The Mount St. Mary’s University Board of Trustees named its interim leader as the Catholic university’s 26th president this weekend.
Timothy Trainor has served as interim president since last June after past president Simon Newman resigned in early 2016 amid controversy. Trainor has since implemented new fundraising efforts and worked to boost enrollment, bringing in an incoming freshman class expected to top 500 students — a 24 percent increase from last year, according to a statement from the university announcing Trainor’s appointment.
“Tim has harnessed the energy of all of those who love the Mount to build remarkable forward momentum for the university. He has helped to improve trust, build community and enhance communication across the campus,” said Mount St. Mary’s Board of Trustees Chair Mary D. Kane in a statement.
Trainor previously served in the U.S. Army for 33 years, retiring as brigadier general, and served six years as dean of the Academic Board at the United States Military Academy. At West Point, he oversaw more than 800 faculty and staff across 13 departments and 23 centers.
“The Mount is a special place and having had the opportunity to work closely with colleagues over the last year, I know the university’s future is bright,” Trainor said in a statement.
“Together, we’ve tackled challenges and worked hard to have the kind of community, rich in Catholic values, that enables our students to develop into the next leaders of our society. It’s an honor to receive this vote of confidence from the university and the board, and to know that our work together will continue,” he said.
He was brought on after the school’s past president, Newman, resigned in February 2016 after expressing plans to identify struggling freshmen and encourage them to leave the school. The goal was to boost Mount St. Mary’s student retention rate and national ranking.
The student newspaper quoted Newman as saying of struggling students: “You just have to drown the bunnies … put a Glock to their heads.”
Newman was also criticized for firing two faculty members and demoting the provost for perceived criticism of his comments.
Under Trainor’s leadership, the board said he’s worked to boost enrollment and achievement, including “three new academic programs, new academic leadership, an articulation agreement with Frederick Community College, the three student Fulbright award winners, and securing a $1 million donation to create the Palmieri Center for Entrepreneurship,” the statement said.
Trainor has also launched a campaign, “Forward! Together As One,” to raise $30 million.
“President Trainor’s leadership has brought a renewed energy and collaboration within the entire Mount community that has positioned the university on a course for growth and success,” said Archbishop William E. Lori in a statement.