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Student Affairs staff remember the impact of Bob Hynes

Bob Hynes, a long-standing Ohio University administrator, passed away late this past October. Hynes worked in the Division of Finance and Administration with Housing and Residence Life and Culinary Services, which were aligned during his tenure at the University. He committed over 30 years of his career to OHIO, and a park was built on East Green dedicated to his service to the University community. 

Jneanne Hacker, executive director of Housing and Residence Life, was a student employee in Culinary Services during his tenure and has fond memories of Hynes. 

“Known as the gentle giant, Mr. Hynes took advantage of every opportunity to engage with students, or at least that was my experience,” Hacker shared. “Leading with an iron fist demanding your personal best but covering that same fist with a velvet glove to offer a warm and embracing touch, he not only saw my potential as a student, but he also saw my promise as a leader, perhaps a promise I didn’t see in myself.”

Hacker said that Hynes had an impact on her professional growth and her student success at OHIO. She was a first-generation college student who took advantage of every work opportunity to fund her education, and Hynes recognized those opportunities as a way to develop valuable skills and evolve from an employee who works to someone who inspires through their leadership. 

In the fall quarter of 1995, Hynes shared a job posting in catering as he knew Hacker would be graduating.  He encouraged her to apply with recognition of her skills and the need to have more women in leadership positions. 

“The words spoken were a catalyst that began my career at OHIO, and his words of encouragement over my four years as a student were powerful and instrumental with helping me realize my potential and navigating my path to finding my promise at OHIO,” said Hacker. “I hope my legacy at Ohio University continues to embrace all the greatness I saw in Mr. Hynes and all the greatness he saw in me.”   

In addition to Hynes position at OHIO, he served on the Administrative Senate and played an integral role in negotiations with the University’s collective bargaining agreements. 

According to his obituary in the Athens Messenger, Hynes was born on July 9, 1936 in Shaker Heights, Ohio and earned his Bachelors degree in government and Masters degree in education from OHIO after serving two years in the United States Army. 

Hynes’ worked on many projects beyond just housing to improve the student experience, and he saw the University through difficult times in the 1970s. He was also entrenched in the Athens community and remained involved with Athens and Ohio University throughout his retirement. 

December 19, 2023
Staff reports