Clayton State University President Dr. Thomas Hynes was the recipient of the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce’s Carl G. Rhodenizer Community Service Award at the recent Chamber Annual Banquet at the Sheraton Atlanta Airport Hotel.
Presenting the award was its namesake, and the first recipient of the Chamber’s community service award, Clayton State University Foundation board member Carl Rhodenizer.
Sponsored by Georgia Power Company, the Community Service Award is presented to an outstanding leader in Clayton County. The Board of Directors of the Chamber selects the recipient based on their commitment and dedication to the business community and the citizens of Clayton County. The recipient of this award also shows great leadership in the community by representing the county regionally as well as locally, striving to improve the quality of life in Clayton County.
Hynes officially began his tenure as the interim president of Clayton State University on May 18, 2009. On Feb. 9, 2010, the University System of Georgia (USG) announced that the USG Board of Regents had approved the permanent appointment of Hynes as president of Clayton State University.
Hynes previously held the position as provost and vice president for academic affairs and professor of Mass Communications at the University of West Georgia (UWG) for all but two years since 1996. On two occasions, during the 1999/2000 and 2006/2007 academic years, Hynes served as acting president of UWG when President Dr. Beheruz N. Sethna was called to the University System Office to serve as acting senior vice chancellor for academic affairs.
Hynes previously served as interim dean of Arts & Sciences at the University of Louisville from 1990 to 1996. Before that, he was associate dean of the university from 1988 to 1990 and had been a member of the University of Louisville faculty since 1978. Prior to that, he taught at Baylor University, the University of Massachusetts and the University of North Carolina. During his tenure at UWG and at Clayton State, he has taught at least one course each year at the undergraduate level.
In addition to his other duties, Hynes has served as chair of the Georgia Humanities Council, chair of the Board of Trustees of the National Debate Tournament, member of the Executive Committee of the National Communication Association, and director of its Finance Board, member of the Executive Committee of the Carroll Tomorrow Initiative, and a member of the Clayton County and Metro Atlanta Chambers of Commerce.
A native of Boston, Hynes holds an undergraduate degree in Mathematics and a Ph.D. in Communications Studies from UM and a Master of Arts degree in speech from UNC. In 2005, he earned a certificate of participation in the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Institute for Educational Management, and in 2003, he participated in the American Institute for Managing Diversity’s Diversity Leadership Academy.
Hynes joins a list of past recipients that, in addition to Rhodenizer, is practically a “Who’s Who” of Clayton County: Lata Chinnan, James E. “Jim” Crissey, Evelyn Wynn-Dixon, Cathy Ratti, Linda Summerlin, Mike Glanton, William J. “Bill” Lee, Eddie White, Virginia Gray, Ron Dodson, Claudia Mertl, Don Kiblinger, and Terrell Starr.