As her job at Hobart and William Smith College (HWS) winds down, Knox president-elect Teresa Amott uses her down time to get herself prepared to start at Knox.
“I am a mild-mannered provost by day and cyber president-elect by night,” Amott said.
As Amott helps the next provost transition into the post during the daytime, she is busy after-hours getting ready to move to Galesburg at the beginning of July.
Amott hopes to settle in quickly and begin her duties by July 5. She already has a busy July scheduled, meeting with board members and Chicago-area alumni.
While looking forward to starting her job at Knox, she is sad to say goodbye to her friends and is not looking forward to the long car ride, necessary because of her two pets. She has also been busy “shedding worldly goods” by making trips to her local consignment shop.
Amott is certainly aware of the struggles and responsibility she will receive when taking over at Knox.
“I think the biggest mistake is jumping in and not listening,” Amott said. “I wish that everyone will be patient.”
At HWS, the news of her departure has been well received.
“People have been kind and very generous,” Amott said. This kindness has included an honorary degree from the school.
While her time at HWS is quickly winding down, she has already started talking with members of the faculty at Knox so that she will be able to step in and be productive right off the bat.
Amott hopes to help the school have a stronger presence on social media outlets in order to help promote the school more and stay better-connected with alumni.
“One of the things we need to spread is the Knox story,” Amott said. “When we have something to be proud of, we get it out on the web.”
Amott has been constantly checking the website for these proud Knox moments, including the recent winners of the Nick Adams award and Music Instructor Dave Hoffman’s recent award for Best New Age Album.
“I am waiting to see how many Fulbrights Knox is able to garner,” Amott said.
The biggest project Amott is working on for Knox is preparing for the 175th anniversary celebration.
Despite being over 800 miles away, Amott has found some east coast Knox connections. These connections include HWS’s Director of Admissions John Young, who comes from a Knox family, as well as other local alums who have contacted her since getting the post.
“I think what will not change will be the personal touch that [President] Roger Taylor has,” Amott said.
Amott said Taylor is going to respect her and give her space.
“[He is] respecting the fact that it can be difficult for a former president to be hanging around,” Amott said. “He is leaving a big footprint on the campus.”
While this “footprint” may be leaving the school in a better state than it was ten years ago, it can make it difficult for the new president to be able to enact initiatives.
Amott has been in touch with Taylor, receiving advice and being notified of things to monitor when she takes over.
“He has been very generous,” Amott said.
When asked about any major changes she has planned for the school she responded, “The answer is, I don’t know yet. So stay tuned.”