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Take 5 with George Preisinger

Friday, July 20, 2012
Take 5 with George Preisinger
By Katie Land, news editor

Composed of a diverse array of faculty, staff and administrators, the Oakland University community is unique, creative, and dedicated. As part of a continuing effort to explore the various roles and lives of our Golden Grizzlies, the News @ OU website presents a new interview series. We invite you to share these stories and “Take 5” with OU. 

“Take 5 with George Preisinger”

George Preisinger is the assistant vice president for Classroom Support and Instructional Technical Services. Since his arrival in 1979, George has become a fixture at the university; working, volunteering and participating in a number of Oakland University areas. He earned the Outstanding AP of the Year award in 2005 and the George Wibby Athletics Award in 1999, and the Honorary Alumnus Award in 2004. At CSITS, George oversees a number of functions ranging from classroom and desktop support and technical service operations to special event support and multimedia production. George’s wife Sarah is also a member of the Oakland University community, serving as director of Women's Basketball Operations.

1) What is the busiest time of year in your department?

I don’t think we could be any busier. My department’s service responsibilities have grown with the University which keeps us busy 12 months out of the year. We used to be able to catch our breath a little in the spring and summer, perhaps take time for training or to attend conferences, but that slow period has disappeared. We now participate in the building and renovation designs for classrooms, labs and interactive spaces across campus and at OU’s Macomb locations. There is a lot of work to prepare for the coming semester, so we are busy non-stop. I’m not one to sit around and don’t have a large staff, and I don’t like to say no, so we help out in a lot of ways. I do a little bit of everything, and have always been really active and hands on in my work, so when I commit us to helping, my staff knows I abuse myself at a higher level than I abuse others in our efforts to serve the OU community. 

2) How do you like to spend your weekends?

Golf! During the summer I try to get in as many rounds as I can. Over the years I have spent a lot of rounds at Katke-Cousins. I golf with the OU Men’s League and used to play on the Oakland Softball League, but I tend to compete too hard and get hurt. So I stopped playing softball to save myself for golf. 

3) What are some of the more interesting events you have seen over the years?

I don’t get real excited about any individual event.  I approach every event in terms of how much energy will need to be expended. The recent National Republican Presidential Debate was the most challenging, but no matter the event, I am the happiest when a big event is over. It is such a relief when the event goes successfully, is over, and I can take a breath for a day or two. 

4) Do you have any particular hobbies?

I’m a handyman, so I like to find solutions to any number of structural or staging challenges. I also added 1,000 square feet to my house. I always wanted to build my own house, and that experience cured me of the idea. I mostly did the entire addition by myself. I dug the footings, built the foundation, did the plumbing and electricity, added the roof and completed the whole thing. Sometimes I get a little help from friends, but I prefer to do my own work so it is exactly the way I want it. My wife and I are both happiest when we are at home doing what we want. We expend a lot of energy working and helping others, so our home is a haven, it is our favorite place. We’d rather stay home than go out anyplace. Maybe when we both retire we’ll try out a few vacations.

5) What changes have you seen at OU since you began?

The past 33 years have gone by so quickly. It is hard to believe that it has been so long. The decade of the eighties was largely a non-growth period. State funding at that time did not encourage growth, and the majority of that time was a real plateau. Then the nineties hit, and I saw significant change in university growth. In the nineties, there was a new focus on university growth and building a larger student body. That trend began in the nineties and has not slowed down. I have seen unprecedented growth with new buildings, more students, and drastic technological changes. In the 2000s, we began to make great changes in classroom technology, and changed over from a tiered model to a standard enhanced technology package for all classrooms. Technology has really changed from where we were to where we are today. Oakland is right up there with the top schools in the country in terms of the instructional technology resources available for faculty, staff and students.