On June 1 From
By DOUGLAS WATSON
Tusculum College's board of trustees, meeting in a special called meeting Saturday, approved the hiring of Dr. Nancy B. Moody to become the historic college's 27th president.
She will be the first woman president of Tennessee's oldest college and what is the 28th oldest college in the nation.
Her appointment will be effective on June 1.
Dr. Moody, 57, has been president at Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) in Harrogate, Tenn., for seven years.
In an interview Saturday after her appointment, Dr. Moody said she expect to leave LMU by April 1.
Dr. Kenneth Bowman, chairman of Tusculum College's board of trustees and of the selection committee, said, "Dr. Moody is a strong advocate of our civic arts curriculum and is well-known and respected in our region. We feel fortunate to have attracted someone of her caliber, and we are truly optimistic about the future of Tusculum College under her leadership."
He added, "Dr. Moody is a proven, successful college president with an especially impressive record of preparing students to be active citizens and successful in the careers they choose."
A Tusculum College press release said Dr. Moody "has demonstrated a commitment to Tusculum College's mission of providing a strong civic arts curriculum for all graduates and to continuing to grow the college in that tradition for both residential and graduate and professional studies students."
DR . MOODY COMMENTS
Dr. Moody said in the press release, "I am excited to have the opportunity to serve Tusculum College. I am extremely impressed with the people of Tusculum - the students, faculty, staff, administrative personnel and members of the Board of Trustees."
"Without exception, there is a sense of enthusiasm and pride for the mission of the college, which has a wonderful legacy as the oldest institution of higher education in the state of Tennessee.
"I look forward to becoming a part of that legacy and to experiencing that enthusiasm as we work, learn and grow together in our efforts to enhance academic excellence, public service and the qualities of Judeo-Christian character."
She continued, "As a first-generation college graduate, I have always valued all levels of education with a particular interest in the higher education of traditional aged college students and adults of all ages."
Dr. Moody added in an interview Saturday, that she has known of Tusculum College over the years in various contexts. LMU's teams and Tusculum's teams compete in some sports.
She said she was particularly attracted to Tusculum by its rich heritage, and by the college's emphasis on community service.
Asked why she was willing to leave Lincoln Memorial University, Dr. Moody said, "LMU's mission is changing. It is attracting fewer people from this region, and has many more professional programs."
Asked what would be her priorities at Tusculum, Dr. Moody said strengthening Tusculum College's enrollment will be a top consideration.
She also said she will want to be sure the college is fulfilling its "mission driven" educational role with a "very strong and qualified faculty and staff. Not just the faculty, but also the staff," referring to employees who are not teaching classes but whose work also is vital to the college.
One of the big challenges, she acknowledged, that Tusculum College will be facing in the coming year is the necessity of going through a rigorous accreditation review process by the Southern Association of College and Schools - Committee on Colleges.
Being reaccredited is important to every college because accreditation is an official stamp of approval on the college's programs and operations.
HER LMU Background
Dr. Moody has been president of Lincoln Memorial University since 2002, and in that time LMU's enrollment increased by 90 percent.
A Tusculum press release said, "Under her leadership the university initiated the Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine, expanded the Caylor School of Nursing to include a master of science in nursing degree program with family nurse practitioner and nurse anesthesia concentrations, developed the proposed physician assistant program, School of Law, doctorate of education degree program, undergraduate programs including criminal justice and music and opened five new extended site learning centers.
"The Railsplitter athletic department also moved from the NCAA Division II Gulf South Conference to the South Atlantic Conference.
"With Dr. Moody at the helm, LMU experienced seven years of positive fiscal management which allowed the university to invest $12 million into institutional priorities. Additionally, she oversaw nearly $25 million in fundraising initiatives.
"During this time, LMU completed four large-scale renovation projects, the construction of five new apartment-style residence halls, the conversion of an off-campus hotel to graduate student apartments, the construction of a 105,000-square-foot medical school building and a 30,000-square-foot educational building."
Dr. Moody received her associate and baccalaureate degrees in nursing from Eastern Kentucky University, a master's of science in nursing from Texas Woman's University and a doctorate of science in nursing from the University of Alabama's School of Nursing at Birmingham.
Her professional career in higher education began at LMU as an instructor of nursing. She later served in several roles at LMU, culminating in her appointment as the dean of LMU's School of Professional Studies before joining the faculty at East Tennessee State University where she was tenured and served as department chairman.
She went on to become an associate professor at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, while also serving as the executive director of the Tennessee Center of Nursing.
Dr. Moody currently chairs the executive committee for the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association and serves on the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation Board of Directors. She is a member of the NCAA Division II President's Council and is an active participant on the boards of the Appalachian Colleges Association and the Tennessee Center for Nursing, Inc.
Dr. Moody held several positions in the nursing field, including most recently as an associate professor, from 2000-01, at the University of Tennessee's College of Nursing. She was also the executive director for the Tennessee Center for Nursing for those two years.
From 1994-2000, Dr. Moody was an associate professor and chair in the Department of Professional Roles/Mental Health Nursing in the College of Nursing at East Tennessee State University.
From 1984-94, Dr. Moody was associate professor and dean in the School of Nursing and Allied Health at Lincoln Memorial University.
Prior to that, from 1974-84, she was an instructor/assistant professor for the Department of Nursing at Lincoln Memorial University.
From 1972-75, she was a staff nurse.
Dr. Moody is married to Tom Moody, a self-employed public accountant in Knoxville. He will be moving here with his wife while continuing as a public accountant in Knoxville. His business is Tax World.
Dr. Moody and her husband, who was present for her interview with the Sun, said they are "the proud parents of grown children, daughter, Mykel, and son, Adam."
Last November, the Sun reported that Dr. Moody was a "leading candidate" for the position.
Dr. Moody was the only one of four candidates considered during the college's latest presidential search last fall and to have been invited for on-campus visits, Bowman said.
Dr. Russell Nichols, interim president of Tusculum College since September 2008 and an adviser to the search committee, said then he thought Dr. Moody was "the only candidate that in the committee's eyes was worthy of a visit to the campus."
On Saturday, Dr. Bowman, who also participated in what was a joint interview with the Sun, said of Dr. Moody, that since November she has always been the leading candidate for Tusculum College's presidency.
Tusculum College has been without a permanent president since Dr. Dolphus Henry suddenly departed at the end of a college board of trustees meeting in May 2007, doing so after the trustees informed Henry his services were no longer desired.
Since then, the college has conducted two previous unsuccessful searches for a permanent president. It announced last winter that it had narrowed its search to two candidates, Dr. Craig Turner, persident of Hardin-Simmons College in Texas, and Dr. J. Patrick Raines, dean of Belmont University's College of Business in Nashville.
However, Turner withdrew from consideration when he accepted the presidency of Catawba College in Salisbury, N.C., only notifyng Tusculum through an e-mail.
After it was made publicly clear that Raines had been Tusculum's second choice, he also withdrew from consideration.
A second presidential search last spring was concluded without the Search Commitee recommending anyone.
The pressure to choose a permanent president had lessened when Dr. Nichols agreed to continue as Tusculum's interim president for a second year.
When he departs at the end of May, Dr. Nichols will have served as Tusculum College's interim president for nearly two years.
Dr. Moody said she has heard nothing but positive comments regarding Dr. Nichols' stewardship of the college since September 2008.
She said that they have met several times and will be meeting more.
Dr. Moody said, "I think it will be a very congenial transition."