Hynd’s first Q-and-A provides students with an ear for concerns


Mary Mitchell

In an effort to increase interaction between students and administration, OUSC moderated a forum that allowed students to ask President Geoge Hynd and cabinet members questions.

Oakland University President George Hynd and members of his cabinet collaborated with Student Congress at a Q-and-A session to address students’ issues with university operations, held at noon on Feb. 15 in Fireside Lounge.

The Q-and-A session dealt mostly with university financial and academic operations and concerns surrounding Hynd’s departure as university president.

Hynd along with Chief Operating Officer Scott Kunselman, Vice President of Student Affairs Glenn McIntosh, and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost James Lentini answered questions for the allotted hour.

In his opening remarks, Hynd spoke about the points of pride for him and his cabinet over his three-year administration. The approval of the Campus Master Plan by the Board of Trustees and the construction of the new residence hall are among the things the cabinet is proud of. Hynd also stated that OU was named among the 2016 America’s Top Colleges (No. 520 out of more than 600 schools) by Forbes.

Hynd also discussed his goals for the university, including cooperation with other universities and a higher student retention rate.

The hour-long session permitted nine students to ask questions that mostly dealt with specific issues they had with their education experiences. Two students also prodded Hynd for the unknown reasons the Board of Trustees did not renew his contract.

Hynd did not provide a clear response when he was first asked about his departure and deferred the answer to the Board of Trustees when the question was repeated.

Some of the more pressing questions dealt with unsynchronized dates for financial aid awards and drop dates for payments, which Hynd and his cabinet said was based on what other universities are doing. There was also a question about the lack of the student body’s voice in the presidential search, which he again deferred to the Board of Trustees.

OUSC wanted to hold this event so top administration could directly address student concerns.

“It’s something the students wanted,” said Student Body President Zack Thomas. “Students at any university would want interaction with their campus leaders.”

The Q-and-A was moderated by Student Body Vice President Anders Engnell.

“So, the primary impetus is that we had seen students with major questions that weren’t being answered,” Engnell said. “So we said, ‘All right, how can we connect administrators with students?’”

After the session, Hynd spoke about the questions asked of him.

“We’ll take this back to the cabinet and talk about what the concerns were and how we can address them,” Hynd said.

According to OUSC, this was the first Q-and-A Hynd held in his three-year administration.