Kim Mooney sees her new position at Franklin Pierce University as a “new era” for the 54-year-old institution.
Mooney, whose office walls are lined with paintings of previous presidents, said she may be the last FPU president able to claim she has met or worked with all of her predecessors.
“In some ways, this is an opportunity to create a new future for Franklin Pierce University,” said Mooney, who was named the sixth president of the university in June. “We want to create a sustainable institution.”
Mooney, who took over for former President Andrew Card after he announced he was stepping down, is no stranger to the institution.
Mooney served as the provost and vice president for academic affairs from 2009 to her promotion, a trustee of of the university from 2001-2008, and as interim president from January to June 2009. Mooney is also an alumnus, marking the first time a former student has led the university.
“I really believe that students can be transformed by a Franklin Pierce University education,” said Mooney. “I think that ethos is still alive and well here.”
Mooney’s first major challenge at the university was one that many colleges wish they had: the university welcomed its largest incoming class to date.
Mooney said a few changes needed to be made to accommodate housing the influx of students, but through careful planning and monitoring projections, the university was able to have enough space for all students.
Mooney said there were weekly meetings with her senior staff to ensure that enough beds and other furniture were purchased, and that there was enough room on campus for the 676 students.
With the school in a good place academically and financially, Mooney said she wants to look toward the future to ensure that the school can be sustainable for years to come.
From an educational perspective, Mooney wants to ensure the university is offering courses and programs that will allow students to be successful.
“Franklin Pierce prides itself specifically on a very strong belief that every student has the potential to be successful,” said Mooney, who added that an additional belief is to continually add a “personal touch” to education, even in the case of online classes.
A current priority for Mooney is to implement a new strategic plan for the university, one that melds what has made FPU great over the past half century with new ideas that will propel the school forward.
Mooney said the strategic planning process began last year, and that moving forward, it will be an iterative process that looks at the next four to five years.
“We have to allow the plan to be semi-permeable, so that things can move in and out,” said Mooney. “We are in a good, sound financial place, but we are going to stay the course to remain and enhance where we are financially.”
Nicholas Handy can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or email@example.com. He is also on Twitter @nhandyMLT.