Oakland University (OU) in Rochester, Michigan, announces a national search for a president. The president reports to the Board of Trustees and is the chief executive officer of the university, serving as leader of OU's senior administrative team.
|Mail:||Oakland University President Search|
R. William Funk & Associates
100 Highland Park Village, Suite 200
Dallas, Texas 75205
An educational leader, a partner in the community
For more than 50 years, Oakland University has played an integral role in the growth and development of Southeast Michigan and the State of Michigan as a whole. By preparing tomorrow’s leaders, advancing research frontiers, fostering academic excellence and engaging with business, educational and community partners, Oakland University has been a catalyst for significant growth opportunities and inspired leadership.
Located in Oakland County, the second largest of 83 counties in the State of Michigan, it is at the center of the Michigan’s most prosperous region, and the heart of its economic activity. Located 30 miles north of Detroit, Oakland University is classified as a doctoral research university by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Students, faculty and alumni embrace and take advantage of many opportunities, which makes for a compelling component of the overarching Oakland University story.
Oakland University integrates the qualities of a national university with the character of dynamic Southeast Michigan communities. It delivers a broad range of arts and science majors, professional schools, and graduate programs –providing students with the ability to engage in intellectual development while pursuing other aspects of their lives, preparing them for the challenges of a contemporary workplace in an ever-changing global environment.
Alumni, students, faculty and staff are vital members of society, contributing intellectual excellence, scientific innovation, cultural vibrancy and an industrial spirit – all in an accessible setting on the grounds of the historic Meadow Brook estate. An ethos of hard work, in combination with the educational product Oakland University delivers results in graduates who are better prepared than their peers; ready to contribute and compete right away.
Established in 1957, the University has grown to accommodate total student enrollment of 20,169. Oakland has experienced a nearly 32 percent increase in enrollment since 2000. With more than 130 bachelor's degree programs and more than 120 graduate degree and certificate programs, Oakland is dedicated to delivering a distinctive undergraduate experience rooted in a strong liberal arts tradition. The University also is committed to delivering strong and distinctive graduate programs that nurture academic excellence through student engagement, research and scholarship.
Always focused on the overall academic experience, general education classes include a foundation in writing, critical thinking, and technological and interpersonal skills. Students develop an essential understanding of diversity and the tools to navigate today’s global environment. Oakland University responds to local and global market demands by creating innovative programs in new and emerging fields.
A variety of specialized majors in business, education, engineering and computer science, the humanities, math and laboratory science, nursing, health sciences, visual and performing arts, and the social sciences are part of the University’s program offerings. Students are also offered the opportunity to explore unique areas of interested through the Integrative Studies program, which allows the development of individual academic majors with an interdisciplinary curriculum.
From the Crittenton Hospital Medical Center Nursing Lab to the Eye Research Institute, from a 110-acre biological preserve to the Lowry Center for Early Childhood Education, OU offers hands-on learning in every program. The University's emphasis on learning by doing is valued by area stakeholders, as evidenced by the significant number of alumni in the area.
Decades of research in higher education validate that students most likely to succeed in college are those who get involved on campus. OU is home to more than 250 student organizations that encourage engagement, socialization and support. These organizations provide a valuable opportunity to further the campus community, both internally and externally. Through these groups, students and faculty are involved in many local, regional, and global philanthropic and industry based initiatives.
The University strives to provide students across Southeast Michigan with convenient access to high-quality academic programs and services. In order to further this goal, complete degree programs are also offered at three sites in Macomb County, Oakland County's neighbor to the east, which is home to roughly one-third of all OU students. In 2011, the University inaugurated the new Anton/Frankel Center campus in downtown Mt. Clemens, while continuing to offer courses at the Macomb University Center at Macomb Community College and at the Macomb Intermediate School District.
OU-Macomb serves as a gateway to the main campus; facilitates degree completion for traditional, nontraditional and transfer populations; supports joint admission and concurrent enrollment options with local community colleges; and delivers full undergraduate and graduate programs. Currently, more than 25 undergraduate and graduate programs are offered in Macomb County.
The competitive advantages of Oakland University can be summarized by the following key characteristics:
Comprehensive: Oakland University is a “national” university. Only the most comprehensive universities in the country have this classification. Oakland University offers a balance of undergraduate liberal arts and professional programs, a broad array of graduate degrees, and is engaged in academic research across many disciplines.
Community-centric: The majority of students come from the surrounding area, and many live at home and work in the community while attending school. Many Oakland University students stay in the community upon graduation. This pattern is distinct among national universities. Academic and professional engagement makes Oakland University an integral part of its environment.
Committed: Oakland University creates an atmosphere that is supportive, nurturing, and inclusive. It is committed to student engagement on and off the campus. It has an outward commitment to serving the public good.
Character: Oakland University is uniquely positioned in an area characterized by growth, employment, natural and economic resources, and an affluent population. An industrial American spirit is a reflection of the inherently hard-working, knowledge-seeking, community-oriented people of the region, who are our students, faculty, staff, alumni and supporters.
Convenient: Oakland University integrates seamlessly with the community providing students with the ability to engage in intellectual development while pursuing other aspects of their lives, preparing them for the challenges of a contemporary workplace. Located in suburban Oakland County, it is geographically positioned at the population and commercial center of the state. Oakland University is a constituent member of the Southeast Michigan community.
Connected: Oakland University is a place, an institution, and people. The faculty, staff, and students share the university with the general public, businesses, municipalities, and other educational institutions (including secondary and primary schools, community colleges, and other colleges and universities). Alumni, students, faculty and staff are vital members of society, contributing intellectual excellence and scientific innovation.
Creative: Oakland University fosters creativity and innovation through scholarship and engagement. Cutting-edge research is conducted to develop new knowledge, and convey this knowledge for the greater good of the community.
Oakland University is organized into the College of Arts and Sciences, the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine and the schools of Business Administration, Education and Human Services, Engineering and Computer Science, Health Sciences, Nursing, and the Honors College.
Research, opportunities, growth
Investing more than $40 million in research each year, Oakland University offers knowledge, resources and programs that help companies grow and researchers achieve breakthroughs in the laboratory. The University’s applied research and technology development areas include:
- Advanced manufacturing
- Life sciences
- Automotive engineering
- Information technology
- Alternative energy
- Homeland defense
The OU SmartZone Business Incubator, OU INC, provides entrepreneurial resources and strategic business solutions to local startups and spinoffs engaged in the development of intellectual property, business planning and capital acquisition. OU’s Macomb incubator is located in a Sterling Heights facility and is a joint venture between Oakland University, Macomb County and the City of Sterling Heights.
Excellence across campus:
In fall 2012, OU opened a 172,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art Human Health Building. It houses the schools of Nursing and Health Sciences, laboratories and classrooms. The facility balances a smart aesthetic and functional design with energy-efficient technologies.
The foundation for excellence in health care is rooted in the College of Arts and Sciences with large and growing programs like Biological Sciences and Biochemistry, and graduate programs such as Biomedical Sciences and a health care concentration in Public Administration. In addition, the Center for Biomedical Research allows researchers in the College of Arts and Sciences to come together with colleagues from the schools of Engineering and Computer Science, Health Sciences, and Nursing, as well as the Eye Research Institute.
Oakland University's School of Business Administration has achieved more than 40 years of educational excellence by remaining relevant to the ever-changing global business environment and providing students a distinctive educational experience that integrates classroom learning with real-world business experience and research. Students find undergraduate and graduate programs centered on integrating theory, leading-edge research and real-world experience to give them a true understanding of how business works, preparing them for immediate success. Oakland University’s business school is one of only 178 business schools – out of 13,000 worldwide – to hold elite accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business-International for both its business and accounting programs. With more than 15,000 business school alumni at work at all levels of organizations through Michigan and around the world, our students graduate with access to a powerful network of professionals and industry leaders who appreciate the value of an Oakland University business degree.
The School of Engineering and Computer Science leverages OU's proximity to the auto industry to provide faculty and students unique research opportunities. From GPS devices and communication systems to clean energy, SECS faculty are on the front lines of automotive research. In addition, the school’s research centers, such as the Fastening and Joining Research Institute (FAJRI), allow scholars to collaborate with auto makers as well as military units like the U.S. Army's Tank Automotive Research and Development Engineering Center (TARDEC). The School of Engineering and Computer Science will have a new home in 2014 when the new Engineering Center opens.
In addition to training great teachers, the School of Education and Human Services houses OUCARES – the Oakland University Center for Autism Research, Education and Support. OUCARES integrates academic course work, knowledge and research with hands-on work in the community to prepare professionals to be leaders in the autism community. The Center encourages the exchange of ideas relating to the education and support of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, as well as provides services and support needed to improve daily living. Once just a dream, the Avondale/Oakland University Partnership School project has developed into a full-fledged experiment in holistic education. In the fall of 2013, the partnership established Michigan’s first-ever laboratory school designed to support not only the whole child, but the whole family.
Oakland University’s contribution to the arts has moved beyond local boundaries to a place of prominence in the region. Historically, OU has had a strong performing arts program with record-high enrollment numbers.
The Department of Music, Theatre and Dance (housed in the College of Arts and Sciences) offers more than 100 student and faculty performances throughout the school year. Guests enjoy everything from musicals and intimate recitals to experimental plays and innovative dance performances. OU has earned a reputation for taking artistic risks, developing gifted artists, nurturing arts partnerships, and achieving new heights of quality and professionalism. (See http://www.oakland.edu/mtd)
Oakland University is located on the estate of Matilda Dodge Wilson (widow of auto pioneer John Dodge) and her second husband, lumber broker Alfred G. Wilson. Meadow Brook Hall is the fourth largest historic house museum in the United States and is renowned for its superb craftsmanship, architectural detailing and grand scale. Built between 1926 and 1929, the 110-room, 88,000-square-foot, Tudor-revival style mansion is complete with vast collections of original art and furnishings. The U.S. Department of the Interior has designated The Hall a National Historic Landmark, the highest recognition for historic properties in the United States. (See http://www.meadowbrookhall.org)
The Oakland University Art Gallery (OUAG), housed in the Department of Art and Art History, continues to garner critical acclaim for the quality and scope of its exhibitions. From September to May, the OUAG presents up to six different exhibitions –from ethnographic Chinese and African art to contemporary, museum-quality displays by New York City artists to cutting-edge works produced by Michigan artists. The gallery also offers lectures, performances, tours, special events and more. More than 16,000 visit OUAG each year to experience art and cultural programs. (See http://www.oakland.edu/mtd)
Outdoor summer amphitheater Meadow Brook Music Festival hosts top concerts on the east campus grounds including rock, alternative, adult contemporary, pop, country, and rhythm and blues; a wine and food festival; stand-up comedians; a mixed martial arts festival; and family entertainment. http://www.palacenet.com/venue_info.asp?venue=4
The men's basketball team posted back-to-back Summit League regular season and tournament championships from 2009-11 and has appeared in the NCAA championship tournament in three of the last nine years.
In July 2013, Oakland University joined the Horizon League to compete with other institutions with outstanding academic profiles and values. The excellence of the swimming and diving programs continued with league titles for both the men and women. http://www.ougrizzlies.com
Oakland University was created in 1957 when the late Alfred and Matilda Wilson made a gift to Michigan State University of the entire 1,500-acre Meadow Brook Estate and $2 million in cash. Meadow Brook Hall and the surrounding 127 acres stayed with the Wilsons until their deaths - Alfred in 1962 and Matilda in 1967. In 1971, Meadow Brook Hall opened for public tours and continues the tradition through present day with the annual Holiday Walk.
MSU's Woody Varner became the new campus's first chancellor. In addition to overseeing construction of buildings and infrastructure, Varner hired the best and brightest young Ph.D.s from across the country to serve as charter faculty. He created the academic curriculum through a series of meetings called The Meadow Brook Seminars. During 1958, educational, business and industrial leaders from across the United States met over many weeks at Meadow Brook Hall to create the serious and innovative educational experience that still characterizes Oakland University today.
Michigan State University-Oakland, or MSU-O as it was called, opened in September 1959 with 570 students and three buildings as a new and pioneering effort in higher education just as the space age was in its infancy. In 1963, MSU-O became known as Oakland University.
Founder Matilda Dodge Wilson was actively engaged in life on the new campus, hosting annual formal dances at her home and giving diamond rings to each student in the charter graduating class. Matilda died in 1967 on a trip to Europe to buy horses for her vast stables. In 1970, the state granted the university autonomy from Michigan State and appointed its first board of trustees. Today, Oakland works to continue the legacy left by Matilda Dodge Wilson and meet the high academic standards put in place during the school's early years.
Driving educational excellence
Today’s business climate demands a knowledge-based work force, which is why top-quality education is a priority in Oakland County schools. The county features an award-winning public school system, a number of higher education institutions and dedicated research facilities that focus on high-tech learning to help keep the region on the forefront of technology and innovation.
Oakland Schools’ 28 public school districts, 19 public school academies and 111 nonpublic schools serve 222,000 students and approximately 25,000 school staff. The county features 186 elementary schools, 62 middle and junior high schools, 60 senior high and alternative high schools, and four Oakland Schools Technical Campuses. Proven curricula challenge students and prepare them for successful employment.
What to do in Oakland County and Southeast Michigan
- Oakland County has 82 public and private golf courses.
- Skiers can enjoy three downhill sites in the region: Pine Knob in Independence Township, Mt. Holly in Holly, and Alpine Valley in White Lake Township.
- Sports fans cheer for the Detroit Pistons (NBA), Lions (NFL), Tigers (MLB), and Red Wings (NHL) at great venues in and around Detroit.
- Water lovers have more than 1,400 public and private lakes to enjoy, including the 430 square-mile Lake Saint Clair, which connects to Great Lakes Huron and Erie.
- Some of the world’s top musicians perform at sites around Detroit: DTE Energy Music Theatre, Meadow Brook Music Festival on the Oakland University campus, and The Palace of Auburn Hills.
- Weekend shoppers have their choice of fresh fruits and vegetables at any of several area farmers markets, including Birmingham, Waterford, Royal Oak, and Detroit’s Eastern Market, the oldest and one of the largest markets of its kind in the United States.
- The Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak attracts more than 1 million animal and adventure lovers each year with features such as the Arctic Ring of Life, the largest polar bear exhibit in North America. www.DetroitZoo.org
- The Walter P. Chrysler Museum celebrates the proud American heritage of the automobile. Located in Auburn Hills, the 55,000-square-foot museum features three stories of more than 70 antique, custom and concept vehicles interspersed with interactive displays and historical exhibits that tell the story of the automakers’ contributions to design, technology and innovation, as well as the industry’s impact on America. www.wpchryslermuseum.org
- The Henry Ford: http://www.thehenryford.org/
- Detroit Institute of Arts: www.dia.org
- Detroit Symphony Orchestra: http://www.detroitsymphonymusicians.org/
For More Information:
Oakland University links
- Campus video
- Music, Theatre and Dance program
- Music, Theatre and Dance performance calendar
- Oakland University Art Gallery
- Meadow Brook Music Festival (the festival is managed by the Palace of Auburn Hills)
- Meadow Brook Hall
Oakland County Links
Oakland University is a comprehensive state university that offers strong liberal arts and professional undergraduate programs and selected master’s and doctoral degree programs. Since its inception, the University has emphasized intellectual rigor and responsiveness to the educational and cultural needs of its surrounding area. It has done so through selective admissions, high academic standards, a highly qualified and accomplished faculty, an excellent staff and selective growth.
Oakland University seeks outstanding candidates for its next president. He or she should be a person of the highest integrity and personal energy, willing to devote the full effort necessary to provide leadership for the university as it continues to grow and improve. From a campus wide perspective, the next president should have significant experience with the life and operation of an institution of higher learning, should be able to demonstrate a commitment to shared governance, should be willing and able to engage in the intellectual give-and-take that characterizes a vital university, and should be knowledgeable about the real tasks involved in teaching and research.
Above all, the new president must be an individual capable of academic leadership and effective planning. As a relatively young university, Oakland has grown with an exuberant entrepreneurial spirit. Under the leadership of the president and the direction of the Board of Trustees, the University continually reviews programs to ensure quality.
The Oakland University community is responding to changing financial circumstances, while also maintaining a fierce dedication to high quality instruction and research, sustaining a distinguished faculty, upholding strong liberal arts standards appropriate to a selective institution, continuing public service and expanding access. Oakland University is proud of its programs and recognizes a responsibility not only to its traditional undergraduate and graduate students, but also to returning adult students and to continuing education students. The next president should possess passionate dedication to the values that embody its history, while leading it into the future.
Oakland University’s mission emphasizes teaching, research and public service. Its academic mission is supported by a strong student development effort. The president is expected to embrace this existing mission, while facilitating its further refinement to produce greater cohesion and interaction among existing programs and any new ones that are developed. Under visionary leadership and through implementation of the university’s strategic plan, the University will need to be proactive as it prepares students to participate in an increasingly inter-connected global economy. Under new leadership and through planning, the university aspires to a more unified community, sharing common goals and working together in the most efficacious manner toward their achievement.
The president must communicate effectively with such constituencies as faculty, staff, alumni, and current Oakland students; potential students and their parents from diverse social and educational backgrounds; business and community leaders; government officials; and the media. The president must respect these constituents and must actively seek opportunities to interact with them. He or she must be involved, visible, direct, honest, transparent, courageous and decisive. In his or her public role, the president symbolizes the university and should exemplify the university’s best qualities.
The new president must demonstrate from previous experience that he or she is a skilled manager of complexity. The president must know how to build an excellent team, as well as how to delegate, make tough decisions when necessary, and act fairly and consistently. The president should understand the role of physical plant operations, with respect to maintenance and new construction, and most importantly, how to build an infrastructure that facilities the strengthening of the community, both internally and externally.
The president is not expected to accomplish all these things alone, and so the ability to develop a strong leadership team is essential. Although the president must know how to consult and collaborate, he or she must maintain strong leadership in managing the University. He or she must devote particular attention to work with others to see that plans and initiatives are completed.
The president must play an increasingly important role in external affairs. It is essential for the president to be adept in dealing with the office of the governor and the legislature as the principal articulator of the vision of the University. The president should also seek new ways to draw upon the special resources of southeastern Michigan. Success in fundraising will depend on the president’s ability to create a sense of cohesiveness and momentum for Oakland University and to improve the University’s visibility and image in the region.
It is the role of the president to help to identify opportunities, and then strategically align the competencies of the institution with stakeholder values, to further its academic role in the region. The president is thus a developer of resources, the executive leader charged with deploying those resources effectively, and an enthusiastic advocate for the University’s academic mission and programs. The University, the business community, and state and local government serve as resources to one another. The president must be dedicated to maintaining and expanding these relationships and to increasing extramural support of the University.
Oakland University wants to expand its efforts to create an increasingly diverse faculty, staff and student body. The president should by inclination and experience be dedicated to increasing diversity and be able to develop a university-wide approach that will attract support throughout the community.
Oakland University has an effective system of shared governance and faculty collective bargaining. The president should be comfortable in this environment and find it as an opportunity to create a stronger community through consultation with faculty and staff in university decisions.
Oakland University seeks a president with a special blend of the above talents and experience. Although the University realizes that not all applicants will possess these characteristics in equal measure, it seeks candidates who will find in the challenges presented by Oakland University an opportunity worthy of their talent and aspirations.
The Oakland University Board of Trustees named Dallas-based R. William Funk & Associates to serve as consultants in a search for the university’s sixth permanent president.
The action comes following a recommendation by the Oakland’s nine-member Ad Hoc Presidential Search Committee, which reviewed search proposals from 11 firms. In addition to Funk & Associates, finalists included Greenwood Asher & Associates, and Isaacson, Miller.
The appointment was approved pending final negotiations between the search firm and the board. Once approved, a contract will outline specific responsibilities, such as researching and identifying candidates, conducting initial screening, coordinating and facilitating interviews, verifying candidates’ educational credentials and references; and assisting in the job offer, acceptance and pre-employment processes.
Funk and Associates has conducted 375 searches for college and university presidents and chancellors. Clients have included Cornell University, the University of Southern California, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, the University of Kansas, Rutgers University, the University of Miami, Georgia Tech and The Ohio State University.
“It’s clear that Funk and Associates have established a strong reputation for assisting higher education institutions in finding talented and visionary leaders,” said Oakland University Board of Trustees Chair Michael Kramer.
“We look forward to working with the firm to identify the best candidate to lead Oakland into a new era of growth, success and distinction.”
- Michael Kramer (Chair)
- Mark Schlussel
- Richard Flynn
- Richard DeVore
- Monica Emerson
- David Dulio, Chair of the Political Science Department
- Craig Stinson, Distinguished Alumni
- Louay Chamra, Dean of the School of Engineering and Computer Science
- Andrei Slavin, Distinguished Professor of Physics
- Janell Townsend, Associate Professor of Marketing
- Steven Shablin, University Registrar
- Brandon Hanna, Student Body President
George W. Hynd was appointed by the OU Board of Trustees as Oakland University's sixth president. Read more.
These three very well-qualified finalists will be thoroughly vetted during meetings with all Board of Trustees members, and each also will participate in an all-campus forum open to faculty, staff and students. The schedule of forums will be released by the Office of the President as soon as possible.
After the campus visits are completed, the Board of Trustees will select the next president of Oakland University from the field of finalists. The appointment will be made before the end of August.
The Search Committee will accept applications and nominations until a new President is selected. Interested parties are encouraged to submit their materials by May 15 to assure optimal consideration. An update on progress will be provided after May 15.
William Funk of the search firm R. William Funk and Associates was on campus Monday, February 17 and Tuesday, February 18 to meet with various groups to obtain your insights into the institutional and leadership needs of Oakland University for the next university president. The open forums were held with faculty, staff, deans, student leaders, alumni, civic leaders, the president's cabinet and their direct reports, the search committee and the board of trustees.
- Wednesday, April 2
12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Oakland Center Gold Room C
- Thursday, April 3
3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Oakland Center Oakland Room
The starting point for these discussions will be the same as those initiated by the search consultant, and include the three questions below. Please take a few moments to contemplate these before the meetings.
PRESIDENT SEARCH DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
(A note from William Funk: We have found that the following three questions elicit information that is very helpful to the consultant; in addition to serving as a catalyst for discussion with the Board, Search Committee, and the various constituency groups. We also provide these questions in advance to potential attendees at 'open forums' held on the campus to receive input from faculty, students, alumni, and other interested parties.)
- What are the major challenges and opportunities the next president will inherit? Both immediately and longer term?
- If these are the challenges and opportunities, what kind of person do you feel is best equipped to address the challenges and exploit the opportunities? What kind of experience, management/leadership style, world view, personality, et. al.? Figuratively, if you could draw the picture of the ideal candidate, what would she/he look like?
- We will be contacting many persons who we believe are among the best potential candidates in the country. They, for the most part, will not have thought about making a job change and will be reluctant candidates. Help arm us with compelling reasons we can use to convince these reluctant candidates to explore our opportunity. What do you think makes Oakland University a unique and exciting place?
Please email your RSVP to email@example.com by March 27 and indicate which session you plan on attending.