By Jackie Sizing ‘21
President Kim Mooney officially transitioned from Franklin Pierce provost to president for the academic school year of 2017-2018 and has continued to be passionate about higher education.
“My aspirations for the University are about continuing to offer a high-quality education, with a really diverse academic portfolio. There’s a lot of programs to choose from, there relevant because of where we are in terms of the global economy and the labor market,” said Mooney in her interview. “(We want to know) what kinds of jobs people are looking for, what kind of undergraduate and graduate education do we need to provide in order to prepare people for their careers.”
President Mooney’s professional background is unique compared to previous Franklin Pierce presidents. Not only is she the only alum and woman to serve as president, but she also has 30 years of higher education experience. Mooney did not enter higher education with an intention of becoming an administrator, as she started as a psychology professor at St. Lawrence University. However, opportunities continued to present themselves, and she took on various administrative positions.
In addition to high-quality education, Mooney wants to continue to attract smart and diverse, referring to race, ethnicity, and gender, students to Franklin Pierce, as well as to their other campuses, and online. Mooney is actively working to build up Franklin Pierce’s alumni support and engagement. Lastly, Mooney emphasized wanting to work towards Franklin Pierce becoming strong financially, meaning to build a strong endowment. Other universities and colleges in New England have strong endowments due to their extensive time being a well-known university.
“Franklin Pierce is young and needs to focus that kind of secure financial foundation,” said Mooney.
Also, Franklin Pierce’s College of Business is renovating the bottom of Monadnock Hall with new classrooms, offices, and a multi-media lab. Mooney hopes the College of Business takes this opportunity to energize and innovate, as this is the first time Franklin Pierce has brought the undergraduate and graduate curriculum together, along with its faculty. “I think that can bring about new synergies in the programs,” said Mooney. The renovation will give the College of Business the opportunity to establish new relationships and partnerships in New Hampshire as they have a new identity, according to Mooney. She added they will be given the opportunity to ask businesses and industries sincerely what kind of education and credentials they need from students. This will benefit both Franklin Pierce and the College of Business.
Furthermore, Franklin Pierce is going to continue to make renovations like these. President Mooney is putting together a task force on facilities usage and condition; this force, particularly on the Rindge campus, will look at the way we use our facilities and their conditions “with a particular eye towards the student experience.” The force will come back with recommendations that will spark renovation ideas for their three to five-year plan on buildings that need to be refurbished.
“We have space, we are not lacking in space in buildings but we haven’t really evaluated in any meaningful way in the past how we use the space,” said Mooney. “We will make a commitment to that kind of work.”