Grand Valley State University’s fifth president Philomena Mantella delivered some of her plans for the university at a July 14 Board of Trustees meeting. Under her leadership, Mantella aims to connect GVSU and its students with ample opportunities and plans to do so using her background in college administration.
Since her first day on campus July 1, Mantella has worked to secure positive relationships within the community. Moving forward, she recognized the strengths that GVSU has while also touching on challenges that come with seeking a college education.
“Grand Valley is uniquely positioned with its student-centered education, rooted in liberal education and blended with professional studies,” Mantella said, who went on to also address the rising tuition and student loan rates.
Through her experience in higher education, Mantella aims to bring a focused, opportunistic approach to GVSU’s future.
“We need to continue to drive learner outcomes, relevance and lifetime value,” Mantella said. “We must be distinct and visible to our populace so they recognize what we are doing. We must build a growth mindset. We cannot rely on government funds and student tuition alone for the actions that are consistent with our mission, that are consistent with our long view of stewardship and the urgency of today’s conditions. We must activate our full community.”
Mantella’s passion for higher education formed from her background as a first-generation college student, now emphasizing the importance of making college more accessible. She also said that change is incited through teamwork.
“I have every confidence that we — not me, but we together — have the potential to set the path, set the pace and the conditions to excel,” Mantella said.
Mantella’s investiture ceremony will take place in Allendale on November 15.