The Board of Trustees of Mount St. Mary’s University announced June 3 the permanent appointment of Dr. Timothy Trainor as president of the university. Trainor, who has been serving in an interim capacity over the past year, was the unanimous selection of both the Board of Trustees and the cross-campus selection committee, according to a June 3 news release.
“Since his appointment last summer, Tim and his wife, Donna, have become true members of our Mount family,” said Board Chair Mary D. Kane, in announcing the appointment at an alumni reunion. “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. On behalf of the board, I’m thrilled to make Tim’s appointment permanent and pledge that he will have the board’s continued support as we work together to chart a course for the Mount.”
Archbishop William E. Lori, a university board member and chancellor of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, called the appointment “great news” for Mount St. Mary’s.
“In his time serving in an interim capacity, 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,” he said in the written statement.
Trainor succeeds Simon Newman, who resigned in February 2016 after facing mounting criticism over language he used to describe struggling freshmen and for the way he handled the fallout.
“From the moment we first visited campus, Donna and I could feel the warmth and strength of this community,” Trainor said in the news release. “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. 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.”
The news release noted that during Trainor’s tenure as interim president, he has “focused the community on keeping students at the center of everything the Mount does and on a list of shared priorities while developing a new strategic plan.”
Trainor has overseen improvements in enrollment, which are poised to be among the largest in Mount history, with the incoming freshman class expected to top 500 students (a 24 percent increase over last year). The freshman-to-sophomore retention rate is likely to be the highest in years at greater than 80 percent, according to Mount St. Mary’s. Trainor has also launched a capital campaign, Forward! Together As One, with a goal to raise $30 million.
Academic achievements this past year include 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 and hiring its new director, the news release said. Outside the classroom, Trainor approved efforts to elevate the women’s rugby program to a varsity level sport, return varsity men’s soccer and expand rosters for several existing Division I teams.
Prior to joining the Mount in August 2016, Trainor served a 33-year-career in the Army, retiring as a Brigadier General, with his final six years as dean of the Academic Board at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York.
Prior to his appointment as dean of the Academic Board, Trainor spent four years a professor and head of the Department of Systems Engineering and three years as director of the Engineering Management Program, both at West Point.
Trainor earned his doctorate in industrial engineering from North Carolina State University, an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and a B.S. from the United States Military Academy. He and his wife, Colonel (Retired) Donna Brazil, are the parents of three children: Cory, Daniel and Zachary.