From West Point to Mountain Home

On Aug. 15, Dr. Tim Trainor officially started as interim President. Previously, he was a Dean at West Point for six years.

Trainor’s main goal for the Mount will be conducted through a five-year plan that will be drawn up over the course of the next year.

“My first priority is what I’ll call engage and learn,” Trainor said. He expressed his desire to learn from everyone on campus–from staff to professors to students. Trainor shared that he plans to be heavily involved with the Center for Student Engagement and Success.

Trainor also plans to be very visible around campus. He’s talked to first-year students and physically helped them carry their luggage on move-in day. He has stood in the back of the classrooms observing, and is excited to be visible at student activities.

One way Trainor intends to achieve receiving this broader goal is by conducting a number of town halls to help with his plan. These town halls will be held in order to get the community’s opinions and ideas. Input from these meetings will help influence his plan while staying true to the Mount’s values. He wants to use some of the ideas from Mount 2.0 along with those from community members to help formulate this plan.

While the Mount is in debt, Trainor is hopeful that through a range of investments, it will help dividend the debt. Although the university is not operating at capacity, he does have some goals to bring the numbers up in the coming years. This will be done by increasing enrollment, both on main campus and the Frederick campus. He also plans to engage with alumni for their support. And finally, he would like to add more programs and majors to help the Mount attract more students.

Trainor believes in the importance of a liberal arts education. He believes that through the liberal arts, people learn who they are and how they want to incorporate themselves in the global society. He believes that the Mount has a sharper focus in studies to help prepare the students.  One of his goals for the Mount is to have a better integration between programs and student activities.

Trainor was looking for a job in higher education at a “values-based institution.” Trainor found out about the Mount from Ambassador Jim Nicholson, a graduate from West Point, whose wife Suzanne is a member of the Board of Trustees here at the Mount.

Before the start of his administration, Trainor had only visited the Mount once, in June, with his wife Donna.

“I got a very positive vibe from the people here and they cared about the place,” Trainor said.

When asked about the circumstances of past year at the Mount, Trainor said, “That is was quite unfortunate for an institution with a proud history and tradition.” He feels sorry about the past events, but he stressed that we need to move on as a community.

Part of his strategy for the Mount is to help repair the school’s reputation. “We need to get our swagger back,” he added.

Trainor has a keen fondness for athletics and believes that, through athletics, people learn “resilience, teamwork, leadership and discipline. It is a fundamental part of developing people,” stressed Trainor.

Another of his goals is to help bring back more sports to the campus, such as men’s soccer. He also hopes to grow and redefine the programs for gender equity. Due to his wife, Donna, and Trainors’ dedication to sports, they were given the nickname of “Team Trainor” at West Point.

His administration as the interim President will be held over the next two years. Even though Trainor is currently the interim President, he is “approaching this with a long-term perspective.”

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