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Hynes Named Acting President at State University of West Georgia

Atlanta — September 14, 1999

Dr. Thomas J. Hynes, Jr., vice president of academic affairs and professor of mass communications with the State University of West Georgia, in Carrollton, Ga., has been named by University System of Georgia Chancellor Stephen R. Portch as acting president of the institution.

Hynes will oversee the daily operation of the State University of West Georgia during the absence of President Beheruz Sethna. Sethna has been named by Portch to serve as interim senior vice chancellor for academic affairs with the Board of Regents, while a national search is conducted to permanently fill that position. The two appointments will begin in mid-October; upon their conclusion, both Hynes and Sethna will return to their current positions at the University.

Hynes joined West Georgia as vice president of academic affairs in 1996, serving as the chief academic officer responsible for four academic units, Arts & Sciences, Business, Education and the Graduate School. During his tenure in the position over the past three years, Hynes has initiated technology planning for academic and support programs at West Georgia; institutionalized an annual campus-wide celebration recognizing student scholarship, including undergraduate research and creative activities; overseen the development of a center for undergraduate research; reorganized teacher preparation activities as a University-wide responsibility; increased support of small business development activities; dramatically expanded externally funded research and grants; and expanded faculty development opportunities.

Hynes came to West Georgia from the University of Louisville, in Louisville, Kentucky, where he had served as interim dean of the College of Arts & Sciences from 1990-1996. In that capacity, Hynes managed more than 380 full- and part-time faculty, 26 departments and programs, and a $26 million budget. He joined the Louisville in 1978 as an assistant professor of communication and director of debate. Prior to securing the interim dean’s post, he had moved through the ranks of several faculty appointments, culminating in professor and associate dean.

“I know that Tim will be embraced by West Georgia’s campus community during this interim appointment, and I am looking forward to working directly with him during Beheruz’s absence,” said Chancellor Stephen R. Portch. “He is a talented administrator who has worked closely with the president over the past few years, and they have a strong shared vision of the institution’s mission and focus. It pleases me when we can provide our own administrators with these type of leadership opportunities, which contributes tremendously to their professional development.”

“This is an exciting time for me to take on this assignment, because of the outstanding progress we are making at this institution,” Hynes said, commenting on his appointment. “The University of West Georgia is achieving an excellent reputation on many fronts – from our Advanced Academy to teacher education to our innovative business programs, among others. I look forward to assuming this new leadership role, and to joining with my colleagues in contributing to the University’s continued advancement.”

Hynes launched his academic career as a teaching assistant at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in 1971. He also worked as a teaching associate at the University of Massachusetts, in Amherst, Mass., from 1972-1975, and as an assistant professor at Baylor University, in Waco, Texas, from 1975-78. Hynes’ scholarly and instructional expertise are in the areas of argumentation, debate, decision making, small group communication, political communication and public speaking.

In addition to his academic career, Hynes also has served as a communications consultant for the public and private sectors. His client list includes The Louisville Times, South Central Bell, Brown & Williamson Louisville Gas and Electric, and the Babel Institute of Translation and Cross-Cultural Communication, in Tokyo, Japan, among others. He also has served as a broadcast analyst for televised presidential and state senate debates in Kentucky.

Hynes has written ten textbooks, a score of articles and chapters in academic publications and journals, and presented numerous presentations at scholarly meetings.

He also has received several awards during his academic career, among them: Debate Coach of the Year, from Georgetown University, in 1982; Debate Coach of the Year, Emory University, in 1983; University of Massachusetts, Outstanding Debate Alumnus, 1984; Outstanding Performance Award, Administrators, University of Louisville, 1990; Woodcock Society, University of Louisville, 1993; and Honorary Inductee into Phi Eta Sigma, in 1994. He also is listed in the 1998 edition of “Who’s Who of Professionals.”

Hynes earned his Bachelor of Science in mathematics from the University of Massachusetts, in 1971; his master’s in speech from the University of North Carolina, in 1972; and his Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Massachusetts, in 1976.

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