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Timm hired as head of Mount Mary

Justin Tardiff | Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Saint Mary’s Vice President for Student Affairs Linda Timm announced last week she will leave the College in June in order to assume the presidency at Mount Mary College in Milwau-kee, Wis.

As a vice president at Saint Mary’s for 11 years, Timm interacted closely with students, overseeing various departments on campus including athletics and recreation, student activities, counseling and career development, health and wellness services and residence life.

“This is the next move in my life,” Timm said of the job change. “In lots of ways, this will be a new beginning for me – a new beginning professionally and a new beginning personally.”

Timm began to consider the possibility of a presidential position in recent years, she said, and was first contacted by the Mount Mary search committee as a potential candidate in late July. Timm said that institution’s mission as a Catholic women’s liberal arts college resonated with her from the very beginning.

One of six candidates initially interviewed, Timm visited the Milwaukee campus in mid-September where she met with the search committee – a body which included representatives from the corporate board, the School Sisters of Notre Dame, the Board of Trustees, faculty, administration, staff, students and alumnae.

“When I met with the search committee it felt really good. I thought, ‘This could be a really good fit for me,'” Timm said.

Timm was invited back to Mount Mary in late October for a weekend of extensive interviews, which she described as “intense.” She was notified she had been selected as the College’s 10th president just before Christmas.

“I’ve very excited,” Timm said. “I was feeling confident throughout. I just felt throughout all the interviews I communicated who I am and what my skills are and my interests in the best possible way that I could.”

Timm will take the helm at a college that has made notable progress in the past few years. Outgoing College President Patricia O’Donoghue increased enrollment this year to a record-high 1,722 students. A recent capital campaign raised $28 million, far surpassing the original goal of $16.5 million and enabling the institution to build two new buildings.

However, while Mount Mary mirrors Saint Mary’s as a Catholic women’s college, it is quite different when it comes to student life. The school is largely a commuter college, with fewer than 200 students residing on campus. Further, the average age of the students at Mount Mary is 24, meaning many are working while simultaneously pursuing a degree.

Timm said she is looking forward to serving a different type of student body and working to create sense of campus life.

“It think that is going to be a really interesting change,” Timm said.

She said her immediate goals as president are to ensure the College’s financial stability by increasing its endowment and to pay careful attention to enrollment numbers.

“As we are here [at Saint Mary’s], you are always going to be very attentive to your enrollment and how you are going to attract students to your institution,” Timm said.

Timm is the second Saint Mary’s vice president to step down from the College’s administration this academic year.

In August, Pat White, vice president and dean of faculty, announced he would leave his position in May to take a yearlong sabbatical and then rejoin the English department as a faculty member.

Leaving Saint Mary’s will be difficult, Timm said, but turnover is part of the “natural transition” at any school.

“I think at any institution there is a circle of change,” Timm said. “You always want to continue to assess you contributions [to the institution], and bringing in new blood is good.”

Colleagues at Saint Mary’s have been very supportive of her decisions, Timm said.

In a statement released by the College, President Carol Mooney praised Timm for her contributions to Saint Mary’s.

“Linda’s selection is a great personal achievement for her and a fitting outcome for an exemplary career in higher education,” Mooney said. “During her tenure she has shown a consistent level of professional competence and complete devotion to our students. We will miss Dr. Timm at Saint Mary’s.”

The College should have no problem attracting a strong replacement for her, Timm said.

“I am certain there will be a great pool of candidates,” Timm said. “This is a great job with great people to work with.”