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Provost Dennis Tyner's Wife, Patty, is Back at School

Published: Monday, September 24, 2007

Updated: Saturday, February 14, 2009 12:02

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Patty Tyner is having her daily discussion with her children while trying to keep up with her own schoolwork.

Dennis Tyner, the provost for Ottawa University, has brought with him his biggest fan, his teammate, wife and mother of his children, Patricia, Patty, Tyner.

While Dennis spends his day with the student and faculty population on Ottawa's campus, Patty spends her days juggling the responsibilities as a mother of eight, wife of the Provost and also a student at Ottawa herself.

Just being organized is her way of getting things done. Patty is the mother of five girls: Rikki, 28; Katy, 27; Kelli, 24; Kristi, 20; Kandi, 18; and three boys, David, 17; Kevin, 14; and Keith, 11. With organization in mind, she and the kids meet either in the morning or evenings to arrange their schedules so that everyone has a way of getting where they need to be.

"So if, for example, David needs to be in one spot and Kandi needs to be in another, well clearly I can't do both if they are at different ends of the town. So I'll coordinate and say, 'Well Kristi, what time do you get out of class?' and I'll ask Kelli, 'With your agenda can you possibly get one of them to the locations

for me?'"

Between Kelli, Kristi and Patty the transportation issue for all the others is not a problem. However, this was not always the case.

Patty grew up in Boston where public transportation was everywhere. Her father, who had been in several car related accidents, didn't want Patty

to get her drivers license. About five years ago, for a birthday present, Patty's oldest daughters taught her to drive, without Dennis knowing. Patty didn't want to disappoint him if the test didn't go so well and she didn't want him trying to teach her as well. She was nervous, however came out successful with a Massachusetts driver license.

"She can make things happen. It might not be the traditional way or the standard way but regardless she finds a way," Dennis said.

When Dennis and Patty were first married, neither one had a college education.

After their first two children, Patty put her education on hold while Dennis went back to school and she took on many of the family responsibilities.

While living in Vermont, Patty had a job with a company which required a degree in Business and Management, however, the company overlooked the fact she did not have one and hired her anyway because of her talents. In 1995, Patty started her slow-progressing education

at Norwich University, working

towards her Business and Management

degree. She has only taken one or two classes a semester. Patty is currently attending Ottawa University and is taking courses: 'Introduction to Gospels' and 'Crisis Management'.

"I can do the work, however, I don't have that piece of paper saying I'm qualified to do the work." Patty said.

Her children have supported her in her quest to get that piece of paper.

"I am so proud of her. Mom stepped back for dad and now it is her turn to shine."

As Dennis' wife, Patty is one of his biggest supporters.

"Dennis very much wants the students to feel they can talk to him, that he is approachable. He wants the faculty and staff to feel that way, too. We've had the custodial crew over to the house for lunch. They were so kind to us when we were living in the dorms," Patty said.

When students and faculty alike go to the Tyner household it's hard not to feel welcome and fit in with six kids running around the house.

"Ottawa University and the Ottawa community have been very welcoming and I certainly think they have helped us fit in," Patty said.

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