Campus / News / Teresa Amott / March 2, 2011

Faculty impressed by presidential selection

After almost a year of searching for a new president, faculty are pleased with the selection of Dr. Teresa Amott.

“[We] couldn’t have asked for a better candidate,” Linda Dybas, Watson Bartlett Professor of Biology, said.

“I was delighted at her selection,” said David Amor, Instructor of Journalism and Anthropology-Sociology.

Chair of Anthropology-Sociology, Nancy Eberhardt, described Amott as “very smart, well spoken, articulate, and funny…I think she’s the right person at the right time.”

Experience

Faculty were impressed by the amount of experience Amott brings, especially in higher education.

“She has all the necessary qualifications and prior experience to be a good president … experience both in the academic community and advancement and fundraising,” Andrew Mehl, Professor of Chemistry, said.

Andrew Civettini, Assistant Professor of Political Science, appreciates that Amott is still an active scholar who was involved in shaping the future of her current institution. This hands-on strategy, he said, will be beneficial as Knox looks to more long term planning and goals.

Amor said, “Her values and skills are a really good fit with what we need right now.”

“She’ll bring renewed vitality to the institution,” William Young, Associate Professor of Philosophy, said, “building on the good work that Roger Taylor has done.”

Commitment to values

In addition to her experience, the faculty appreciates Amott’s understanding of the liberal arts and commitment to Knox’s values and mission.

Dybas said Amott has a “genuine personal commitment to the things we value…she supports developing a sense of community.”

“She’s committed to the process, to making sure that everyone has a voice,” Eberhardt said. “She really deeply understands liberal arts…she’s chosen to devote her life to that.”

According to Dybas, she “doesn’t evade the hard questions.”

Young was impressed by “her thoughtfulness, her approachability, administrative experience and willingness to raise money.”

Amor said that Amott will “make sure that our values are on track and we’re doing things in a professional way.”

Many faculty, including Eberhardt and Dybas, also appreciate Amott’s sense of humor.

Challenges ahead

Amor, who has been through five presidential transitions, says it is always a “challenging time…a time of uncertainty on college campuses.”

He is not worried, however, because “[President] Roger [Taylor] is leaving us in such good shape.”

Faculty are looking for Amott to continue fundraising efforts and to make more long term goals for the institution.

Civettini hopes Amott will have “some vision about the progress [of Knox] in terms of upgrading facilities and thinking about what our collective goals are and tie our alumni/donor base to those goals.”

Amor expects her to begin a “major period of strategic planning, redevelop institutional priorities,” followed by a “full scale capital campaign.”

Mehl and Young would also like to see Amott focus on fundraising and working to build our endowment.

Faculty are confident in her ability to do this.

“Everybody I’ve talked to felt that she was the strongest candidate” Amor said. “I haven’t heard any hesitation.”

Gretchen Walljasper


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