Administration Shake-Up at Oakland


Mezzeo will be replacing Mohan Tanniru as Dean of the School of Business Administration

University administration has changed quite a bit while students were enjoying their summer vacations.


While the scandal that led to the resignation of President Gary Russi and resulted in the firing of his wife, women’s head basketball coach Beckie Francis, captured most of the headlines, significant shifts occurred throughout the ranks of the leadership.


The following is a summary of the shakeup.


University President

Out: Gary Russi

In: Betty Youngblood (interim)


Previous Experience: She was previously Chancellor at University of Wisconsin-Superior (1991-1995), president at Western Oregon (1995-2002) and president at Lake Superior State (2002-2007)


Miscellaneous: She’s an OU alumna.


Quick Quotes: On Russi/Francis scandal: “There is no crisis. There is no emergency. Everything is fine.”


On not being in the race for president: “I believe I can be far more effective and far more helpful to the Board of Trustees by not being a candidate.”


On transition: “President Russi made tremendous contributions here. But the university has changed a great deal during the time that he’s been here, and he has made his decision to move on in his life. It’s an exciting time at Oakland University to bring in new leadership.”


Vice President of academic affairs/Provost

Out: Susan Awbrey (interim)

In: James Lentini


Previous Experience: Dean of the School of Creative Arts at Miami of Ohio (2007-2013), Founding Dean at the School of Art, Media and Music at the College of New Jersey.


Miscellaneous: He is an accomplished musician.


Quick Quotes: His vision to expand OU’s reputation: “We can do that through the great work of our professors and students and try to figure out ways that people know about us beyond Oakland county and southeast Michigan.”


On student retention/graduation rates: “We can make some improvements there. It’s going to be a challenge because so many students commute, maybe transfer.”


Vice President of student affairs and enrollment management

Out: Mary Beth Snyder

In: Glenn McIntosh


Previous Experience: Dean of Students


Miscellaneous: He played football at Central Michigan and won a couple of bodybuilding competitions.


Quick Quotes: On his approach: “I think the idea is that you want to hear what the problem is, the perception of the individuals bringing the problem, and then you want to find out, ‘How can we help the person achieve what they want within the guidelines of the rules and policies of the university?’”


Dean of College of Arts and Sciences

Out: Tamara Jhashi (interim)

In: Kevin Corcoran


Previous Experience: Dean of College of arts and sciences at Northern Kentucky University (2006-2009)


Miscellaneous: also a psychology professor


Quick Quotes: On OU growth prospects: “Institutions can grow in more ways than just adding students.  It can grow through the kinds of programs offered.”


Dean of the School of Business Administration

Out: Mohan Tanniru

In: Michael Mazzeo


Previous Experience: Associate Dean for undergraduate programs and finance at Michigan State Eli Broad College of Business (2002-2008), interim chairperson finance department (2010-2012)


Miscellaneous: He’s a Buffalo Bills fan.


Quick Quotes: On his plans for the school’s future: “My plan for the school of business is simply to enhance its reputation, to make sure that people are aware of the high quality of our instructors, of our professors. I think we have great students here, great programs. My single role is simply to enhance those.”


Dean of the School of Education and Human Services

Out: Mary Stein (interim)

In: vacant


The Scoop: Stein was removed from her role as interim dean after allegations surfaced that she and another OU professor, Timothy Larrabee, had self plagiarized by publishing  two articles in different publications that were based upon the same research, a frowned upon practice in the academic community. Stein had replaced Louis Gallien, who left in the spring to take the same position at Appalachian State University.