Dean Kingsley Haynes Honored for Two Decades of Leadership
by Jocelyn Rappaport
Charismatic and Beloved, Visionary Swashbuckler –
These are words chosen to describe School of Public Policy Dean Kingsley Haynes by faculty and staff at a reception honoring him as he concludes twenty years as the Dean of George Mason University School of Public Policy (SPP).
The Honorable Charles and Lynda Robb graciously opened their home in McLean, Virginia on April 25 to more than 100 guests who gathered to publicly and personally thank Dean Haynes for his charismatic leadership and impressive commitment to envisioning and building a School of Public Policy.
Master of Ceremonies for the evening was Professor Emeritus Don Kash. Kash, along with Seymour Martin Lipset, Roger Stough and Dean Haynes founded the Institute of Public Policy in 1990, which evolved into the School of Public Policy.
Kash recalled the meager resources of a part-time director, three faculty, and $30,000. He spoke about the astounding and almost unbelievable accomplishment of SPP having developed into one of the nation's largest and most diverse graduate schools of its kind, now enrolling nearly 1,000 students. Last year the National Science Foundation ranked Mason first in research expenditures in the field of public policy.
Roger Stough, current George Mason vice president for research and economic development, offered similar stories about the humble beginnings of SPP, which had offices in a trailer, little money, and few students. He mentioned that he and Haynes were known as young swashbucklers coming to Washington, D.C., and that they benefited tremendously from Lipset's and Kash's advice. Stough recollected being reminded by another supporter and mentor at the time, Congressman Joe Fisher, that we sometimes need to "hold our horses" in order to accomplish what we want to do.
Professor Ann Baker spoke about the importance of Haynes's ability to spot talent within the university and attract that talent to work for SPP. This included the recruitment of herself and others such as Jim Finkelstein, Jack High, Steve Ruth, Jonathan Gifford, Jim Pfiffner, Mike Kelley, Dave Davis, Ed Sibley, Desmond Dinan, Stuart Malawer, Thys van Schaik, Don Lavoie, Mark Addleson, and Tojo Thatchenkery to the SPP faculty.
Baker also commented that people were attracted to the welcoming spirited community, the interdisciplinary collaboration, entrepreneurial environment, strong scholarship and teaching, confidence in people, and visionary leadership.
Susan McClure, the dean's assistant since 1999 (she too recalled more or less being recruited) said, "I can honestly say that I've never admired a boss more than I do Kingsley." One of the many dean candidates who had interviewed in the past months mentioned to McClure that Haynes is a beloved dean. "Among the many superlatives used to describe Kingsley, this simple term seems to me the most fitting because this is really what he is and how so many of us feel about him," said McClure.
Professor Jeremy Mayer managed to roast and acknowledge Haynes's amazing leadership skill, insight and management finesse. Mayer referred to Haynes as a risk-taker and "somewhat of a gambler." To punctuate this characterization, Haynes was presented with a cowboy hat while Mayer and Professor Janine Wedel preformed a parody sung to the tune of Kenny Rogers's "The Gambler."
On a personal note, Susan Haynes expressed her love and admiration for her husband. "He is the man of my dreams," she said. She thanked the faculty and staff for choosing to be a part of SPP. Haynes's daughter, Kimberly, who is currently in Ethiopia, was unable to attend. She asked Kash to read aloud a letter she had written. In it she expressed her love, honor, respect and gratitude to her father, especially "during this wonderful time of accomplishments." She wrote of him forever being her mentor, friend, father, and teacher.
Mementos were presented to the dean. Professor Steve Fuller took the dean and others down memory lane, giving Haynes a poster signed by all the faculty and staff. The poster shows a newspaper article with photos of the original trailers and below it an artist rendering of SPP's soon to be new home in Arlington, Founders Hall.
Kash presented Haynes with the faculty gift of a framed portrait of Haynes with the words GROWTH 1990-2010 in the same Warhol pop art style as Obama's HOPE poster. Kash said he was going to "write President Obama asking him to make Kingsley the Growth Czar."
In addition, it was announced that the Kingsley Haynes Lecture fund has been established with every member of the faculty having contributed to it. Kash announced that the fund has $45,000.
Haynes thanked his wife for her love, support, and encouragement. He also thanked Susan McClure for her professional support and Jim Finkelstein for his friendship, knowledge, and management of funds, details, and attention to equity.
Kingsley Haynes's schedule does not appear to be slowing down, only changing focus. Haynes, who will be on study leave next year, has been named Visiting Professor in the School of Public Policy and Management at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China; Visiting Professor in the School of Geography at East China Normal University in Shanghai, China; and Visiting Professor in the School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. In addition, Haynes has been selected as one of two international advisors for the review panel of the Netherlands Ministry of Education on the Review and Assessment of the Technology Universities of the Netherlands.
The provost for the university, Peter Stearns, wrote recently to the SPP faculty and staff. He stated, "I wish, on behalf of the University, to convey a deep appreciation to Dean Haynes for his major contributions to the School of Public Policy and to George Mason as a whole."
The provost's message went on to say, "Kingsley is obviously the founding dean in every sense, having overseen the Institute of Public Policy and then SPP since its inception. Along with his staff, he has moved a still-new unit into genuine national and international prominence. He's set both a high standard and a solid foundation for still further development. I want also to thank Kingsley for the wise advice he has often rendered about University policy issues more generally. He has truly shaped George Mason in powerful and positive ways."