In July, Pillar College announced the appointment of Rupert A. Hayles, Jr. as its Chief Operating Officer (COO). A high-level corporate leader with insight, knowledge and strategic vision, Hayles is an expert in strategic management, strategic technology management, operational and general management execution with over twenty years in leadership and management capacity at organizations such as Cytec Industries, Prudential Financial and Merck Pharmaceutical. He has an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Regent University with a specialization in leadership traits and emotional intelligence.
“I’m excited to be taking the reins at Pillar College, an evangelical Christian college with so much to offer; yet, (the college) still remains one of New Jersey’s best kept secrets,” Hayles said.
As its new Chief Operating Officer, Hayles will be accountable for the integration of processes across the organization in addition to direct accountability for six key areas: operations and strategy, business and finance, human resources, marketing, information technology and facilities management.
“I look forward to knowing that by streamlining our operations and internal communications, we can better serve our constituents and focus on our true mission: providing a Christian-based education of higher learning that prepares students to serve in the real world,” he said.
Hayles will work closely with Dr. Mark Harden, who recently joined Pillar as the Dean of the College and Vice President Academic Affairs, and Keyla Pavia, Vice President Institutional Outreach.
According to David Schroeder, President of Pillar College, “Rupert comes to us with a unique blend of experience that is hard to find. His business acumen coupled with relevant church management experience are critical assets that will strongly support Pillar’s strategic growth plan. Our long-term goals are to improve awareness for the college and its distinctive programs, but to do so, it’s critical that we streamline some aspects of our internal structure. I’m excited that Rupert will steward us towards the future and achieving that goal.”
Hayles has hit the ground running. He recently led a strategy session focused on the college’s overall organizational three-year strategic plan and created an organization communications audit to identify key areas for improvement across eight sectors which include communications climate, organization integration, horizontal and formal communications, supervisory communication, media quality, subordinate communications and personal feedback.
“While some of the terminology used to describe organizational management may be confusing to the lay person, I can summarize my charge here at Pillar as one that will have me ‘preparing for growth by establishing new processes to enhance efficiencies of procedures,'” he said.
In addition to his roles in corporate America, Hayles was previously Executive Pastor at The Life Christian Church in West Orange, NJ, a 3,500-member church where he was responsible for functional, ministerial and operational effectiveness through conscious strategic planning and financial controls. Prior to that he was the COO at Christ Church, a 8,000-member organization in both Montclair and Rockaway, New Jersey.
Hayles is also the Chairman of Organization and People Dynamics, a holding company for two key organizations, The Center for Emotional Development and The Center for Emotional and Spiritual Development (consultancies dedicated to serving for-profit and non-profit industries). He is the author of The Church and Emotional Intelligence and Practical Strategy: Aligning Business and Information Technology.
Hayles previously served as a 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force where he trained as a pilot in T-37 aircraft in the area of flight physiology, meteorology and aircraft systems. He continues to hold a FAA Private Pilot License and has done so since 1987. He is married to his wife of eighteen years, Maryann, and they are the parents of twins, Stephen and Savannah.
About Pillar College
Pillar College is a comprehensive institution of higher learning which provides an evangelical-centered education to persons of diverse backgrounds and Christian traditions. Pillar is licensed by the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education and accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). Pillar is also accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE), an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The College creates a climate for study and fellowship which encourages, equips and enhances spiritual development and ministry. Pillar College has locations in Newark, Somerset and Paterson, New Jersey. For more information about Pillar College, visit https://pillar.edu.