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Last updateWed, 11 Sep 2019 12pm

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Leahy Assumes Role as University President

Leahy U PresidentPatrick Leahy, Ed.D., assumed his role as Monmouth University’s 10th President on Aug. 1, 2019.

Leahy emerged as the Board of Trustees unanimous selection from a nationwide search for President that considered 100 candidates. Robert B. Rumsby, of Alpha Beta Development and a current board of trustees’ member, said, “[Leahy’s] background, his attitude, and vision for the future make him best fit for the position.”

Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student Life and Leadership Engagement, echoed Rumbsy’s sentiment about Leahy’s qualifications. She said, “[Leahy] is a quick learner, incredibly smart, very well-read on a variety of subjects and weaves that into his work. He knows that we have a lot of positive things going for us while also knowing that the business of higher education is going to be challenged predominately by changing demographics.”

The following questions and answers are from an interview with Leahy that took place on Friday, Sept. 6:

Last year, you explained how in order for Monmouth to move towards higher levels of success we must “broaden our notoriety and recruiting of students.” How do you plan to achieve this?

"To be honest, I’ve only been on the job a month so my answers will be pretty vague at this point, so I encourage [The Outlook and I] to continue to dialogue as my answers will become more refined as time goes on. [In general] I think it’s so important for the president of a university to create a shared vision and not presume to know best; I need a bit of time to create a shared vision for Monmouth. Then, we take that out and promote it widely.

I think every college or university across the country thinks they don’t get the credit they deserve and that is absolutely true of this university. The quality of the physical plan, the program mix, and dedication of faculty; there is something really special here and not enough people know about it. So, I want to try to promote the university using things like our polling institute, athletic program, and research institutes will continue to shine a spotlight and distinguish us from other universities.

At this point, it will be about securing funding from the philanthropic community for us to grow our graduate programs where it makes sense. I think the undergraduate size is ideal for the sense of the community we’re trying to grow here."

Given Monmouth’s tuition increase, will part of your efforts in attracting donors be to increase scholarship opportunities for students?

“Yes, I mean the single most important thing that we will try to do here is to make a first-class private education as affordable and accessible as possible. Now, the fundamental way to do that is trying to manage our costs enough that we can keep the list price of a Monmouth education as reasonable as possible, which is not easy to do and we’ll have plenty of conversations about the pressures of tuition pricing.

In addition to that, we will try to flood the system as much as possible with scholarship aid so we can drive the net price of attending Monmouth down and that will be reliant heavily on donors and government support of financial aid students. I have a pretty good track record of generating philanthropic support and within those efforts, scholarships will remain a top priority.”

Do you plan to work closely with the Student Government Association (SGA)?

“I stopped by [SGA’s office] earlier this week and have plans to meet with them later this month. I consider student government to be a key part of the governance structure at a university. We will partner with them to talk about whatever’s on their mind and I will bring my ideas to them.

Hopefully, we can really partner up on advancing the university, so the short answer is yes, of course I plan to collaborate with [SGA]. Always, in my experience have I had a positive experience working with student government and I hope to continue that at Monmouth.”

How engaged do you plan on being with the student body?

“I will of course attend things like the involvement fair, athletic and sporting events, student government meetings so that I can of course engage your elected representatives in the life of the university. I will be seen on and around the campus quite a bit.

I love the work of a university president, and I hope that will be obvious to the students because of the way in which I plan to be engaged in the life of the university.

I look forward to introducing the students my wife Amy, my children, my dog Sasha, and even my cat. I hope the whole family becomes an important part of the community and the students get to know us.”

As the campus community welcomes President Leahy, The Outlook looks forward to highlighting pertinent issues for students and faculty.

For a more in-depth profile about Dr. Leahy’s journey to becoming our University president, be sure to read on to our exclusive feature on page four.

IMAGE  TAKEN by Monmouth University

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