Wayne State University

Aim Higher

We are your Gateway to Wayne State University


Executive & Professional Development Welcomes New Director

It takes a good reason to relocate to Detroit during its coldest winter in nearly 40 years, but Michael Kelly left Indiana for the Motor City in January without a moment’s hesitation. Having been asked to serve as associate director of Executive & Professional Development at Wayne State University, Kelly was eager to start connecting Southeast Michigan’s business community with one of the region’s greatest organizational resource.

“The time is now in Detroit,” said Kelly, who before coming to Wayne State served for ten years as director of Personal and Professional Development at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW). “There is a feeling of focused commitment to Detroit throughout the entire metropolitan area – not just among residents but among the employers that are driving economic growth and development. Wayne State has vast expertise across all disciplines that can help these organizations achieve their strategic goals and continue this positive impact on our city.”

For 25 years, Executive & Professional Development has delivered customized business training, executive education and consulting services to hundreds of clients in more than a dozen sectors, including automotive, education, finance, healthcare, law, manufacturing, media, and entertainment. Business training, which emphasizes workforce development and enhancement, includes professional skill building, certification programs for professionals involved in quality improvement, and a business analysis curriculum to train employees how to effectively address business issues with data and statistical tools. Executive education may include leadership development, executive coaching, or strategic planning to identify capability gaps and marketplace opportunity. Consulting targets operations improvement and organizational development. All programming can be done on-site, off-site in the community, online, on Wayne State’s campus, or at one of the university’s convenient suburban extension centers.

Operating within a world-class, urban research university, Executive & Professional Development offers benefits to area businesses that set it apart from for-profit consulting companies, Kelly pointed out.

“Through programs we develop around their unique needs and objectives, our clients have access to the university’s facilities, technology, diverse faculty, and expansive network of regional practitioners,” he said. “These resources help to position entrepreneurs and organizations to advance their operations through a variety of techniques. Wayne State also has the resources to help organizations understand multiculturalism, which is an organizational imperative given the significant diversity in our region. Companies that approach multiculturalism effectively don’t merely accommodate it – they thrive as a result of it.”

Kelly came to appreciate the advantages of university-based organizational development programs while at IPFW, where he managed more than 1,200 annual training programs through the university’s continuing education program and coordinated university resources to meet the needs of corporate clients. Among other things, he led the university’s partnership with Northeast Indiana Small Business Development Center to provide comprehensive educational programs for regional entrepreneurs, developed and evaluated certification programs for personal and professional needs, and developed a process for creating online professional development programs. He also developed a business management process for IPFW’s Institute for Pension Plan Management, which supports the efforts of local, regional, and national retirement plan and employee benefits management providers training and credentialing, technical expertise, and research.

Kelly encourages companies to contact Executive & Professional Development for a no-cost consultation if they are considering an investment in organizational enhancement.

“We develop strategies at every price point, and can deliver programming that is broad or targeted,” Kelly said. “It all starts with that initial needs assessment. If a company believes it can get more from its people, it processes or its products, then Wayne State can show it how.”