Presidential finalists to visit campus before exams


Elyse Gregory

Oakland University President George Hynd (right) looks on as Board of Trustees Chair Richard DeVore gives a presidential search update at the April 3 board meeting.

Paige Brockway, Editor-in-Chief

The Oakland University Board of Trustees intends to bring two presidential candidates to campus for public vetting before finals week.

The presidential search committee has reviewed 61 candidates and conducted confidential, off-campus interviews with a select few.

The search hasn’t been narrowed down to two candidates yet, but Richard DeVore, chair of the board and the presidential search committee, hopes to announce the dates of the finalists’ visits to campus later in the week.

“We’re going to have two on campus,” he said at the board meeting on Monday, April 3. “I don’t have exact dates. It will be before finals, so in the next couple of weeks.”

Finals begin Thursday, April 20.

The search remains closed, but the candidates’ names and curricula vitae will be available to the campus community one to two days before their visits, according to a March 29 press release by DeVore.

At Monday’s meeting, he said he hopes to give 24-36 hours’ notice before each finalist comes to campus.

The visits will include further interviews and open forums with campus stakeholders, who will be able to provide feedback through electronic surveys.

“We had a very robust process, but I think we [the search committee members] were all very delighted in the candidates we saw,” DeVore said.

The search committee is made up of Trustees DeVore, Mark Schlussel, Melissa Stolicker and Ronald Robinson, as well as:

  • Glenn McIntosh, vice president for Student Affairs
  • Kevin Corcoran, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
  • Linda Gillum, associate dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs in the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine
  • Karen Markel, chair of the Management and Marketing Department and associate professor of management
  • Cassie Hock, student liaison to the Board of Trustees
  • Sean Foe, student liaison to the Board of Trustees

Foe and DeVore said the student liaisons to the board have participated in all of the interviews so far.

Summary of the search

The search for a new president was announced in September 2016, with DeVore telling the Detroit Free Press the decision to not renew President George Hynd’s contract was “not termination for cause.”

Throughout the 2016-17 academic year, DeVore has kept his promise to “err on the side of overcommunicating” about the presidential search, which has remained on track with the schedule outlined at the Oct. 24, 2016, Board of Trustees meeting.

The presidential search committee has been working with Washington D.C.-based firm Academic Search under a $90,000 contract since December.

In January, Academic Search held a series of open campus forums to determine which characteristics OU community members desire in the university’s next president. The insight gathered at the open forums was used to draft the advertisement for the position.

Approximately 20 percent of the 61 applicants were female, according to John Young, vice president of University Communications and Marketing.

Hynd’s three-year contract expires in August 2017. The board aims to give the next president a five-year contract.

Though DeVore wants the next president to “physically be [at OU] in June,” he is “hoping to have something done maybe as early as the end of this month.”

The next Board of Trustees formal session is not scheduled until June 5, but DeVore said there will be a special board meeting to discuss the presidency before then.