Hynd discusses achievements in State of the University Address

In his State of the University Address on April 4, Oakland University President George Hynd discussed achievements and predicted a bright future for OU.

As this is Hynd’s last year as president, his speech summarized points of pride and offered advice for continued improvement.

“I’m pleased to report today the university is stronger and held in greater esteem than any time in its 60-year history,” Hynd said.

He discussed accomplishments of his three-year administration, Oakland’s welcoming community, the university’s growth and its local and global connections.


During Hynd’s presidency, OU saw the development of a new mission statement and strategic plan.

Hynd emphasized that the university is relevant in Oakland County and Michigan.

Hynd said university-funded financial aid has increased by tens of millions of dollars and the total available amount is approaching $50 million, which is roughly equal to state appropriations.

“This support is helping to change students’ lives and, without a doubt, is a solid investment for the institution and provides an outstanding return to the students and the state of Michigan, as we are preparing a talented and well-prepared workforce for Michigan’s economy,” he said.

He reported that Career Services’ most-recent First-Destination Survey determined OU graduates have an employment rate of 71 percent, with 97 percent of those graduates working in Michigan. The remaining 29 percent go to graduate school or join the military.

During Hynd’s presidency, Oakland also added 12 new academic degrees, including a Master of Science in Forensic Nursing, a Master of Science in Cyber Security, doctoral programs in nursing practice and nurse anesthesia and a law degree partnership with Wayne State University.


Hynd also discussed Oakland’s welcoming campus. The Women’s Leadership Institute was established this academic year, and Oakland’s fourth Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Conference is set to take place Wednesday, April 5.

The campus community also recently completed the university’s second Campus Climate Survey.

“Like the first, it will assuredly lay the groundwork for new programs and initiatives to make Oakland University an even more rewarding community in which to be engaged,” Hynd said.

He mentioned that OU was named among Michigan’s top LGBTQIA+ inclusive schools.

In 2016, OU was named seventh on a list of the 50 safest large colleges and universities in the U.S. by College Choice.

“However, we cannot rest on accomplishments in this area, no matter how good they are,” Hynd said, adding that recent national and state events show the continued need for a safer campus.

A growing campus

Along with the Strategic Plan, Hynd’s presidency produced a new Campus Master Plan that proposes several building projects, including the upcoming Southern Student Housing Complex.

He for two-thirds of its students, OU was their first choice and 75 percent of students take a full course load, allowing them to graduate faster and with less debt.


OU now has more than 830 international students and scholars from more than 64 countries.

The university continues to work with neighboring communities and has new fundraising leadership, Hynd said.

Hynd said this gets Oakland more recognition, and he sees a bright future if outreach continues at this level.

“Oakland will be as brilliant a gem as any in the crown of this nation’s higher education community,” he said.