Final open forum introduces presidential candidate George W. Hynd

By Kaylee Kean

The third and final open forum was held with presidential candidate George W. Hynd on Wednesday, July 2 in the Banquet Rooms of the Oakland Center at 2 p.m. There the Oakland community learned more of Hynd, currently provost and executive vice president of academic affairs at the College of Charleston in South Carolina.

Telling the story

Hynd, who started out teaching elementary school for a few years, said he first found his passion for higher education after spending years with funded research on why some children struggle to read and controll their behavior. This research gave him “the opportunity to have the influence on others.”

“I think higher education is all about providing people an opportunity to do what they want,” Hynd said.

One of the things Hynd said he enjoyed the most about becoming provost at Charleston was the ability to help the college pull together and show what it had to offer.

“I could bring the deans in to form a team, and that team, with the proper support, really expanded to tell the story,” Hynd said. “I would like to have the opportunity to go out and tell the story of what’s happening here at Oakland University.”

One man at the forum about grad programs, which Hynd said should be the centerfold for the institution.

“These are the things we want to be known for,” Hynd said, saying that Ph.D. programs, although expensive, should be “robust” and “centrally supported”.

The role of the president

During the forum an audience member asked how Hynd would handle the transition to president, to which Hynd responded that he has a feel for what being a faculty member means and so would understand the OU staff and faculty’s positions.

Challenges he might have, he said, would be trying to learn as much as possible while hitting the ground running.

“But I enjoy that, so I think I would have fun,” Hynd said.

When it comes to the president’s leadership, Hynd said he thinks it’s up to the president to meet with faculty and media to explain what is happening in the institution. There should be regular meetings and open reports on data, he said.

“Faculty input is incredibly important,” Hynd said. He said he attends all faculty senate meetings at Charleston and reports there on the academic affairs office.

Hynd also said he believes OU’s next president should not be micromanaging; he needs to make sure things are done correctly and handled by the right people, then needs get out to Lansing and work on external tasks.

“The role of the president is to explain to state legislature why support is needed,” Hynd said.

Hynd says he also meets with student leaders and would like to visit the cafeteria to meet more students, talk and get to know them.

Regarding athletics, Hynd said they are necessary to the instituion and provide a sense of pride, community, and identity for staff and students. Athletics also encourage alumni donations, which can only benefit OU.

“it’s important in a longer term to build a sense of pride in the instituion,” Hynd said. “Who wouldn’t want to be a Grizzly?”

Feedback

“I thought he’d be a pretty good fit for the institution,” said Walli Andersen, associate professor of writing and rhetoric. “His research credentials are excellent.”

Cindy Sifonis, associate professor in psychology, said she attended all three forums.

“He did more research than the others,” Sifonis said of Hynd. “I’m a psychologist, he’s psychologist… so of course I like that.”

Sifonis also said she was pleased to see the amount of participation that there was from faculty, staff and students.

“I am really happy. Initially there was no chance for faculty input. I’m really glad they put together these forums.”

View Hynd’s resume here.

Read more about candidates James D. Spaniolo and Rodney K. Rogers.

The Oakland Post will continue to update with information as it becomes available.