The University Record, March 15, 1993

Renick: Dearborn campus is ‘interactive, responsive’

By Terry Gallagher
U-M-Dearborn Public Relations

“An interactive university, responsive to the needs of the region,” is how James C. Renick describes the U-M-Dearborn. “We’re working to provide an intellectual center for this region and to apply brainpower to the processes that build our communities.”

Renick became chancellor of the 8,000-student campus in January, succeeding Blenda Wilson, who became president of California State University-Northridge. Last week, Renick hosted his first Regents meeting on the Dearborn campus.

Renick had been vice provost for academic initiatives and external affairs at Virginia’s George Mason University, a large, public commuter campus outside Washington, D.C., similar in many ways to the U-M-Dearborn campus.

In his two months in Dearborn, Renick has discovered “there’s a lot of support for this institution in this community.” He says that most of the support is due to the high quality of the Dearborn campus’ faculty, staff and students, “in the Michigan tradition.”

Dearborn is also known for its “responsiveness to the employers in the region, with programs tailored for practicing professionals,” according to Renick. In addition to comprehensive undergraduate programs, Dearborn offers graduate programs in engineering, management and education.

“I think that there are several areas that are the basis for the development of this institution, and the liberal arts is one of them,” Renick says. “Our students are getting a solid liberal arts base, but we’re also providing a foundation for professional education as well.”

He has published numerous articles on leadership and higher education administration as well as several studies on sexual harassment in the workplace.

“My interest in the human resource dimension of organization was motivated by realizing the central and important role people play in effective institutions,” Renick says. “As we look for new and exciting ways of organizing work instead of doing business, we need to be especially concerned with the human dimension in the workplace, and with connecting the skills and creativity of individuals with the needs of the organization and society.”

More recently, Renick says his scholarly efforts have focused on the applications of organizational development and organizational change, and on the “role that educational technology will play in the education process.”