Gary W. Stinnett

Dear Dr. Long:

Yesterday in the mail I received your letter dated June 1, 2016 asking about successes and experiences afforded through OU's Human Relations degree. I'd be happy to do so.

First, I am a native Oklahoman from Lawton, having first attended OU in the early 70's and obtaining an undergraduate degree in education. Having also won the military "draft lottery" which was still in place in those days, I also was commissioned through the ROTC program as a second lieutenant in the US Army.

Attached is background on where I've been and what I've accomplished professional since that time, but my second return to OU for a masters was in 1981 when the Army selected me to attend fully-funded graduate school. The desire was for my training in Organizational Behavior and after some convincing I was on the way and enrolled in OU's masters in HR program for 18 months. I was met in the department by the chair, Dr. George Henderson and my advisor, Dr. Andy VanGundy. In December 1983, I graduated with honors and moved forward in my Army career to Washington D.C. and work at Army headquarters level dealing with officer records, evaluations and centralized Army officer selection boards support.

The advanced degree from OU served me extremely well throughout the second half of my career, through stops as chief of strength management and personnel services at Fort Stewart Georgia and the 24th Infantry Division, to Desert Storm as chief of strength management for Army forces in theatre, to Fort Jackson SC as deputy chief of staff for the Army's largest basic training installation. From there, selection took me to Pittsburgh as commander of an Army recruiting battalion with responsibility for 30,000 square miles and 200 staff in parts of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and Maryland. Finally, my last assignment in the US Army was as chief HR officer at the United States Military Academy, West Point NY.

In 1996 I retired as colonel from West Point after having been hired as associate vice chancellor for human resources and affirmative action officer at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. I've been here since then and now closing in on twenty years in this second career. UNC Charlotte is one of the fastest growing urban universities in the United States and the challenges with dealing with continual growth and change have been non-step.

In sum, I learned much from George, Andy and other outstanding OU faculty from the Human Relations department, College of Business and elsewhere on campus. I recall well their high academic standards, good humor and collegiality. I highly recommend the curriculum to anyone desiring a meaningful career in human resources, diversity or human services.

Best wishes to all...Boomer Sooner!

Gary W. Stinnett, '74 and '83