What inspired you to become an Oakland University trustee?
I’m a big believer that higher education is transformational for our state and our people. If we want to be prosperous on both counts, our universities have to be in tune with the incoming student body — locally, nationally and internationally. Oakland University is better positioned to do this than any other institution in Michigan.
How do you envision OU driving prosperity regionally?
I think of the university as an engine for economic growth and prosperity for us all. People who will never even set foot on this campus benefit from the things happening here. We have a responsibility to be bolder, more innovative, and more inclusive of the talent in our region.
As an OU trustee, I’m interested in making sure we have a strong advocacy voice in Lansing to support our campus so that we can decrease student tuition.
Do you foresee a natural synergy between your role as an OU trustee and your role as president and CEO of The Skillman Foundation in Detroit?
I am passionate about improving the K-12 system so that all students have access to college and higher education. Our faculty and students actively work with local school districts and produce the second largest numbers of educators. Additionally, the University’s charter authorizing office is providing quality choices to families. These efforts are all aligned with the Skillman Foundation’s efforts to improve quality schools.
My hope is that both institutions are equipping students to be prospective OU students, who contribute to our state’s growth and leadership.
What is your vision to create a better OU?
We are a premiere university in the state and the region; I want everyone to know this. I want our name to be synonymous with excellence and aspiration, attracting students and faculty by being a place of ideation, creation and innovation.
Students submitted their #ThisIsOU 2017 winter photo for a chance to be featured and win some OU bear bling
Tonya Allen and Marianne Fey join OU's Board of Trustees
Oakland University’s plans to strengthen its research initiatives