FAYETTE, Mo. – The job of site coordinator for Central Methodist University’s branch site in the Union area is roughly equal parts “educator” and “business manager.” In Tim Willard, CMU believes it struck the proper balance between the two.
Willard, a Union resident who has taught for CMU for over a decade, starts his new position April 1. CMU-Union operates from the East Central College (ECC) campus and enrolls approximately 170 students, according to Dr. Rita Gulstad, CMU Provost.
“I think many times we get caught up in seeing things as they are instead of what they could be,” Willard said. “CMU-Union is now a great place to get a degree, but it will be a life changing university opening up the dreams of students not yet envisioned.”
CMU’s site coordinator runs the day-to-day operations of the branch at ECC. They must market CMU degree programs, build and develop partnerships, supervise and support faculty, and advise students among other tasks.
Willard has taught CMU classes in business, marketing, management, organizational theory, and accounting. This past year he has also been teaching economics classes for East Central College, and has taught for Missouri Baptist University as well, all on a part-time basis.
The past two years Willard was business and technology administrator for Life Stream Church in Washington. Previously he spent 12 years doing marketing, operations, and business advising for a custom home builder in the area.
Willard received the bachelor of science degree in marketing and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, both from Maryville University in St. Louis.
As one might expect from someone with his business background, growth is at the top of Willard’s agenda for CMU-Union. He has set an ambitious goal to double CMU enrollment there in just two years.
Other objectives include meeting with local businesses and schools to promote CMU, helping students with job search techniques, and getting to know the name of everyone who attends CMU-Union. He aims to have a monthly Central Methodist University open house-type event to showcase its programs each month on the ECC campus.
Working closely with ECC officials will be of paramount importance to Willard. With few exceptions, CMU-Union students come through East Central College, and CMU-Union faculty members often teach for ECC. It is a relationship that has been in place since 1993, the second longest of Fayette-based CMU’s community college partnerships across Missouri.
CMU-Union offers bachelor’s degrees in accounting, business, child development, criminal justice, computer science, early childhood education, elementary education, general studies, middle school education, psychology, nursing (RN-to-BSN), sociology, and special education.
The Master of Education and the Master Science in Nursing degrees also are available.
Ultimately it all boils down to getting students to enroll in CMU programs, and then making certain those students get the support and services they need to complete them. Whether it is registering for class, applying for financial aid, or making sure students understand what they need in order to graduate, Willard knows that each student has unique needs and expectations.
“We will do everything with a degree of excellence that will be impossible to ignore,” Willard vowed.