbaugh photos to get elected? – Detroit Free Press, Sept. 9, 2016

See Democratic and Republican candidates for Supreme Court, university boardsMLive, Aug. 28, 2016

‘Michigan Matters’ Focus: Regional Transit Tax Millage And Presidential RaceCBS Detroit, Aug. 6, 2016

Some U-M leaders criticize 3.9 percent tuition hike, question affordabilityMLive, June 17, 2016

Denise Ilitch Warns $10M To Endow Brady Hoke’s Position Is A ‘Slippery Slope’CBS Detroit, March 2, 2014

Denise Ilitch: Naming football coach position after donor risks 'commercialization of Michigan athletics'MLive, Feb. 20, 2014

The Inspired Philanthropy of Denise IlitchHuffington Post, Dec. 6, 2012

Denise Ilitch: What’s Wrong With Light Rail?CBS Detroit, June 8, 2012

Obama to Attend Fundraiser at Home of Denise IlitchBirmingham Patch, March 30, 2012

A Regents Take Action on Security Investigation Ann Arbor Chronicle, Feb. 22, 2012

UM Tuition, Budget Increases Cause ConcernAnn Arbor Chronicle, June 19, 2011

Denise Ilitch's name bandied about as possible Democratic candidate for governorMLive, Jan. 6, 2010