Management Today - Spring 2016 - 63


PROFILES
istrative work and realized what an impact one could have
broadly across the university," she recalls. "It became
obvious to me that a really effective academic administrative leader is someone facilitating the great teaching and
learning of others. That's sort of my philosophy of what
I hope is an effective president. I'm successful if I can
inspire and facilitate great teaching and learning."
Although she enjoys the administrative work, Fitzsimmons wants Shenandoah University to be a teaching-focused institution, rather than simply research focused.
Everyone with academic credentials who works at the
university in any capacity teaches there as well, including
Fitzsimmons. "I teach a course every year," she says. "All
the deans teach two courses a year. That's really important
in terms of keeping us in touch with why we do what we do;
we're attuned to the academic calendar and making sure we
know who our students are."
Fitzsimmons is the university's first female president,
and she thinks holding this title just affirms Shenandoah
University's position as an open and inclusive institution.
"It provides a role model for students, alumni and other
members of the community," she says. "We all know that
women can do this kind of job and it's great when they do
actually get to do it."

phies feed upon each other. "We are a broad family here at
Shenandoah in the way we care for each other in faculty,
the way we care for students and the way students care for
each other," she says. "We have found a way to incorporate
that feeling broadly across the campus."
Always Improving
Fitzsimmons has launched several construction projects
throughout the Shenandoah campus. One is a $25 million
residence hall program, consisting of five small communities that will house 24 students in each building. Every
building will have six four-bedroom apartments, where
students will have a private bedroom but be able to engage
with fellow students in communal spaces such as fire pits,
pool tables and lounging areas. "Communal spaces are
where they really engage learning," Fitzsimmons adds.
A year ago, the university completed a new health and
life sciences building to house the school of nursing, as well
as the respiratory care, athletic training, biology, chemistry
and pre-health programs.

Intertwined Learning
Shenandoah University believes in combining many
different educational aspects and principles so students
can get the most out of their education. The university is
equally focused on both professional education and liberal arts as a combined way to learn. "We believe in the
intertwining of the two of them," Fitzsimmons explains.
"Lots of institutions are starting to integrate professional training but we've been that way since the beginning.
We believe students need to have a career they're identifying and training for."
An all-inclusive education that prepares students
for life outside school is the university's key focus. "We
spend a lot of time thinking about where the future of
these pathways are going," Fitzsimmons notes. "Our goal
is to construct curricula so they are prepared for their
career when they graduate and what that career could be
in another 20 years."
The university is also committed to combining its
philosophies of compassion and excellence. Fitzsimmons
says that some philosophies believe that "to have excellence, one must be aloof and not be touched by matters of
the heart," and vice versa. But she says the two philosoSPRING 2016 MANAGEMENTTODAY-MAGAZINE.COM

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Management Today - Spring 2016

Contents
Management Today - Spring 2016 - Cover1
Management Today - Spring 2016 - Cover2
Management Today - Spring 2016 - 1
Management Today - Spring 2016 - Contents
Management Today - Spring 2016 - 3
Management Today - Spring 2016 - 4
Management Today - Spring 2016 - 5
Management Today - Spring 2016 - 6
Management Today - Spring 2016 - 7
Management Today - Spring 2016 - 8
Management Today - Spring 2016 - 9
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Management Today - Spring 2016 - Cover3
Management Today - Spring 2016 - Cover4
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