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From Typist to Vice President

Administrator Profile on Patti Swannack


Typist to Vice PresidentIn 1975, the University hired a young woman as a clerk typist in the personnel department at a time when women were not even permitted to wear slacks to work.

Working her way up to Vice President of Administrative Services, Patti Swannack spent the past 36 years pursuing a business career she is passionate about.

“I love what I do,” Swannack said. “I was provided with a lot of great opportunities.” When Swannack started working at the University, she said there was only one woman working in administration at the time.

When bosses left their position, she seized the opportunity to move higher up the ladder. Eventually, she became the Executive Director of Human Resources until 1994, when Swannack moved into the vice president position.

Responsible for campus planning and construction, summer is the busiest time of year for her. Many renovation and construction projects take place while the students are home on break.

Most recently, the new parking lot was completed last summer and ready for students when they returned.

“We’ve done $175 million in construction since I was Vice President,” Swannack said. We built the Jules Plangere building, McAllan Hall, re-roofed Wilson Hall, renovated Oakwood Hall, Mullaney Hall and Redwood Hall.”

The construction of the Multipurpose Activity Center (MAC) several years ago proved to be a challenge. The $50 million project was much more than a summer renovation. Swannack said they could not take the parking lots offline for students and Boylan Gym needed to be maintained for basketball and other activities.

The project had to be contained to the actual space where the MAC would be constructed. After 18 months of construction, the MAC opened its doors. “It’s a great sense of accomplishment when you’re done,” Swannack said.

Planning and supervising construction is only one part of Swannack’s responsibility. She is also in charge of Facilities Management, Human Resources, and the Police Department. “We have great employees,” she said. “I think our employees make Monmouth what it is, from our custodians right through our faculty and our vice presidents.”

The employees at the University have a tremendous sense of commitment, Swannack said. “Their whole goal is to help people get ahead and succeed in what they want to do.”

Working in Human Resources allowed Swannack to help students and faculty overcome obstacles. She said it gave her the opportunity to help people turn their lives around.

“People have challenges every single day and when we can help our employees or their families face those challenges and overcome them, that’s a great thing, that’s what it’s all about,” Swannack said.

“I think Monmouth is a phenomenal school,” she said. “It’s probably the best kept secret and that needs to change, so we can increase our diversity and hopefully increase enrollment.”

She is a firm believer that teamwork and a strong sense of community will bring success to Monmouth.

In all her years at the University, she also knows what it is like to be on the other side of the desk. Swannack completed a bachelor of science degree in business in 2002 and was the first person in her family to hold a degree. “It’s not just about going to school to get a degree, it’s about going to school and learning from people that have so much to share,” she said. “It just opens up your whole world.” Sharing about her attendance as a non-traditional student she added, “I think you’re more interested and I think you might appreciate the opportunity more.”

Working at the University is not the only thing she is passionate about. Swannack loves reading and traveling to warm climates. She said she loves to go to Aruba and has traveled there with her husband over 10 times. Traveling on cruise ships is also something she enjoys and has made over 13 journeys on the sea.

PHOTO COURTESY of Patti Swannack

Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey
07764

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu