Search for next university president announced


Salwan Georges

Current Oakland University President George Hynd will serve until Aug. 15, 2017, when his contract expires. The Board of Trustees will begin a national search for the next president.

Oakland University will hold a nationwide search for the university’s next president in 2017.

The search was announced Sept. 29 by Board of Trustees Chairman Richard DeVore.

“President George Hynd was exactly the transition leader we needed at the helm the last few years,” DeVore said in a press release on OU’s website. “As president, he has worked hard to bring stability to Oakland University following a period of fragmented leadership. George’s presidency brought a calm demeanor to Oakland and as a result the University has again begun to make significant strides as one of the top universities in the state.”

Hynd’s contract expires in August. DeVore told The Detroit Free Press that the decision to search for a new president “is not a termination for cause.”

“I came here on the three-year contract knowing that was the deal and feel that I have finished quite a great deal in the 24 months since,” Hynd said.

The search will be launched after the formation of a search committee, which will include four trustees from the Board, along with representation from faculty and staff. DeVore said he will be working with Hynd and Provost James Lentini to gather members for the committee.

“It is the Board’s desire to have someone in place by June, so that person could work with George for a couple of months,” DeVore said.

No internal candidates will be considered in the search, according to the press release.

The search’s progress will be reported through University Communication and Marketing.

“It’s going to be business as usual for the next 11 months . . . We’re going to continue doing the work that we’ve been doing and making sure that students’ needs are being met,” Hynd said.

Hynd’s presidency has been punctuated by the 2015 tuition hike above the state appropriation cap, creation of the chief operating officer position, controversial Board of Trustees Florida retreat and Winter College trip, leadership of the OU/Pontiac Initiative, and initiation of the Southern Student Housing Complex project and Oakland Center expansion.

“There was not a group of trustees who got together and said, ‘George has to go because of the [Florida] trip.’ The trustees were on the trip,” DeVore told The Detroit Free Press. “It’s also not related to the tuition increase. The Board voted 8-0 on agreeing with that.”

Hynd said he will keep collaborating with Oakland University Student Congress throughout the remainder of his term.

“I’ll continue to meet with Anders [Engnell], Zack [Thomas] and the Student Congress,” he said. “We have a great relationship with them. I’m very familiar with the five objectives they have for their tenure as president and vice president.”

Hynd is considering staying in Michigan and teaching psychology after his term has ended.

An open campus forum will be held Wednesday, Oct. 5 at 11:30 a.m. in the Oakland Center Banquet Rooms.