Gilmour expresses his final goals and expectations for his predecessor, who will replace him in June 2012
Joseph (Tim) Gilmour is not planning on having an easy eleventh and final year at Wilkes University. Before he retires from Wilkes at the end of the 2011-12 academic year, he hopes to complete two major goals of getting the SHE building construction underway and restructuring finances.
“I don’t see myself coasting,” he laughs.
Gilmour decided to focus on these final goals with the future of Wilkes in mind.
“These are two things that I think … will provide Wilkes and the successor a really good platform from which to move further forward,” Gilmour said. “I’m really very optimistic about Wilkes’ future.”
These two goals will be stressful for Gilmour, but that does not take away from the fulfillment he gets from his job.
“Doing this job is always exciting, and a lot of fun, and I do feel a great deal of pressure,” he said.
He is planning on having construction of the SHE building underway by the time he leaves the University, but this requires financing and completion of the major portions of capital campaign (WHAT IS THIS). He said they are on track for the projected completion date of June 2013.
“That’s really a huge goal. We’re right on target now,” Gilmour said.
Restructuring finances will involve generating more revenue by developing new programs and strengthening existing ones, along with reallocating funding to areas of greater need. Gilmour said the intent is to better match the needs of the institution with the budget.
These goals are ways Gilmour is trying to ensure the University is in an ideal position to advance under a new president.
“What I’m hoping is we’ll hand over an institution that the new president really won’t have to worry about those issues but can concentrate more on where Wilkes needs to go and how do we get there,” Gilmour said.
Gilmour’s main expectation for his predecessor is simply someone who can lead Wilkes into the future in areas concerning the school’s role in the community and cultivation of students.
“My sense is if Wilkes is going to survive, it needs to become the premiere institution in our region, the one that contributes significantly to the region’s economic development and at the same time developing students who can do all of the necessary work of the future,” Gilmour said.
Gilmour believes that a new president should mean a new feel for Wilkes, and that is something his predecessor should work with administration to develop.
“I really think the next president, with the campus committee, needs to find what the next Wilkes will be,” Gimour said.
Instead of resisting changes, Gilmour feels that the Wilkes community should be open and confident about the future of Wilkes because of the possibilities that exist. He said the future president could aid in this and help develop a sense that Wilkes can make a difference.
“What I think is exciting is that it is an institution that has enormous potential, and what you need is someone who can help the entire campus community find that direction and make it happen,” Gilmour said.
Gilmour said there are a few areas that he hopes will continue to improve after he retires from his position. He said it would be logical for Wilkes to continue to advance its historic strengths in science and mentoring, as well as its relatively new expansion into graduate studies to create a more balanced mix of programs.
“It’s really playing to our existing strengths, our historic strengths, but essentially looking to the future and saying ‘How do I develop these?’ and ‘How do I move them?’” Gilmour said.