New Mt. St. Mary’s President Wants To Be Accessible

He says he will hold town hall meetings for the Mount community.

Emmitsburg, Md. (KM) Mount Saint Mary  President Tim Trainor says he won’t be spending all of his time in his office. During an interview with WFMD News, Trainor said he plans to be very accessible to everyone on campus. “By being affable and out there walking around campus. I’m accessible through that,” he says.

Trainor also says he will be holding town hall meetings with the Mount community to listen to their comments and answer questions. He will be “meeting with faculty in various forms in shared governance activities; and eating lunch everyday over in the student and faculty dining facility; just sitting down with various groups.”

But Trainor said he learns more about what’s going on from informal chats with people. “When you approach someone in an open manner with a smile, they feel more comfortable. In a less structured environment, I gain a lot of insights from those discussions,” he says.

Trainor was appointed to the job as interim President of the Mount earlier this year. He took over from Karl Einolf who was appointed Acting President after  Simon Newman stepped down following controversy over comments he made about struggling students, calling them “bunnies” which should be “drown” or have “a Glock put to their heads.”

Trainor retired from the US Army as a Brigadier General. During part of his time in uniform, he served as Dean and Chief Academic Officer at the US Military Academy at West Point.

He says he was attracted to  Mount Saint Mary’s because of its commitment as a  valued-based institution. “It’s a Catholic institution of higher education grounded in the liberal arts education with great professional programs to prepare our young people to find how they can serve and where they can serve others in the world,” he said. In addition to academics, Trainor says the University emphasizes service for its students.

So many young people come to college to learn a skill so they can pursue a career. But Trainor says don’t forget the liberal arts courses, such as history, philosophy, music and art. “Liberal arts are extremely important to setting the foundation for any person to be even better in their professional studies, whether it’s health sciences, or it’s education, or it’s business, or whatever they do,” he says. “I think the liberal are crucial to the foundation of being a critical thinker and being a creative problem solver, and to be able to put the world in context.”

Trainor was appointed as President for a two-year period. He says he would like to have the job for a little longer than that. “I just enjoy what I’m doing right now, and I look forward to serving here for quite a while,” he says.

By Kevin McManus