OU names new president

By: Linda Shepard | Rochester Post | Published July 16, 2014

ROCHESTER HILLS — Oakland University has named George Hynd as its new president following a national search.

Last summer, Gary Russi resigned as OU president, a position he held since 1995. Hynd fills the spot held by Betty Youngblood, who served as interim president since Russi’s resignation in July of 2013.

Hyde will serve as the university’s sixth president since OU was founded in 1957. He formerly served as provost and executive vice president of academic affairs for the College of Charleston in South Carolina.

According to OU officials, Hyde was selected for the spot after an extensive search by the 12-member OU Presidential Search Committee headed by Michael Kramer.

“George’s qualifications and abilities were a natural match for us at OU,” Kramer said in a statement. “We thoroughly reviewed all the candidates, each outstanding in their own right, and George was the best fit to take us forward.” Hynd was appointed to the position at a July 9 special OU Board of Trustees meeting. 

As provost and executive vice president of academic affairs, Hynd was responsible for all undergraduate and graduate programs at the College of Charleston, and managed an academic affairs budget of nearly $90 million. He created new undergraduate and graduate degree programs in African-American studies, exercise science, archeology, public administration and finance, and a degree completion program aimed at adult learners.

He also led efforts to expand summer school online and distance education offerings, along with increasing recruitment efforts to first-generation and underrepresented students, Kramer said.

Last fall, OU’s largest-ever freshman class marked 15 consecutive years of the school’s student population growth — on its way to a historic total enrollment high of 20,000 students. The freshman class of 2,542 students reflected a 1.8 percent increase over the previous year.

In addition to student growth, OU is currently in the midst of a building boom. New projects in development or under construction include a student housing complex, new athletic fields, a 127,000-square-foot Engineering Center, a 151-foot carillon tower, a new parking structure and a new maintenance facility.

A new anatomy laboratory at the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine opened last fall inside the university’s Hannah Hall of Science.

“I am very excited and committed to making sure that OU’s story is told in all spheres of influence,” Hynd said in a statement. “I want to make sure our faculty members have the resources to be successful and involve students in their scholarship.”