TEAM = Together in Excellence, Affirming our Mission

  • New UMES president outlines her initial plans

    Sunday, September 9, 2018
    Dr. Heidi M. Anderson

    Dr. Heidi M. Anderson's whirlwind first week as UMES' 16th leader began with fund-raising outreach in Orlando and ended today at Metropolitan United Methodist Church in a traditional gesture recognizing the 132nd anniversary of the university and the church as Princess Anne landmarks. 

    In between, Anderson demonstrated a high-energy willingness to immerse herself in campus life.  After all, students already had a head start on her since classes started Aug. 27. 

    Sept. 1 was Anderson's official first day on the job, but she made it a point to appear at student activities, including move-in day, where she described being “inspired by their joy and their stories of what they are expecting now that they are Hawks.” 

    Anderson shared that anecdote and outlined her plans and vision for the university at a “welcome” event Sept. 7 at the Ella Fitzgerald Center for the Performing Arts. 

    “We open a new chapter in the distinguished history of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore,” she said.  “As a public institution of higher education designed to serve the citizens of Maryland, and particularly, first-generation college students, could we really be at any better place?” 

    She wasted no time pinpointing where she'll be directing her energies. 

    “I am driven to succeed on three specific fronts right now - growing enrollment, increasing fundraising to sustain our community, and passionately pursuing our mission to educate first-generation students in Maryland,” she said. 

    Over her first 100 days in office Anderson said she will hold a series of meetings, first with students, then with faculty and staff and the community she's calling “Listen-Learn-Lead” town halls.

     “One thing you will soon learn about me,” she told the audience, “is that I love to listen and I love to learn. I consider those essential talents for a president.” 

    She also unveiled a slogan she said will shape her approach to shared governance; TEAM - Together in Excellence, Affirming our Mission 

    “When I see you and ask how you are or what is going on in a class or what we might do to help you help students succeed, I want to know,” she said, adding “I want to know what you think about how we might address those issues, needs, concerns.” 

    “When I ask you why, I want to learn more about your perceptions and experiences so we can lead together,” she said. 

    Anderson also challenged the audience to “look at ways we can reframe our messages among ourselves and to our stakeholders; remove barriers to access and success; recognize what large and small experiences tell us about who we are and what we do; realize we have challenges; and respond to those challenges with new ways of knowing, seeing, and acting.”  

    A first-generation college graduate, Anderson said that achievement demonstrated that higher education can and does make a difference in people's lives. 

    “We change lives at this institution, and through higher education by challenging people to be more than they thought they could be.” 

    “I can't really tell you how proud I am to represent and to be part of this transformational work at this time in our lives,” she said.