COO: Pioneering a new executive position

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Kunselman will be aiding in the strategic plan and be a part of the new Strategic Action Committee.

By: Kevin Teller

Amid a surrounding air of questioning and controversy, Oakland University’s new chief operating officer, Scott Kunselman took office on Tuesday, Dec. 1.

According to Kunselman, his number one goal during his three year term as COO is to be of service to OU. This falls in line with a focal point that both he and President Hynd have brought to the forefront in many public forums so far: graduating more successful students.

Among the steps to accomplishing this and other goals that are of beneficial service to students, Kunselman has a number of people that he wants to speak to in order to more thoroughly understand the needs that exist.

First on this list are the many OU constituents that actively shape the environment on and off campus. While at this point still relatively fluid, Kunselman’s job description as COO has been to figure out what he can do to make the lives of those in the administration easier and more efficient.

As part of the goal of graduating a higher rate of successful students, Kunselman has also made it a priority to speak to students through a number of interviews with student leadership. The goal of these interviews is to see what is working and what is not.

In other words, Kunselman wants to hear straight from a student perspective as to the effectiveness of certain policies and programs as well as how and why they may be improved.

“The most important thing that I can offer would be that I ultimately prove that the decision was wise and that choosing me was a good choice,” Kunselman said, “If I don’t pay back in efficiency and opportunity my salary multiple times to the university then I’m not doing my job.”

In order to do this, Kunselman said that it is important for him to first gain the aforementioned knowledge about those on campus.

Both Hynd and Kunselman have said that the COO position is still developing in the sense that it is unknown what its description will entail beyond handling the day-to-day aspects of the president while he is away.

These interviews and meetings with students and faculty alike aim to further define this position and the more specific goals of OU’s highest administrators.

Kunselman said that while he is happy to learn as much as he can, he is also familiar with OU from his past employment as well. When working at Fiat Chrysler, Kunselman worked with recruiters for the company who had relations with OU as well.

Additionally, Kunselman served on the Board of Trustees from 2012 until just before his appointment as COO. As chair of the facilities committee, Kunselman oversaw many of the changes that the campus has seen in the past few years.

His wife, Denise Kunselman, is also an alumna of the School of Business, so both of them have an integral relationship with OU.

While the position of COO is still new and still developing, The Oakland Post intends to continue to make updates on the various meetings and interviews that Kunselman holds and how that impacts his future decision-making process.

Kunselman’s contract details

SALARY: $325,000 annually

TERM: Three-year contract ending on Nov. 30, 2018

CAR/RENTAL PURCHASE: $750 per month towards car or rental purchases

TRAVEL: The university will pay for spouse to travel with him to certain meetings and conferences

Source: Contract documents posted on Scribd, courtesy of The Oakland Press