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.
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
The search committee charge can be viewed in the Formation of the Ad Hoc Presidential Search Committee document approved at the October 24, 2016 Board of Trustees meeting.
The Oakland University Board of Trustees is currently in the process of selecting a presidential search firm. Please continue to check this page for updates on making nominations and submitting applications.
- Richard L. DeVore, Board Chair and Chair of Presidential Search Committee
- Ronald E. Robinson, Trustee
- Mark E. Schlussel, Trustee
- Melissa Stolicker, Trustee
- Glenn McIntosh, Vice President for Student Affairs
- Kevin J. Corcoran, Ph.D., Dean, College of Arts & Sciences
- Linda H. Gillum, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, OUWB
- Karen S. Markel, Ph.D., Chair of the Management & Marketing Department and Associate Professor of Management
- Sean M. Foe, Student Liaison
- Cassandra M. Hock, Student Liaison