Denise Ilitch recuses herself from UM, Ross talks with family business

University of Michigan board regent Denise Ilitch has recused herself from discussions the university and its mega donor Stephen Ross are having with her family’s business over building a downtown Detroit graduate school campus in the Ilitch’s District Detroit.

Ross and the Ilitch Holdings Inc. CEO Chris Ilitch are said to be in talks over the development of a UM Detroit Center for Innovation on land in the District Detroit west of the Ilitch-owned Fox Theatre that is mostly owned or controlled by the Ilitches, owners of the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Red Wings and Little Caesars Pizza.

In a statement to Crain’s, Denise Ilitch said she has removed herself “from this situation as it poses an inherent conflict” of interest.

Denise Ilitch, a former president of Ilitch Holdings Inc., no longer has a role in the day-to-day operations of her family’s business. But the recusal suggests she retains an ownership stake in the enterprises her mother, Marian, and late…

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