While most of the Mount community has been away on break, the campus has been buzzing with behind the scenes activity and accomplishments throughout the summer.
Early into the break, on June 3, Mary Kane, Chair of the Board of Trustees, announced to the Mount community that Timothy Trainor, Ph.D. had been appointed president of the university following a unanimous vote by the Board. Trainor had previously served as Interim President since August 2016. He will be formally installed as the Mount’s 26th president at an inauguration ceremony on Oct. 23.
Trainor has expressed that he is both “honored and humbled” by the appointment, and is grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve the Mount for years to come. He is currently serving under a four-year contract, which will be eligible for renewal in 2021.
When he interviewed for the initial interim position, Trainor made clear to the selection committee that he never intended to just be interim, rather he was prepared to take the university forward as the next permanent president.
“I was not a simple caretaker for a year or two,” Trainor states, “I was looking to advance the interests of our students and our university.”
Trainor has been hard at work ever since, and, sitting for an interview with the Echo, he highlights a number of accomplishments for the university from just this past summer of which he is most proud.
One of the Mount’s primary accreditors, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, provided the university, what Trainor calls, a “clean bill of health” following an evaluation in the spring. Trainor feels that this is a “big step forward for the university” following the events of early 2016.
Enrollment numbers continue to rise as well. The university’s Class of 2021 is the second largest incoming class in the Mount’s history with close to a 25 percent increase, or approximately 100 more incoming students from the previous year. The seminary saw an increase in enrollment as well. At the end of the previous academic year, the total number of seminarians was 117. At the beginning of this academic year, the total number of seminarians increased to 146.
In terms of public recognition, the Mount earned a place on Money magazine’s “Best Colleges for your Money 2017” list, where more than 2,000 schools are analyzed and ranked based on educational quality, affordability and alumni success, but only the top third are placed on the final list. The Mount also placed among the top 200 schools in Forbes magazine’s “2017 Grateful Graduates Index,” which ranks how successful the school is based upon the financial support of alumni.
In addition to these accomplishments, a number of new personnel have been welcomed to the Mount community. Perhaps the most prominent addition is retired Army Col. Wayne Green, whom Trainor appointed to the new administrative position of Vice President and Chief of Staff.
When Trainor decided to hire a chief of staff, he was looking for someone with the skills and experience of bringing the people in an organization together to fulfill its mission in the most efficient way possible, and he says that “Mr. Green fits that perfectly.”
Green previously served as the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he and Trainor, then Dean of the Academic Board at West Point, served together for three years.
In describing their two roles, Trainor notes that because his role as president requires him to look outward from the university to cultivate donors, benefactors and other opportunities, Green will be able to make “internal operational decisions as needed.” Both stress however, that Green’s position is at an equal level to the other members of the University Cabinet.
Green says that “victory” for him is to serve his peers by providing them with the right time and resources to successfully achieve goals and objectives for the Mount.
Working under Green’s leadership as “direct reports” will be Rodney Grays, Director of Public Safety (formerly under the leadership of Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs), Jeffery Simmons, Ph.D. Director of the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment (OIEA, established by Trainor in July) and Danielle Grace as Director of Operations at the Mount.
“The role of the chief of staff is to go where the Mount needs the chief of staff to be,” Green adds. Both he and Trainor agree that currently, his focus is most needed in assisting with the development of the strategic plan.
Green is working closely with Director Simmons of OIEA and Director Timothy J. Rainsford of Information Analysis and Assessment as the “lead planners” for the strategic plan, each helping to ensure that every one of the Mount’s constituencies’ needs are addressed and incorporated into the plan.
Despite having only been on campus for a relatively short period of time, Green expressed his enthusiasm for his position, claiming to have “the best job at the Mount.”
“The reason I have the best job,” he explains, “is because there’s one simple question we [he and his colleagues] are asking each other every day, and that is ‘What are we creating together?’”
Trainor echoed Green’s sentiment:
“It’s an exciting time for the Mount. There’s a lot of positive energy, a lot of positive growth, new faces. I’m excited about what the future holds for the Mount.”