by Robin Kemp

Clayton State University announces that its president, Dr. Tim Hynes, will retire as president as of June 30, 2021. Hynes has been with the university for 12 years and has served throughout the University System of Georgia over the past 25 years.

“Until the retirement date, I will serve USG, the university and its students with the same joy and enthusiasm I bring to work each day,” Hynes said. “I have been grateful for the constant support of Chancellor Wrigley, the Board of Regents, multiple governors and members of the General Assembly for me and for the students of Georgia, especially the students of Clayton State.”

Hynes, whose academic credentials include a bachelor of mathematics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, a master of arts in speech communication from UNC Chapel Hill, and a Ph.D. in communication studies from the University of Massachusetts, has published over 40 scholarly articles and edited ten textbooks during his career.

The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia appointed Hynes as Clayton State’s interim president in May 2009, later making him permanent in February 2010.

USG Chancellor Steve Wrigley said, “President Tim Hynes over the past decade set an outstanding standard for Clayton State University. He increased student support, expanded degree programs, and focused on community engagement. He also sought out greater opportunities for students in careers that are critical to the advancement of this state, including teaching and nursing.

“Tim was the first in his family to graduate from college, and he always approached his job understanding why families seek better opportunities through higher education. I have known Tim for 20 years, and he has been a great leader for Clayton State. I thank him for his service to the University System of Georgia.”

Hynes’ impact on Clayton State has extended beyond campus to the economy of Clayton County and the Southern Crescent. Other accomplishments include:

  • Four-year graduation rates up 9 percent
  • Increased academic advising, career advising, and academic support
  • Cited by The New York Times in 2019 as one of ten institutions nationwide “with the greatest level of graduation rates for students above what would have been expected by the income and other characteristics of the admitting class”
  • Clayton State’s first comprehensive, university-wide fundraising campaign
  • Two iterations of university-wide strategic planning
  • Recognized by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a top metro Atlanta workplace seven of the past eight years
  • Ranked 36th among Southern regional universities for upward social mobility by U.S. News and World Report
  • Ranked eighth in the nation for “graduation performance above predictions based on student demographics” by the Urban Institute Center on Education Data and Policy
  • James Magazine named Clayton State the best buy for Georgia universities in 2012, 2015, 2016, and 2017
  • US News and World Report in 2015 ranked Clayton State in its top tier of regional comprehensive colleges (number seven among public institutions in the South)
  • The Carnegie Foundation classified Clayton State as a Community Engaged University based on Clayton State’s 2011 Strategic Plan
  • Established the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement to bring Georgia thought leaders to Clayton State for insights on “how to engage in productive public debate, how to interpret policy, and how to use data for good decision-making”

Hynes himself has been named one of Georgia Trend‘s 100 Most Influential Georgians and recognized seven times by the Atlanta Business Chronicle among its Leaders in Atlanta Education. He is a member of the Regional Business Coalition of Metropolitan Atlanta, a two-time National Debate Coach of the Year, and an avid marathon runner.

Read Hynes’ full bio on Clayton State’s website.

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