It is a great honor for me to be selected to serve as the next president of Mansfield University of Pennsylvania. I am deeply humbled by the opportunity to help lead this distinguished, historic and student-centered institution.
As we enter a new phase in Mansfield University’s future, I would first like to recognize Peter Fackler for his dedication to serving as interim president over the past 11 months. There is no doubt that Mansfield University is stronger today because of President Fackler’s leadership, and the leadership provided by our own faculty and staff during his tenure. As a result of these efforts, it is very likely that we will see a significant increase in new freshmen for the upcoming fall, a positive trend that is already getting the attention of many. We will look to continue this trend as we implement enrollment management plans to recruit, retain and graduate students in the Northern Tier and beyond. Mansfield must remain an accessible and affordable destination campus. Our small size, combined with a carefully-balanced affordability model, is incredible asset that can further enhance student success. More information on these and other efforts will be forthcoming in future campus communications and blog postings.
I am extremely encouraged by all my interactions to date, both on-campus and in our surrounding communities. There is a high level of dedication among our many stakeholders to advancing the future of Mansfield University. I am also keenly aware that there have been many changes in recent years and there is some trepidation about what it means to welcome a new president on campus. Moreover, many within our campus community have asked what they can anticipate from my leadership. I can address this concern with two words: inclusion and transparency. If you attended my interview sessions, or if you spoke with me during one of my many prior visits to campus, you know that I ask many questions. This process of asking questions is purposeful and affords me the opportunity to get to know our faculty, staff and students on an individual basis. More importantly, it also affords me the opportunity to listen and learn from individuals’ past experiences and memorialize institutional challenges that might be overcome through emerging opportunities and the development of strategies. Every single individual has an important role to serve in advancing Mansfield University, and everyone should be heard.
In short, I will spend much of my time in the early months listening to our faculty, staff, trustees, alumni, community partners, donors, PASSHE leadership, elected officials and many others. Formal and informal meetings with individuals and departments began last week and will continue for the foreseeable future. The development of future goals, objectives and strategies will always be formulated in close collaboration with stakeholders. Only in this way will we, as a campus community, operate with inclusion and transparency to serve our Mansfield University students.
I am excited and encouraged by the dedication that I see by all faculty and staff. We must be united in our purpose as we write the next defining chapters in the university’s history. I look forward to seeing all that we will achieve as we Dream Big and work together in service to our students and our communities.
I wish everyone has a safe and enjoyable 4th of July holiday.