Talking Tenure, Layoffs, Tik Toks and more with President Daniel Myers

Sarah Badorf England, Web/Multimedia Editor

One of President Daniel Myers main goals coming into his new role was to increase notoriety of Misericordia University, he decided that making informational Tik Toks would be a great way to do this. Myers realizes that social media is a huge part of a lot of people’s lives, knowing this he believes that it is the perfect way to bring the students and staff of the university together. Due to a personal experience, Myers opinion was shaped about the impact of Tik Toks. “It just made me realize how real and present Tik Tok is, this is a real interaction that people are having, this means something. This is how people are interacting and expressing themselves about things that are really important to them. It made me realize in a deeper way how important it is to use social media in the right ways to connect with each other and express things that are important.” Myers is the first president of Misericordia to promote the university on social media, talking about serious topics and creating content for fun.

“You have to care about the people you’re working with, it’s the bedrock of what we think great leadership is. You have to derive your satisfaction of your work from the success of others.”

President Myers preaches that a leader must care about what they are working towards. Dr. Myers’s ability and willingness to care for those he is working around is what he hopes will get the university past recent struggles, while also having plans to move forward and become better as a whole.

As of last semester 11 faculty members were terminated, 5 faculty members retired, and about 8 professors and staff members left by choice. Meaning that Misericordia lost about 24 faculty and staff members this past semester and summer, according to Joseph Curran, professor of religious studies and chair of faculty senate. Curran feels that it’s unfortunate that some

professors left the university by choice. “All of these faculty members were a loss, it’s a shame to see people leave the university who were making a contribution because they think another place would be a better place to work. I want to concentrate on making this the kind of place that people will want to come to and work at. I believe it will become that again,” said Curran. Curran expressed how confident he is in President Myers’ ability to make Misericordia a place that students and faculty members will want to be at.

President Myers knows how big of an impact covid has had on Misericordia and other universities. Myers understands that it’s a challenging time for schools right now, he found that about 650,000 jobs have been lost in the higher education sector in the past year. He feels that despite the challenges, we are lucky that the financial group has done a good job to create a firm foundation. “I hope that everyone can appreciate how much extra effort that their faculty members and staff around the university are putting in. They are being called on to get things up to speed to make sure that the students have a good experience.”

One of President Myer’s deciding factors in coming to the university was the student experience. With the recent struggles, Myers hopes to grow new opportunities for students and staff to maintain that incredible experience that pulled him in. “We were in a strategic planning retreat with people across the university and the purpose of this is to produce the pathway forward for us with new things we are going to do here in a way that will be great for students and for our ability to sustain ourselves to be able to hire more faculty and staff in the future.”

“There’s a few things that need to be done including producing a new track of faculty promotions that have to be updated in the faculty handbook and be approved to various levels, along with reinstating the normal tenure process. We are going to work through all of those things this year to try and be back operating in a normal way.”

Getting things back to normal is very important to President Myers. Myers heavily values the environment that Misericordia has to offer. “The big thing for me this year is thinking about our academic programs and refreshing what we are offering, understanding what the market is out there for jobs and for people to go to grad school. And also making sure that our programs are targeted really well towards those things. It benefits students and it benefits us because it gives us the opportunity to bring in more students.” President Myers emphasized how important it is for a leader to care about the work that they are putting in towards the university and community, these goals are a reflection on his view of the university.

President Myers learned while he was a professor that it’s crucial to be resilient and to pick yourself back up whenever things don’t go as planned and that’s exactly what he hopes to do for this University. Myers understands his responsibilities as the president but with his love to have fun he wants to accomplish these things for the university with a positive attitude and a smile on his face. Not only does President Myers want to be valued for his hard work and dedication but also his ability to be seen as a friend and someone to count on for serious matters or for even something as simple as a laugh.

“What you think you are getting when you get a new president is a person with the tie where everything is all put together and formal. I have a very fun side to me and I like to have fun, it’s an important part of life. Humor is a part of how I like to connect with people.”