(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) After several months of searching, the Board of Governors at Missouri Western State University found their next president.
Dr. Elizabeth Kennedy officially assumed her new role Friday, after serving as interim following the sudden departure of former president Matthew Wilson.
"This is a very exciting day for me," Kennedy said. "I’m very proud and very humbled to be able to take on this challenge and assume the leadership of the university."
Kennedy's appointment to the position came at a very interesting time for the university, as it’s facing multiple challenges, of which she laid out.
The university is still recovering from massive cuts to it’s budget that lead to the phasing out of a long list of classes and programs.
While she acknowledged the depth of these challenges, Kennedy said her focus moving forward is keeping the university community informed on future decisions.
Her plan to address financial challenges is already in motion.
Kennedy's early goals include developing a master academic plan for the university, as well as a program review process to help keep the university on the right track.
Kennedy says the work to move the university forward will require the involvement of everyone on campus, her love for Missouri western she says is what keeping her optimistic in the short term.
"It will be an all hands on deck model," She said. "I’m confident that we can rise to the challenge and get that work done."
Kennedy is a Kansas City native, she received much of her higher education credentials at the University of Akron where she worked for over 20 years before coming to MWSU.
Prior to serving as interim president, Kennedy also served the university as vice provost.