Dennis Tyner, provost of Ottawa University for the past seven years, has accepted a new position with the university as Dean of Health Sciences and will be relocating to Ottawa’s Phoenix campus, the university announced Monday.

“Dr. Dennis Tyner and I have been discussing his desire for a new position at Ottawa University for some time,” Kevin Eichner, Ottawa University president, said in a news release Monday. “After nearly seven years of exemplary service as provost of the college, Dennis has signaled his desire for a career change. In particular, we have been investigating a position more focused on specific academic programs, which would also allow him to gain experience in arenas beyond the college while giving the university new leadership for some much needed new growth opportunities.”  

Terry Haines will succeed Tyner as provost of the college, 1001 S. Cedar St., Ottawa, effective Oct. 1, the university announced.

“I am very pleased to announce that Dr. Haines has agreed to succeed Dennis as provost of the college while retaining his university provost and chief academic officer roles and responsibilities,” Eichner said. “As an individual with more than 30 years of experience in higher education, possessing deep experience and expertise in academics, student affairs, fundraising, athletics and a successful track record as a former senior college leader in a residential setting in his prior career, Terry is the perfect choice to succeed Dennis.”

 Haines knows Ottawa, the faculty, many of OU’s staff leaders, the university’s Board of Trustees and also is completely committed to OU’s mission and vision, Eichner said.  

“I trust him completely and have great confidence in his ability to work with our faculty and staff here in Ottawa to sustain and grow the college over the next several years,” Eichner said.

In his new role as Dean of Health Sciences, Tyner will provide full-time leadership for a key university-wide strategic growth initiative aimed at building OU’s health sciences and health care programs throughout the university’s system, Eichner said. Ottawa University currently has nearly 700 students enrolled in health care management, in counseling and in nursing, the university said.

“Arizona alone holds enormous potential for growth for health care professionals and related education, and we are already seeing the emergence of important intellectual and other resources there which hold promise for our new ventures in this field,” Eichner said.

In his new role, Tyner will remain a member of the President’s Cabinet, reporting now to Haines, as do the university’s school deans, given the primarily academic orientation of Tyner’s new responsibilities, Eichner said.

 “Terry [Haines] is a proven and effective leader at OU and enjoys the respect, trust and support of those who know him best,” Eichner said. “While his personal and leadership style is quite different than that of Dennis, college personnel and students will find him caring, warm, accessible, focused, appropriately demanding and firm, extraordinarily fair, thoughtful and discerning.

“They will also come to know his great heart, personal sensitivity, deep faith, and wonderful sense of humor and will see that he, like Dennis, is a completely student-centered educator,” Eichner said. “They may also find that Dennis is not the only provost who has performing arts talent, although there is reason to believe Terry appreciates cool temperatures more than does Dr. Tyner.”

Haines will continue to operate from his primary office on the OU campus, the news release said.

Tyner plans to remain in Ottawa for the rest of this semester to finish his teaching commitment on campus and to assist Haines in transitioning to his new responsibilities, Eichner said.

“To be sure, Dennis and Patty Tyner will be missed on the Ottawa campus and in the Ottawa community,” Eichner said. “They have made many, many friends, and under Dennis’ steadfast — may I say, even dogged — leadership, the college has very nearly doubled its enrollment, substantially decreased its operating deficit, strengthened and grown its faculty, improved operational effectiveness, made many important facilities improvements, achieved unprecedented levels of athletic success, launched the ADAWE Center, improved community relations and rejuvenated the music programs. I am confident all would agree that the college is materially better off today than it was when he came aboard.”