Feb. 6 BOT meeting: new programs and distinguished professors


The first Board of Trustees meeting of the Winter semester took place on Feb. 6 and featured new programs and new board members as well as distinguished professors and recaps of events. 

Chair of the Meadow Brook Estate board Patrick Brown discussed the success of Meadow Brook like a 21% increase of visitation from 2021 and fundraising for the new Visitor Center reaching $800,000. Some future goals include the construction of the Visitor Center and new signage for the hall.

Brian Kieler of the School of Business Board of Visitors and Ewa Matuszewski, chair of the School of Health Sciences Board of Advocacy and Resource Development spoke about the importance of diversity of their boards. Both feature accomplishments similar to the success of connecting students to the community and workplace.

President’s report

President Ora Pescovitz recognized many members of the Oakland University community such as the two new board members Colleen Peters and Stefen Welch, who both are appointed until 2030, and swim coach Pete Hovland. Both Peters and Welch are OU alumni.

“What I’m really excited about is, I am OU… I’m a first generation graduate and I love Oakland,” Peters said. “Look at the pillars, student success and community engagement because I’m pretty engaged with the community, are the two areas I personally want to focus on and it’s all about helping students become the best they can.”

Peters is the founder of Meaningful Impact Consulting and has a lot of experience regarding funding. Welch is the vice president of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the Detroit Pistons and has experience in the media appearing on Detroit News and Huffington Post Live.

After a performance by professors Mark Stone and Patrick Fitzgibbon with some of their students, went on to highlight Hovland’s accomplishments including leading the men’s team to conference championships for 44 consecutive years and the women’s team for 28 consecutive titles, where Pete was head coach for 21 of the titles.

“We had swimmers that were on his first team as well as those that are on his current team and what you notice is the legacy that he’s left,” Steve Waterfield, director of athletics, said. “He’s got a lot of rings and championships and legacy is the most enduring quality of what he brings… I look forward to having him win two more championships in the coming weeks.” 

After Pescovitz, the dean of university libraries Polly Boruff-Jones and the dean of the honors college Graeme Harper talked about the legacy and history of OU on the 60th anniversary of the naming of Oakland University. Boruff-Jones focused on the history of the library, while Harper recapped the history of OU itself.

“History is one of our most important disciplines, without history, we have no context, and without context, we make bad generic decisions,” Harper said.

Distinguished professors

Three professors were granted the rank of distinguished professor, them being David Dulio (political science), Huirong Fu (computer science and engineering) and Ravindra Khattree (statistics).

“I’m just so honored to share that information with you and just three of the great minds and people that we have at OU,” Provost Britt Rios-Ellis said.

Combined the three professors currently have 17 books, Dulio has 77 articles or book chapters while Fu and Khattree 45 peer-reviewed journal publications and 100 journal publications respectively. 

Dulio heads the Center for Civic Engagement which has featured over 50 programs with over 4,000 people participating. He is a well-known name, making an estimate of nearly 1,000 media contributions across outlets such as The Los Angeles Times, USA Today and Fox News.

Fu promotes student success, having mentored more than 10 students and received grants to support over 150 students spanning almost 100 universities. Her publications have been cited over 2500 times and prompted the creation of the Master of Science in Cybersecurity through her work at the Center for Cyber Security.

Khattree has contributions named after him such as the Khattree-Peddada Theorem and has been sought after by companies like Ford and GM for his prowess. He received the rank of Fellow from the American Statistical Association and has served as editor for multiple journals.

New programs

Coordinator and associate professor for clinical and diagnostic sciences Dale Telgenhoff presented the new Master of Science in Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences. The non-thesis master’s program was originally brought up a few years ago but progress was disrupted due to COVID-19.

The program can be completed fully online, but it is currently anticipated to be 75% online and 25% in-person. The degree will focus on those who are currently in the field, as this will allow them to venture more into the profession.

“Their main role in the healthcare community is to provide information in which it guides clinical practitioners and the diagnosis and prognosis of disease,” Telgenhoff said. “The curriculum is designed to enhance their specific area of expertise and to guide the students into achieving their goals in that particular program.”

The Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity now joins the master’s program of the same name in the School of Engineering and Computer Science. The chair of the computer science and engineering department Marouane Kessentini presented the program

Kessentini mentioned the need for cybersecurity in the local market due to the high concentration of the manufacturing and automotive industries. The bachelor’s program will have different tracks like an AI in cybersecurity track and software security track. The program also offers diverse students.

“We found when we made the market assessment, students who join cybersecurity, for example from veteran and also female students typically are higher compared to other degrees,” he said.

Both were approved and the meeting adjourned without comments from the public.