Mount St. Mary’s University
Timothy Trainor was dean of the U.S. Military Academy before retiring from the Army after 33 years in 2016.
When he left, he immediately was named interim president of Mount St. Mary’s University, a small, private, Catholic liberal arts school in Emmitsburg. The following year, he was inaugurated as president.
During the pandemic, Trainor said his top priority was to provide students with a safe learning environment.
“That meant figuring out how to have students on campus in a safe living and learning environment, using a combination of both in-person and remote classes,” he said.
“We also provided spiritual, social and athletic activities to promote student mental, emotional and physical well-being. This is what was best for the success of our students — not keeping them at home in a fully remote learning mode.”
The best management style to use through the pandemic, Trainor said, is collaborative and transparent.
“We used large multifunctional teams of people across the organization to help us determine how best to safely reopen the university and effectively deliver education,” he explained. “We also emphasized consistent communication using multiple modes such as email, video and social media.”
Trainor said he realized he could become an influential person when he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general and named dean of the U.S. Military Academy.
“I was responsible for a large organization with many component units and a very important mission,” he said. “I am in a similar position now.”
Trainor graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the U.S. Military Academy. He has an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke and a doctorate in industrial engineering from North Carolina State University.