• Interviewee: Hyndman, Arnold
  • PDF Interview: Hyndman_Arnold_Part2.pdf
  • Date: April 4, 2016
  • Place: Piscataway, New Jersey
  • Interviewers:
    • William Buie
  • Transcript Production Team:
    • Jesse Braddell
    • William Buie
    • Arnold Hyndman
    • Donald Koger
  • Recommended Citation: Hyndman, Arnold. Oral History Interview, April 4, 2016, by William Buie, Page #, Rutgers Oral History Archives. Online: Insert URL (Last Accessed: Insert Date).
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    Permission to quote from this transcript must be obtained from the Rutgers Oral History Archives. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

William Buie: This begins a second interview with William Buie and Professor Arnold Hyndman in Piscataway, New Jersey, and the date is April 4, 2016 and professor, you were saying ...

Arnold Hyndman: Yes, the consolidation of the faculty at Rutgers New Brunswick, which began in late 1982, completed in 1983, is the time that I moved from Livingston to be part of the merged faculty in the department of what became the Department of Biological Sciences at that time. As a faculty from Livingston, we had very mixed feelings about that transition because we had created a of core faculty with a similar research interest in our department and strong departmental, collegial feelings in our department and relationships. So, this was a different change, from a smaller department with strong interpersonal connections and a very similar research interest to a very broad department. It certainly was a strong academic department with the merger and the merger overall certainly strengthened the research profile of Rutgers University, providing greater across campus identity and unity in terms of our research program. So, there were pluses and minuses and I think faculty probably felt much the same about that.

So, during that time I continued my progress as a faculty member, recognizing I need to focus on my research to a much greater degree in order to be successful in the new environment. So, I did that and as I believed I mentioned, I had an opportunity to do some administrative work--the graduate school and the Minority Advancement Program as its first director. That was very satisfying to be able to work with the university to bring students of color initially to the sciences, but ultimately expanded the program to bringing students of color in doctoral programs and all of the PhD programs that were offered here at Rutgers University. So, that was a very significant seven years, in terms of, I think, my contributions to the university. During that time, I was, I guess, noticed by the provost office. I was asked to join as an associate provost for the New Brunswick campus with a responsibility for.

WB: If I can just interrupt, what year was that?

AH: It was 1990 when I became an associate provost and had responsibilities for undergraduate education on the New Brunswick campus and faculty development programs with an emphasis on the promotion and retention of minority faculty. I also had responsibility for the cultural centers that were here on campus, so I had an opportunity to play a role in the hiring and development in particular of the Latino Cultural Center. I also had opportunities to oversee the existing Robeson Center and tried to enhance its profile on the campus as well and laid the foundations for what became the Asian Cultural Center during that time as well. One of the other things that happened during that time was I had oversight of a number of undergraduate programs that were based here on the Livingston Campus, particularly the TRIO programs. This gave me an opportunity to reconnect through that position with Livingston College and its goals and missions. [Editor's Note: TRIO programs are collection of government sponsored student services designed to assist disadvantaged students as they navigate the academic process.] As an associate provost, I had the opportunity to work with deans and faculty who were still engaged with Livingston College and its students and so that was a nice reconnection that I think laid the foundation for being asked to serve as its dean.

WB: Can you tell me a little bit about establishing or working with the cultural centers?

AH: Certainly, what particularly would you be interested in knowing about that particular work?

WB: How did the idea first come about? Was it your idea or someone else's?

AH: The Paul Robeson Cultural Center existed for a long period of time and there was, both among African American faculty and students interests in seeing that particular cultural center grow and develop. My particular concern was wanting to see our cultural centers not only being a refuge for undergraduate students, but also truly centers that reflected not just culture, but also the academic contributions that various people of color made to both the United States as well as the world and so that was an important part of what I wanted to see in the cultural centers. The Latino faculty was particularly interested, at that time, in developing a cultural center for Latino students and faculty. It just so happened that at the time that I became associate provost, that had evolved to the place where the university was ready to make a commitment and gave me the responsibilities of shaping and shepherding that process for the provost.

WB: Were you aware of the evolving relationship that Rutgers had with Paul Robeson?

AH: Yes, I was. I was certainly well aware of that and during my time as associate provost we brought in a new director who we really worked with her closely in enhancing the relationship that Rutgers had in recognizing the work of Paul Robeson and including bridging and reestablishing the connections that the university had with his son, Paul Robeson Jr. So, I had an opportunity to help with the leadership of the Paul Robeson Cultural Center, reestablished some of those connections that had, not been as strong as they could have been over time.

WB: What year did you make dean?

AH: I was asked in 1993 by Fran Lawrence to be the acting dean of Livingston College and at that time began my service then, and the following year was appointed as the permanent dean in 1994. [Editor's Note: Francis L. Lawrence was President of Rutgers from 1990 to 2002. He died in 2013.]

WB: Was that something you aspired to?

AH: I had a strong connection for Livingston. I thought that I had a vision for what the college should be in the context of the university as it existed, but I wasn't looking for the opportunity. I was actually quite surprised when the president asked me to serve as acting dean with a change from the existing dean, someone who I had worked with as an associate provost, but I took it on as a welcome challenge because having reconnected with the college, I thought I had a sense of what I would like to see at Livingston going forward. So, I remember sharing with President Lawrence at the time that he asked me to be acting dean that I would accept the position as acting dean under only one circumstance, and that required his support, that is I didn't want to go in and be a place-sitter. I told him I'd be acting dean if in fact I can act as though I am the dean. I said, "If I end up being the permanent dean than that's fine. It's something I would relish doing, but if that is not the case for a variety of reasons, his choice, my choice, or the choice of the faculty, then I wanted to, during my tenure as acting dean, leaving the college in as strong as a position as I possibly could for whoever became the permanent dean." President Lawrence said that that's exactly what he would hope for an acting dean and I had his support and began to move forward at that time. So, as an acting dean, I did some things that normally an acting dean wouldn't do. I reorganized the staff. That's typically something that you wait until a permanent dean is done, but I did a staff reorganization. Began to shift the focus and the vision of the college began. Began a series of steps to try to raise the academic profile of the college and shortly after being named permanent dean, began working with Livingston alums and developing fundraising initiatives that I think over the course of my tenure as dean proved to be very helpful for the college.

WB: What was your vision for the college?

AH: I thought that it was important for Livingston College to reflect its mission and its motto, which was strength through diversity, in a way that reflected what the university looked like in the '90s as opposed to the 1960s. So, for me, that meant, in part, as I mentioned, raising the academic profile, giving the college and its students a sense of connectedness with the greater Rutgers University, and also creating an academic experience for our students that provided a unifying experience for our undergraduates.

Livingston as a college was instrumental in bringing lots of academic programs and disciplines to Rutgers University, which is part of its unique contribution. Programs like the Africana Studies Department, Latino, Puerto Rican and Caribbean Studies Department, but also departments like journalism and communications had their roots here at Livingston College. The business school actually had its roots here at Livingston College. Even programs like women's studies actually began not at Douglass, but here at Livingston College. So, the faculty had a history of bringing to Rutgers University, programs that today are considered part of the university's significant strength.

So, it was within that context that I thought it was important for students today, to not only recognize that history, but to begin to shape a common academic experience for them. Because during reorganization one of the things that happened was more and more students had a very common academic program. Students were taking courses on all of the campuses and there was great value in that in terms of the undergraduate experience, but I wanted to make sure that we created, within the context of Livingston College, some learning experiences that were unique to this set of three thousand students. So, we created a course that we called Livingston 101 as an introduction to issues of diversity, issues that had to do with academic excellence, so all of our students had to take this common course that had a variety of readings in it and that was an important part of what we were trying to do. We had a summer orientation program, for our students, that was particularly unique at that time for Rutgers University. It was an on-campus experience. Again, the goal was to engage students in our community and we recognized that also meant building relationships with faculty and staff in some meaningful ways. So, that was an important part of what we were trying to do. I think we were pretty successful at doing that each year.

We also began, during that timeframe, some common readings among our students. I thought that there ought to be a common intellectual experience that all of our students should have. So, one of the things that we did, and a highlight for me, was we required all of our students to read a particular book and one of those books was a book called The Color of Water by James McBride. It was a book that chronicled his life as a young African American man, growing up, going to college, first in his generation to do so, and what some of his experiences were and his unique perspective because his father was African American. He didn't know his father. His mother was white and was born into a Jewish family. One of the things in the title of the book was in particular, was at a stage when he asked his mother, "What color was God?" Her response was, "The color of water," so he talked about how that influenced his worldview. So, I thought it was an appropriate reading for our students to read and during that time, not only did they have to read the book, but I made a connection with James McBride and he would come, and he did this for probably seven or eight years, and address our students during that first week here on the campus. So, they had an opportunity to read the work, interact with an author, and then, go back, and study that work under the guidance of some of our teaching staff who were here. So, that was an important part of what we were trying to do here at Livingston, to create what we wanted to be, a sense of community.

So, our theme and our focus was not just strength through diversity, but the notion that we were going to build strength through creating community. For us, community meant building meaningful relationships among students, but also between students, faculty, and students and staff. We really worked to engage our staff in particular at this time and the life of students across the requirements, the job requirements of particular staff. So, we're working and engaging our staff in not just the social life, but the intellectual life of our students in a real and meaningful way. So, that was a positive thing that we were able to do and as a result of that we're able to, listening both to our students and some of our staff needs, initiate some programs that we thought were particularly meaningful in strengthening the academic mission and focus of the campus.

For me, there are two highlights that come to mind, one being the initiation of the Livingston Theatre Company, an undergraduate theatre company run by students that put on first-rate plays for our students and initially under the leadership of Jason Goldstein. He brought students from all across the campus who were interested in the arts to Livingston to put on really first-rate performances. In my opinion, I think that the Livingston Theatre Company became one of the best theater ensembles on the campus. We were particularly proud of that particular initiative. Another initiative that actually began with an idea I had in 1998 to bring leadership experiences to our students in a meaningful way. We always looked to create student leaders amongst our students and we wanted to formalize that in some way because I would often say to our students, they were in a unique position being here at Rutgers and at Livingston in particular because, one, I wanted our students to have a global perspective and that meant at some level understanding their position in the world, not just from a cultural perspective, and particularly I didn't want our students to simply focus on being victims of oppression, but I wanted them to recognize the opportunities that were before them at Rutgers University. In order to do that, we wanted our students to have a global perspective, and amongst the billions of people on the planet I wanted our students to recognize what a unique opportunity they had to be here at a leading public research university with an opportunity to not only enhance their educational experience, but to be what we called our students, "agents of change and influence in society," and that they were in a unique position amongst all of the billions of people on the planet, most of whom struggled with simply subsistence, to be here and not to be concerned necessarily about where the next meal is going to come and to be able to concentrate on the life of the mind and growing and developing as human beings. There's a unique experience, when you think globally about what most of the world faces on a daily basis including people of their age group who often time are thrust into adulthood in ways that mean, for many, doing manual labor to help the family survive or survive on their own. I wanted our students to appreciate that and to take full advantage of it and understand that it was our expectation as a college that they would make the most of this opportunity. We didn't have the view that, some of you might be average students, some of you might be excellent students, and some of you may be below average. When you came in here, we have an expectation that you will use this academic experience here at Rutgers University to enhance your potential to be an agent of influence, regardless of where life directs you when you leave Rutgers University. So, that was the central theme of what we were trying to instill in our students in our Livingston 101 course and in our co-curricular activities. There was that common theme that I was looking to have reflected throughout what we were trying to do here at the university.

So, one of the other things that we brought into the university was based on an idea I had in 1998 to bring a formal leadership program to Livingston. I know when the idea struck me because it struck me in 1998 when my son, my oldest son, was looking for colleges and one of the colleges he visited was the University of Richmond. At that time, the University of Richmond had the only school and program in leadership for undergraduates in the nation. It was known as the Jepson School of Leadership. While we were visiting the campus, I looked at their program and thought I wanted to bring something like that to Rutgers University, but with a clear exception, because what the Jepson School required their undergraduate students to do was to major in leadership, and that wasn't my vision for what I wanted to bring to Rutgers. What I wanted was consistent with our vision, was the notion that we had an expectation that our students would be leaders regardless of their particular major that they were pursuing. We wanted them to be individuals of influence whether they were philosophers, they were interested in social work, if they were interested in the sciences; we wanted them to understand the principles of being an effective leader in an organization.

So, using the Jepson School of Leadership as a model and with the help of some of my colleagues here we crafted a program in organizational leadership that became a minor for students at Livingston College to be able to minor in. It wasn't a required minor, but we encouraged students to consider this minor and it was consistent with our mission and our students responded very well to this opportunity and it also became one of the distinctions of Livingston College--the fact that we offered this program, this minor, in organizational leadership and we had this emphasis in leadership amongst our students regardless of their particular vocational interest. That resonated with our students. It certainly resonated with parents of prospective students and became an important part of our recruitment of students to Livingston College.

That was important because when I came to Livingston, Livingston had a stigma of being second rate to the other colleges. It's the college of last resort. In the minds of some it was the minority college and minority meant inferior; none of which was true, but that was the perception. We wanted to work to reverse that perception and these programs, this common theme, the energy, enthusiasm we were able to generate amongst the faculty that remained connected with the campus and with our staff was an important part of that. One of the things that I began to do is shift the kind of people we hired as staff members here. I wanted people who were interested, not only in serving students in an administrative capacity, but who had degrees, in particular, advanced degrees, PhDs or EDs in a particular academic field and they would bring that expertise to the campus. Also, I wanted it to serve as models, role models for our students to begin to see how the life of the mind can be used in a variety of fields, including and serving others as we wanted our staff to do. So, that was an important part of beginning to change how Livingston College was perceived and its academic profile.

One of the things that I believe was a hallmark of what we managed to achieve during those years was a gradual increase in the academic profile and competitiveness of our students here. I thought it was important for the university as well as for the survival of Livingston College. By the late '90s our academic profile of our students had surpassed that of Douglass College and began to rival that of Rutgers College. It didn't happen overnight, it was a slow and persistent improving of the profile. I think that one of the hallmarks of our success, in my view, was that the final reconfiguring of undergraduate education, that actually called for a merger of the undergraduate bodies and a dissolving of the distinct colleges would not have taken place if we hadn't been successful at raising the academic profile of the students here at Livingston. The sign for that, at least one of the indicators of that is at the time that the final merger took place in 2007, of the undergraduate colleges--it actually began in 2008, it was phased in overtime--the academic profile, in terms of admissions standards, that were adopted for this unified undergraduate college that became the School of Arts and Sciences actually was the standards that existed for Livingston College at that time. So, within the timeframe of fourteen years, we went from being viewed as second rate or less in the eyes of some, to really mirroring what Rutgers University was and should be. I think that's an unrecognized hallmark of our success. Some might say we were so successful we did ourselves in, but at some level, as I have said to our staff, we made a positive difference in the lives of many people.

One of the things that I did when I became dean at Livingston, which caused some controversy, was, we had a, like many undergraduate colleges, we had a faculty committee that was concerned with diversity and minority issues, both minority hiring and the retention of minority students, and I did away with that committee. Some of the faculty, were quite upset because I would do that and I did that because I said, "The issue of diversity is part of who we are and if we still need, like others, a special committee to deal with that issue, than it has not become engrained in who we are and I believe it is engrained in who we are and will be engrained in who we will be as a college as long as I am dean, but we don't need a special committee to oversee that. It's going to be part of who we are and that will be a sign that issues of inclusion are part of our culture because we're going to make it part of our culture in everything that we do." I think we were successful in that and for me there are some of these kinds of task where in reality you do want to work your way out of a job because it means that there's some level of success. So, university doesn't particularly have today, at the graduate program, a program like the Minority Advancement Program that I began. It lasted for about fifteen years and part of the objective was to make it such that it became a regular part of what departments and faculty in the graduate school did to make sure that people of color were part of the faculty, were part of the student body at all levels. For me that's an important hallmark of success.

I grew up in an era where I believed that, as I've mentioned previously, education was going to make a difference; that the presence of people of color in the mainstream is, in part, to make a difference in changing the way the institution begins to think about itself. As long as you're viewed as part of a set aside you're never going to be part of the main fabric of intellectual life at the university or in our society in general. So, at Livingston I wanted to begin moving on to model that reality for the college in the hopes that it would be reflective of what would take place at the broader university and I see that in lots of areas. I see that today, for example, in response to some of the protests and concerns that have taken place in other college campuses stemming from the events of Ferguson, as an example. [Editor's Note: On August 9, 2014 Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown, an African American teenager, in Ferguson Missouri. The shooting exacerbated long standing tensions between the Ferguson Police Department and the African American community.] I see our chancellor taking a leadership role and saying, "As a university, we're going to talk about this issue." He established a series of programs and committees and faculty to begin to look at this issue. I think it's reflective of a broader awareness amongst both university faculty and administrators today. That this is the part of what universities are supposed to do in providing opportunities to examine a wide array of viewpoints and perspectives that exist in our society and part of our intellectual life.

WB: I am curious, as dean, how do you remain aware, or is it even important for you to be aware of what is happening within the student body and also what is happening with your faculty and staff in terms of how they feel about the current state of your school and the direction of where the school is going and so on?

AH: Yes, it is important for a dean to be able to listen and engage faculty and students. It can also be a challenge because at some level being a dean is like being a middle-level leader in that you have a lot of autonomy within the framework of your particular college, but you're still accountable to a central administration who has some goals and expectations and yet at the same level you feel, and rightly so, a strong sense of connection to your students and their particular needs, and the faculty and staff that are engaged in serving them. So, I had a kind of mixed approach to being dean of a campus like Livingston.

We had a faculty advising committee that I listened to regularly, met with on a regular basis to get their sense of what was happening from their perspective in the classroom and in their individual departments since during my time as dean faculty were now under the leadership of department chairs who reported to the dean of FAS and not to me as dean. So, in working with faculty I needed to know their sense of what was important. I also needed to work to keep them engaged in the life of Livingston College apart from what they were doing in the classroom. So, that meant listening and responding to their particular needs and concerns and keeping them engaged in what we were doing here with our student population. At the same time, our staff became increasingly an important part of not just the service and administrative part of college life, but also an important part of the students' academic life. So, it was our professional staff, particularly those with PhD's and Master's degrees that taught our Livingston 101 course and ultimately I hired assistant and associate deans with PhD's in leadership who were engaged in our leadership program. So, listening to my faculty and asking my faculty to help me know what students were thinking was an important part of what I needed to do.

Of course, I met with student leaders and others, but I relied a lot on my staff, who I wanted to be engaged in the lives of students through their work, to share with me what they were doing and seeing, but I also had an opportunity to do some direct interaction with students myself. I taught one of our Livingston 101 courses and I also taught in our minor in organizational leadership and, in fact, one of the things I'm also proud of is that program with the transformation of undergraduate education as it was known, that final dissolving of the colleges and the unification of the undergraduate population under the School of Arts and Sciences, the minor in organizational leadership continues. I serve as its director and still have an opportunity with some of my colleagues who were staff members at that time at Livingston are now engaged in teaching and maintaining that program to a broad population of Rutgers University students.

So, to answer your question I tried to remain engaged in the life of our staff, our students, and our faculty, either directly or indirectly. It's a challenge for a dean to be able to do that. It's important for a dean to do that. I believed, in retrospect, I probably could've been more hands on, I believe, however, in the importance of delegated authority, so I tried to empower our staff to do the task that they were charged to do, to do it within the broad parameters that I, as dean, had established, but also encouraged them to use their insight, their creativity, and their knowledge in making things happen. So, I wanted to create enough distance to allow individuals to rise to the occasion without feeling as though the dean was always looking over their shoulder. My staff knew what I expected and how I expected it to be done and I wanted them to do it, then they'd report back to me and it was my job to make sure that it was done well and right. So, that was sort of the approach that I took to managing my time as dean here.

WB: I think it's safe to say that you have expectations, excitement, and enthusiasm about your role as dean. The 2001 school year, I am sure that was like any other school year, going into it with certain excitement and expectations, and then, the United States is hit with multiple terrorist attacks early in the school year.

AH: Yes.

WB: How did that personally affect you? How did that affect you as dean and how did that affect the campus?

AH: Yes, I remember that day very clearly, beautiful September morning and I first heard of the attacks while I was driving to work. I remember the beauty of that day. I recall pausing to call my wife, let her know what was happening, and then, to come to the campus and my initial objective was to keep our students, in particular, calm in the midst of not knowing what was going on and to keep my staff as calm as possible and to respond to the obvious concerns that our students had. So, there were lots of discussions about, "Do we have class? Do we continue with class? What do we do to support our students?" a number of whom who had family and loved ones that they were concerned about in New York City in particular. So, that was an important time for being composed in the midst of being concerned, and letting our students and our faculty know that our first concern was their immediate safety. We were going to be in touch and in tune with what we needed to do if this threat is larger; none of us knew at that time what the nature of the threat was going to be.

When it became obvious to us that there was not an immediate threat to our campus and the security of those here, my attention immediately shifted to saying to our staff, "We need to figure out ways to connect with our students, to allow those students who are concerned about family and loved ones to have the freedom to do so, and we need to bring our students together to talk about what the days ahead might be," even though we were unsure of what those days ahead might be. As a university we did not hold classes for the rest of that day, but we were here trying to be supportive of the students who were concerned about loved ones.

The other thing that I recall most about 2001 was the recognition that the world had changed and how important it was to honor those former students who died in the attacks that took place both in World Trade Center and on the airline that was crashed in the Pentagon. We lost seven Livingston alums that particular day and we used that occasion and the remaining two years to have our students explore the lives of those seven individuals and to recognize the diversity of who they were and what they were engaged in as individuals--some working in Wall Street, some that were advocates for individuals who were handicapped. There were individuals who were emerging as significant leaders and we used that time to help our students to understand that the things that we were talking to them about in terms of the diversity of careers, how they will be people of impact could be seen in the lives of those seven individuals that we lost that particular day and reflective of the three thousand that were lost, how important and valuable life is, and how important it is for young people to make the most of the time that they have because none of us know when that final day will be. So, that was, in a sense, the lasting impact that 9/11 had for us as a college campus and how we tried to respond here at Livingston. I do need to say that was reflective of how we responded as a university on that particular day and in the year or so that followed.

WB: Now, there are several other appointments that overlap with your time as dean. So, if you can just talk about those for a little bit. You were on the New Jersey State Board of Education. Can you talk to me about how the appointment came down, and then, let's talk a little bit about your time there?

AH: Sure, I'd be happy to. I shared with our students and staff, that I believed it was important for individuals to be engaged in not only in the life of the university, but also engaged in community life and to give back and I thought it was important to model that. So, one of the ways that I sought to do that initially was to be engaged in using some of my expertise as an educator in a variety of ways and I began actually seeking out to be appointed as a trustee of our local community college, which was Warren County College. I thought as an educator at a major research university, I had some insight about education, teaching and learning that I can provide to students and to the community college staff. I viewed this as a way of giving back to my community on a volunteer basis. I served on my community college board of trustees, initiated some strategic planning to the community college; led their strategic planning initiatives, along with the then president. I worked to help develop a vision for expanding the community college, ultimately served as its vice president.

It was during that time that my work there on the board was noticed by someone who had associations with Governor Whitman and said, "This is a person who we ought to be using on a broader stage," and so it was through just serving my community in a local way that I was asked if I was interested in serving on the State Board of Education and as I've mentioned, having a teaching credential gave me some insight about K through 12 education. Also, my wife and I homeschooled our four boys at least from what was pre-school, all the way through eighth grade, then they went on to public high schools. So we were involved in education from a personal and direct perspective. Again, my heart always wants to bring the best educational opportunities to young people regardless of their social status and their wealth. For my wife and me, we were able to do that for our sons because of our educational background and experience and so we could teach them the things that we knew, believed that they needed and instill in them a demand for excellence. We're also able to do that as homeschoolers in the context of our faith as Christians, so that was a positive for us. However, the opportunity to serve on the state board resonated with me because it was opportunity to advocate for students across the state for the highest possible quality of education for the young people in our state, whether they grew up in Newark, in Bridgewater, or in Short Hills. That was the message that I shared with the staff of Governor Whitman during the interview process. They liked the fact that I came both with credentials in K through 12 education, an Ivy League background, being a university professor, and a homeschool educator for my own family. They thought it was a unique background to serve on the State Board of Education and so I had that opportunity to do so.

The university was quite supportive of my doing that at that time because that took a lot of time. As a volunteer position, it would average about twenty hours a week to do the work that was required of the state board. The University President was very supportive in my doing that. He thought it was good for Rutgers University to have a voice on the State Board of Education. It mirrored the notion of Rutgers using expertise in service of the state. I also had a confidence in my staff that when there were times that I needed to be away from the campus, that they understood what my expectations were and that the vision of excellence that we were pursuing here at Livingston would be maintained. So, I was confident in what I'd established here, that I could go and serve in this capacity. I also firmly believed that it would reflect well in Rutgers and help in bringing greater recognition to our university and encourage parents that this is a great place to send their young people when they go to that level.

So, as I often do, I got engaged in the issues of K through 12 Education on the state board and after being on the Board for two years, the board elected me as its president. I served as its president for four consecutive terms and again, brought the, tried to bring to bear a desire for excellence in K through 12 education and working within the confines of what is a very complex bureaucracy with lots of stakeholders in K through 12 education. I wanted to be a clear voice for excellence at all levels in New Jersey education and wanted to encourage, whether they were local boards, teachers' unions, principals' unions, the bureaucrats and administrators in the Department of Education, as well as state legislators who were interested in education to see the broad challenges and opportunities that existed in K through 12 education in New Jersey. I tried to be an advocate for excellence and inclusion, and standards that made sense. Accountability was a big part of what I tried to advocate for as well as recognizing the hard work that teachers do and I wanting teachers to be rewarded for the work that they do on a day in and day out basis. It's certainly my view that educators, particularly K through 12 educators, provide an important role in our society--one that's often times underappreciated. We have lots of expectations from our teachers today and I wanted there to be a recognition of the diversity of challenges that our public school educators face today, but I also wanted to use my time in the state board to also say to parents, it's certainly my view that parents still are the primary educators of their children; they lay the foundation for children's educational success, that there's no substitute for what parents can provide in the homes. I thought it was important for parents to hear that message and for all parents to be engaged in their children's education. I wanted to try to shift that notion that "Yes, when my children reach school age, they're learning and their education is not my responsibility. I send them to school." Well, you do send them to school and you send them to school for probably some of the best hours of the day, but education is an ongoing process and parents can lay a foundation before kids leave school. They can reinforce the principles and ideas that they're taught in school in the home and that's a real important role that I think both educators need to recognize--that parents are an important part of the equation and research supports that.

Recently, I was serving on a committee with a number of local educators in the state of New Jersey that was looking at some research that ETS [Educational Testing Services] had done on education and what they found was that if you look at educational attainment of young people you can account for about one-third of their success based on standards, curriculum, and academic rigor that exists in the school system where children happen to find themselves, one- third. The other two-thirds seem to come from other factors that they couldn't account for, but they suggested that they were issues of wealth, but also family environment and engagement. Some of that is related to wealth because sometimes wealth can allow families to provide opportunities for their children, but for me, part of that take home message was the issue of family engagement. Family engagement can take place in homes where there's less wealth, but we have to help parents to understand there are important roles in that kind of engagement. So, trips to the grocery store can be times of intellectual engagement for children. If we can help parents to understand that, that grocery shopping doesn't necessarily mean a chore, but can be an opportunity to engage your children at a variety of ages in issues of sensory awareness, colors, numbers, budgeting, financing, management and planning, that can be the foundation for things that they will have to do, skills that they will have to be engaged in as students. That was an important part of what I tried to do as well and speak to during my time as President of the State Board of Education.

WB: In addition to parents, the state is obviously an important component in public education. I know that one of the more significant financing, funding decisions starts to get implemented during your time on the board, the remedies for the Abbot decision, known as Burke v. Abbot. [Editor's Note: In 1985 and again in 1990, there were New Jersey Supreme Court rulings that ordered the funding of poorer New Jersey school districts to bring them up to par with the wealthier districts in the state. They created what are known as the Abbott districts in New Jersey.]

AH: Yes, yes.

WB: Was the board involved at all in that?

AH: Yes, we had an important role in both the Abbott decisions and the management of the three school districts that were under state control and in the hiring of the superintendents, that was ultimately a board responsibility although the Department of Education played an important administrative role in that process. So, yes, that engagement was an important part of our time at the State Board of Education. My particular perspective on that was that at least for one, maybe two, but at least one of the school districts, it was my view that the state had accomplished all that it could and that I thought we were very close, if not at the level of where the idea of state control had outlived its usefulness and I'm still not convinced that the state needs to still be involved in at least one, maybe two of those school districts today. I think that at the time that took place and at the time that the Abbott districts began their issues of funding, that there were some real important issues that were raised by that Abbott decision about the inequity of funding. That was really important and it brought the state to be involved in that and I thought that was really important and fundamental.

At another level, having a funding formula for Abbott districts pegged to what the highest paying districts were paying their students was, in my view, a little naïve because it suggested that money was the only problem. If you look at studies, we know that money is only part of the issue. That family environment, the community where students live, the value of education, in particular, community influences academic success as much as anything else. What we found today after more than twenty years of the Abbott decision is that we haven't seen money make the difference in impacting what was referred to as the achievement gap, the gap of success of students from some of the Abbott districts compared to some of the wealthier districts. Yet, you could see pockets of success in many of those school districts where they were able to create environments or communities of success. It was just difficult to translate that to an entire school district. So, there was a lot of discussion about what needs to be done to make some of those changes and increase awareness to some of the unique problems, I think, that New Jersey faces that is a handicap to educational success in our state.

I'll give you some examples of some issues that I tried to bring to the forefront, some of which are still being discussed today because education in the state of New Jersey and educational reform moves extremely slowly, really frustrating for lots of us in this process, but there are some systemic issues with New Jersey that are always going to be problematic in my view. Some of those systemic issues are: New Jersey, as a small state, one of the smaller states in the [country] has over five hundred; I believe the number is 548, municipalities. [Editor's Note: Prior to 2013 there were 565 municipalities in New Jersey.] Interestingly enough in New Jersey, we also have, at the time that I was on the State Board, 623 separate school entities. So, we have more school entities than we actually have municipalities. So, we are dividing up our educational dollars in ways that I believe are inefficient. We have lots of small school districts that have administrative requirements of having school superintendents and administrators based on state requirements for school districts that are no more than a high school and a couple of middle schools and a few elementary schools. So, I think we're inefficient because we have this strong notion in New Jersey of home rule that's really hard to get around, that local citizens have a right to influence their municipalities including their separate school districts, and that's a very strong notion in New Jersey. It's got strong political roots and it influences the nature of education in our state.

Let me give you a contrast. Maryland, slightly larger than New Jersey, has twenty-six school districts. We have six hundred plus school districts. Maryland is a larger state than we are, slightly, in terms of population and size. Look at that disparity in numbers. Maryland's twenty-six school districts reflect the twenty-six counties that exist in Maryland. So, each school district is a county. So, the administration, the regulation of education in Maryland is quite different than in New Jersey for that reason alone.

So, I remember talking about the idea that one of the things we think about in New Jersey is having our school districts run by counties. Well, that upsets a lot of folks, there are a lot of jobs out there that would be impacted and there are also issues of, quite frankly, economics and race. Because if you look at a county, let's pick one, where there are excellent schools and troubling schools, Essex County. If you created a school district in Essex County, you would be merging the Newark schools with the schools in Short Hills. I don't need to say much more than that about some of the concerns that parents in both communities might have. So, we've got some historical issues that we have to overcome, we have issues of equity, issues of race that influence, frankly, our school system. As well as the fact, and I have to be honest about this as well, that there are also issues of neighborhood schools and New Jersey is a diverse state, a state with a lot of different people living in lots of different places, but we're also a state that's highly segregated in terms of our housing patters and so people tend to live in communities that look like them. Some of that is economics, some of that is culture and comfort, but the reality is that influences the kinds of educational experiences that people have, because parents want their kids, especially at younger ages, to go to neighborhood schools. We have that notion. "I want my kids to go to the school down the street." Yet we know that while integration, in and of itself, does not necessarily mean better educational experiences, that in and of itself is not a reality. Kids of color or white kids can learn together well, but they can also learn separate well. The question is what we really know is that sometimes separate is not equal in terms of lots of things, including the nature of the educational curriculum, the most important thing to me.

So, we have all of these problems mixed up in trying to solve the issues of equal educational opportunity at the K through 12 levels in the state of New Jersey. Issues of home role, that's a political issue. Issues of the nature of communities, that's a cultural, social, and economic issue and issues of how best to distribute funding both on a local state level that are equally important in driving our funding of schools. One of the things we still do in New Jersey to a greater degree that takes place in other states is we still fund a lot of our education through property taxes, so that is part of the wealth disparity that exists in some of our school districts because our school funding at the local level draws upon the nature of property taxes. The Abbott decision was designed to try to overcome some of that inequity and so from that, at least from a theoretical perspective was useful, but it hasn't really solved, I think, our problem. It is a complex problem that's going to take another generation or two for us to get to I think some reasonable resolution, but we've made some progress.

I think there's real progress in a place like Jersey City in terms of its moving its student population forward. They're a great example of what can be done with Abbott funding and dynamic leadership. Jersey City has a school that emphasizes science and math, McNair High School. Students at that particular high school, in terms of state testing, score amongst the highest in the state, so that says to me that there are things that can be done to help overcome some of those issues, but that's a unique school setting that brings together some of the best in Jersey City, some of the best students and creates an environment with the expectation of success, draws upon some of the best teachers in the school system to make that happen. So, you can look at those shining pockets and say, "Yes, we can do that." You can look at Union City and see a different approach where at Union City they worked really hard to engage families in the educational process. You see Union City students across the board showing excellent success because they view education as holistic, so they engage family in the process, but they also have educators talking to one another in real dramatic ways. So, there's not that silo effect and so you have elementary school leaders talking to junior high school and high school, middle school and high school faculty about their expectations and there's a real sense of following students across their movement through the K through 12 experience that has also been very successful for Union City and their work with education, another example of how communities can get engaged in making a difference, where I think they've maximized some of the additional Abbott dollars in real smart ways. What we need to do as a state is look at some of these successful models, and begin to mandate those models get replicated more broadly and the state doesn't have the clout, hasn't exercised the clout to be able to say, "This is what's working here in Union City or Jersey City. What can you do in Newark or Paterson or Vineland, for that matter, to replicate that success in your community?" Those are the kinds of things that I tried to bring to the forefront during my tenure on the State Board. I know that some of those dialogues are continuing at various levels since I left the State Board. One of the things I'm also pleased about is the state board has continued to have representation from Rutgers faculty members on the State Board of Education. I think that that's a powerful contribution that the state board and Rutgers University, a powerful partnership I should say, that Rutgers University and the state board continue to have. I'm pleased at that.

WB: Were the first member of the Rutgers community to be on the state board?

AH: I am not sure if that is true, but as far as I could tell that might have been true.

WB: Okay.

AH: I don't want to state for sure that that's true. I'm not sure of the entire history of the New Jersey State Board of Education, but I do know that there weren't representatives from Rutgers, at least, in the decade before I joined the board. So, at least in recent history that hasn't been the case.

WB: Okay. You mentioned that at least one time you raised the question of having county school districts.

AH: Yes.

WB: How far did that conversation go?

AH: Not as far as I would have liked.

WB: Yes.

AH: In part because when you are an outsider, to the degree of looking at issues you can point to what you think are sensible solutions, but there are deep engrained political battles that some people aren't willing to fight. That kind of battle, in my opinion would take leadership at the governor's level. That we would need, and I'd have had an opportunity to talk to some governors about it, we would need a governor who would want to make that their political agenda, I think, for that to come to pass. I think a lot of our governors believe that the political price of that would be too expensive to want to pay it, but I'm hopeful one day that we will get a leader who will have the long-term interest of the state being more important and more immediate political concerns that I understand every governor has to balance.

WB: I have two more questions about the Board, and then, I want to go to the director of the criminal justice program, and then, touch on the program of organizational leadership before we wrap up.

AH: Okay.

WB: You mentioned that, first of all, what years were you on the board?

AH: I got to think that, you got me. I don't remember. From 2000 to 2007.

WB: You mentioned that during your time on the board, it was your opinion that at least one of the state takeover districts did not need to have state involvement anymore?

AH: I think we evolved the place during the time that I was on the board where Jersey City was in a place where they could have been returned to local control, the phrase that we used. I thought they'd made good progress. The state had standards for moving to local control while I thought that those standards were important and I recognized why those standards were put in place that those standards didn't reflect the educational reality of what was going on both in Jersey City and in other communities. I showed some examples of districts that were not under state control that weren't meeting those particular standards and what I wanted to see was their clear established leadership in place in the community, where the local officials engaged enough in the issues of the education to ensure that there was appropriate and strong leadership appointed to lead the local board and I thought all of those elements existed in Jersey City. They were making great progress. Their test scores were reflecting that. They had good leadership. They had good engagement from the community and they had, as well, I think, from the local leaders, mayor, school boards, they had a healthy local school board that they were in place. That's another important component, a local school board that was strong with a reasonable and fair means for selecting those board members. I thought they had those elements in place to a degree that warranted local control. Was it ideal? Did it reflect some of the practices that we see in some of our best school districts? No, but nor did it reflect standards that we thought were awful or unacceptable. They were probably somewhere approaching the norm and I thought that that's the level in which we should begin to return school districts to local control.

WB: Another thing you mentioned were property taxes and their relationship to school funding. So, I wanted to ask you a little bit about corporate tax abatements and whether you think that has an impact on school funding.

AH: Oh, certainly it does and the nature and the degree that there is a corporate tax base influences the ability of any school district to raise funds and that's not just true in certain urban districts. That's also true in some of the rural districts that we see in New Jersey that have a less than median corporate tax base. You see that in some rural communities where there's farmlands there. Where there's little corporate development of light or heavy industry. So, that's a problem for New Jersey statewide for which the solution probably is less reliance on local taxes for school funding and more reliance on state funding. What that means is a shifting of how we tax our citizens, frankly. So, that ideally you would need to shift the tax burden for the funding of schools from local communities to the entire state as a means for addressing that issue. Politically, that's unpopular because that would mean at some level that a governor would have to say, "I want to raise state taxes in order to make this happen," while mandating the lowering of local property taxes in order to ensure that, because I am in favor of small government and low taxes when that's possible and I think that one of the key obligations and responsibilities, however, the state has is for the education of its citizenry. So, when we look at what taxes ought to go for, that's certainly an important component, along with our infrastructure, is critical.

Education, public education in particular, is the responsibility of local states and I would like to see New Jersey as a state, take on that responsibility, and the tax burden shift from local taxpayers, to the state. I think that can be done in such a way that the ultimate tax burden would be little or no cost to most taxpayers. It's certainly what I would like to see. I'm not advocating an increase in taxes at the state level without other changes taking place at the local level. It's a complex solution and I know there have been attempts--they haven't been wise attempts--by the state to try to control local property taxes and how they applied to state funding by placing some ceilings and some penalties, but that particular approach has been, in my view, unsuccessful because it has been the state mandating local districts to maintain a certain level of budgetary integrity by saying that local communities could not increase their taxes for school education, but by a relatively small percentage. The last couple years it's been two percent. It was a means to control local spending and the burden that local taxpayers were paying. It would work if the state would have proportionally said, "We're going to increase our contribution." But what the state did was to say, "If you do increase your spending, we're going to penalize you by decreasing our state funding." So, the state's position was, "You can do what we want and we're going to penalize you," rather than saying, "We want to become a partner." So, again, it was an attempt on the state to mandate a control of taxes that are going to local school districts without stepping up as a partner. It hasn't been successful in solving either the local burden that some communities face with taxes to support school education or in helping us with both the funding or achievement gap.

WB: Let's go to another one of the positions that overlapped with your time as dean and on the board and that is your directorship of the Program in Criminal Justice.

AH: Yes.

WB: Can you tell me a little bit about that program?

AH: Yes. The Program in Criminal Justice is one of the largest majors here in New Brunswick. It was an interesting program at the university, both in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and now in SAS [School of Arts and Sciences] in that it was a program and not a department, so it didn't have the same status that many of our other departments have because they are academic departments with a defined faculty at the university. I became concerned and interested in the issue of the nature and health of the criminal justice program during my time as dean of Livingston College because there were a large number of our students who were majoring in criminal justice. The criminal justice program is a platform that can lead students to careers in law enforcement on all levels, from the local level all the way through federal law enforcement. It's also a program that students who have an interest in the legal field, on the law side, i.e. law school, select as a potential major. So, we saw lots of students who, at Livingston College, were selecting criminal justice as a major and it was my perspective that the program didn't have the academic rigor that I wanted to see for Livingston College students.

There was also a concern, I should say, of the deans in FAS, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, regarding that particular program. They also had similar concerns about the nature of the program, its academic rigor as well. If I can take a step back, prior to the program being part of FAS it was actually located, for reasons that I don't recall at this stage, at Cook College. Even though the program began here at Livingston, it became affiliated with Cook College as a program, and then, it really had no clear leadership from the dean's office. It was the vice president at that time, Joseph Seneca, who moved the program to FAS as a means of wanting to see the program strengthened. When it moved to FAS, at that time, the undergraduate deans also reported to the dean of FAS as part of the reorganization that took place in 1982, '83. So, I had an in, an opportunity to talk with that dean and with the vice president, because we had this dual reporting relationship with the president as well, about my particular concerns about the Program in Criminal Justice and that it needed to be addressed on a systemic level. So, the vice president appointed a committee of faculty and administrators to look at the Program in Criminal Justice and to do an external review, and I was asked to serve on that committee. I engaged in that committee in part because of my interest in wanting to serve the students of Livingston College. I thought I had a major stake in the outcome of that particular program. To the degree of which, if I remember correctly, probably fifty percent of the students in criminal justice were Livingston College students. That was a significant number, both in terms of the program itself and a significant percentage of our students. Through the work of that committee, we devised an academic structure to, moving forward, that we thought would be healthy for the program. We decided to develop an inter-disciplinary program and we looked for departments in the social sciences who would hire faculty members who would have joint appointments in one of the existing FAS departments--economics, anthropology, sociology, political science, were candidate departments--would also have research interests and joint appointments in some field dealing with criminal justice. That was going to be a way that we're going to strengthen and increase the number of faculty in the program and bring new and much needed academic rigor to the program. That was what the committee developed and the issue became, "Well, who is going to lead the program short-term in helping to recruit and bring these new faculty as well as to work with the existing faculty that were there?" When I get involved in a process, I try to learn a lot about it, so I started doing reading in the field of criminal justice as I began that committee work.

As a result of my being engaged in the committee work and showing some understanding of the field and being committed as dean, I was asked if I would serve as director of the criminal justice program during this interim period, particularly because I had experience in faculty recruitment from my days as an associate provost. I agreed to do so and took on that responsibility. It was a challenge, not like challenges that I had faced when I took on Livingston College in that I had some faculty that were excited about me coming and some who thought that, "Who's this biologist who's going to talk to us and tell us how to develop a program in criminal justice." We worked through a lot of those issues. We brought on some great new faculty. I had an opportunity to continue to lead that program for, until I think 2008 if I remember correctly, at which time the program had developed to the degree that the dean at the School of Arts and Sciences said, "We think," and I agreed, "the faculty are strong enough that you can step down from this responsibility and they're able to lead and continue on that which we've begun." The criminal justice program is a strong program now, academically. We've expanded the emphasis that the program has in lots of unique directions. We've hired not only outstanding regular tenure track faculty, but also some very strong adjunct faculty, former leaders at the state level in law enforcement. We brought in a forensic scientist. That was one of the things that I wanted to see happen, was to develop the life science component of the field of criminal justice. It doesn't surprise you as a life scientist, I would have that bias, but it's also an important major field in criminal justice. I thought our students, whether they went strictly into the life science part or the criminal or law enforcement aspects of the field needed to understand forensic science as a discipline within the field of criminal justice. So, we brought in a forensic scientist who has been outstanding in developing courses in forensic science, in building partnerships with the chemistry department and life scientists, to bring that component to our students. So, I'm really pleased to have played that particular role in the development of that program.

WB: I am curious, just that last bit that you mentioned there. How much communication was there between departments or cooperation, for example, either within the sciences or between the English department and the history department. I mean, is that common or uncommon? Did it evolve?

AH: It's relatively uncommon. It's a problem with lots of institutions. The nature of higher education today is that faculty members tend to have an allegiance to their particular field and their disciplines and their colleagues in their discipline, more so then even in allegiance to the department or a school or a university. As a result of that, you do find a lot of departments tend to function in silos and even within departments, or where there are interactions between departments, it's on the basis of research interest, not necessarily because there are natural connections between a history and an English department, but because there are faculty members who may share research interests as scholars. So, there's not the level of communication that one would think there could be and ought to be, particularly at a large universities like Rutgers. At smaller places where there's smaller faculty and those faculty get together as a college, you find some of those interactions. At a place like Rutgers where the faculty in the School of Arts and Sciences is over nine hundred, you don't have that same kind of interaction because the size tends to be a barrier to that.

WB: The committee that you were on that was evaluating the state of the criminal justice program, was there any talk of getting rid of the program?

AH: There was certainly some discussion about getting rid of the program in the sense of, yes, ending that particular program, but the reality was that talk was usually short lived because we had over four hundred students who were majoring in that program and there was continued interest in that program amongst the student body at Rutgers University. So, there was recognition that as a state university, we needed to have an effective criminal justice program in offering and not to have that would provide a disservice to our students. So, it was clearly recognized within the context of that committee that the solution needed to be strengthening the program, not phasing it out.

WB: Talk to me a little bit about the program in organizational leadership.

AH: As I mentioned, the program began here at Livingston College as a Livingston College only minor. It was, in fact, the only minor that Livingston College offered for its students. With the reorganization of undergraduate education that became known as the transformation of undergraduate education, organizational leadership, it was asked by the School of Arts and Sciences if that program would continue and could continue within the auspices of now the College of Arts and Sciences. Initially, when the reorganization took place, it took place in phasing in, so its students who had begun in one of the undergraduate colleges needed to complete their degrees along the academic track that they began. So, the reorganization really was phased in over a period of six years actually. So, we continued first serving the students we had committed to, that were enrolled in the minor as Livingston College students, but gradually, what the School of Arts and Sciences, as it developed a curriculum for all of the undergraduates in the school, recognized was they wanted all our students to have both a major and a minor. That is the case in the School of Arts and Sciences for all, but a few, a handful of majors, which are considered credit intensive majors require students to also have a minor.

The program in organizational leadership was and became one of the minors offered by the School of Arts and Sciences, so I was asked to continue as the director of that program. We expanded our offerings such that now it's available to all of the students in the School of Arts and Sciences and even outside of the School of Arts and Sciences here in New Brunswick students can minor in organizational leadership. We have students in the communications school who also take part in our programs even though they do have a leadership program that they've developed in their particular school. We have students in the School of Management and Labor Studies who also minor in our program as well for obvious reasons. There are some natural relationships between their program and our program. So, I was particularly pleased that School of Arts and Sciences allowed us to continue, allowed me to continue, and allowed the program to continue to serve Rutgers University students. So, I'm able to say to students here in New Brunswick and Piscataway that the School of Arts and Sciences provides this program that still meets some of those same goals and objectives that I thought were important for undergraduates at Livingston College. It's still important for undergraduate students at Rutgers in general.

WB: I should have mentioned before; this is your baby.

AH: Yes, it is.

WB: So, you must have been pretty gratified to have it.

AH: I am gratified that it continues and I'm also gratified that I get to make a contribution to that program and to the university, in a way, outside of my field as a scientist. I find that I enjoy teaching both in my department; I teach advanced developmental biology, but I also enjoy coming back here to Livingston which is where the program is based and teaching both in our Introduction to Organizational Leadership as well as in the capstone course, as well as advising and directing the program and advising students in the opportunities that this particular minor can have. So, I am gratified in two levels. I'm certainly personally gratified. I'm also gratified that this program represents, again, another contribution that Livingston College has made to the overall academic life of Rutgers University.

WB: We will wrap up in a second here. I just have a couple more questions. It's no stretch to say that you were busy. Was there ever a small part of you that just wanted more time for the science?

AH: There was a time, particularly early in my career, not so much as dean, but certainly during the time that I was an associate provost and the time that I was working in the graduate school in the program for minority advancement. There were a lot of days when I really felt stretched as an administrator and trying to pursue my career as a scientist. Yes, there were a lot of days where I was exhausted. The days weren't long enough and I seemed to be torn between, "Oh, there's this administrative crisis going on," and my need to be in the laboratory doing research. I was fortunate to have an outstanding laboratory technician that was with me for a number of years and some outstanding post-docs and graduate students that helped me to continue to run my lab while I was off doing other things. So, that was particularly helpful, but I can remember times when I wanted to be in the lab and there seemed to be an administrative crisis that would call me out of the laboratory. Ultimately, particularly during my years as dean, I focused more on the administration, particularly during the time that I was both dean and serving on the state board. I had to focus more on the administrative and service work than I did on the research. I got to the point where I began to recognize that I enjoyed making those direct and personal contributions that were enhancing the lives and the potential of others as an administrator whether they were faculty, or staff or students who were working on the State Board and on a broader level. I found that the satisfaction was more immediate than doing some of the science that I was engaged in. I came to the point that while I knew I was making contributions in the field of science, but there were others that were making contributions as well. However, I thought I was doing something unique in the administrative work that I was doing here that called me to focus more and more on that.

WB: Earlier in our interview you mentioned growing up, one of the options for a bright young African American boy was to be a teacher, but early on that's not the direction you wanted to go and you envisioned yourself as being a scientist. Now as we kind of recap, you have been heavily involved in education.

AH: Yes.

WB: What do you think about that?

AH: Yes, if I had to look back I would say the scientist became a teacher, but it was much more than that because, as I mentioned, at the time I was growing up there was an expectation that you became an educator, a teacher, a physician, or a preacher. What really happened in my life was that the central theme becoming of service to others. I found that calling as an administrator and in the work that I do as a teacher. Vocationally I continue to be involved in the life of my church during those years as a leader and an elder in my church which I still am today. In fact, I chair our Elder Board. It probably won't surprise you that I chair the Elder Board.

WB: What church is that?

AH: I attend Abundant Life Community Church, which is in Port Murray, New Jersey. Service there to my faith community is an important part to who I am. Ultimately, the calling is service to others and what I've learned is that there are many different ways that you can do that and in my life's journey I've been able to, I've been blessed to be able to do that in lots of different spheres and looking forward to continuing to do that as the Lord opens up doors.

WB: Well, thank you very much Professor Hyndman for sitting with me. Is there anything that I have not asked you about that you would like to say?

AH: No, I think you've covered it all. You left me with a sense that, looking back, that I was engaged with doing an awful lot, the only other thing I could add that is equally important is couldn't have done it without the partnership of my wife who was engaged in creating a loving and positive home environment for me to come home to, but also in the raising of our four sons, as I've mentioned. Three of whom are Rutgers University graduates and are doing well in their chosen professions.

WB: What are your sons' names?

AH: My oldest is Aaron. My second is Jason. My third son is Joseph and my fourth son is Adam.

WB: Are they currently or going to be involved in service type jobs as well?

AH: Well, my oldest son, he was a communications studies major here at Rutgers and he works in communications and public relations right now. Works for the New Jersey Bike and Walk Coalition which is a public advocacy group designed to encourage safe biking and walking in both rural and urban areas throughout New Jersey. Also advocates for funding for safe pedestrian and bikeways throughout the state and he does their public relations and media relations and communication strategies for that coalition and so at some level that's public service. My second son is an attorney. He works for a law firm that's involved in issues of land use and management in the state of New Jersey, so he has a diversity of clients from developers to homeowners and residents and he's interested in land use in the state, and I think how we use our land is an important issue. My third son is currently in graduate school pursuing a doctorate in physical therapy. He completed his studies in June of 2017 and is working in his field, and so there's the medical side at some level, coming forward and I expect that's a way he'll serve people through that particular profession. He also works with young people as an athletic trainer. He's engaged in creating opportunities for young people to use their minds as a means, and their bodies, as a means for developing their potential. So, I am proud of him in that. I should mention both Jason and Joseph also took the minor in organizational leadership. Jason was a Livingston student. Joseph took the program at the time that it was open to all students in New Brunswick. So, they both benefitted from that experience. My youngest son Adam is living in New York and is pursuing a career in the arts. He currently is on Broadway in Aladdin.

WB: Okay. Well, again, thank you very much for letting me visit with you. I appreciate it.

AH: It was my pleasure.

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Transcribed by Jesse Braddell 7/29/2016
Reviewed by William Buie 9/7/2016
Reviewed by Arnold Hyndman 4/15/2019