by Kaitlyn Thompson
On Nov. 16, 2017, Dr. Jane Milley became the official interim president for WVU Parkersburg. Since then, Dr. Milley has been working hard to create new opportunities for students, faculty, staff and community members.
Dr. Milley is well accomplished and has spent much of her life devoted to bettering the education system wherever she was. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Boston University, master’s from Columbia University and her Ph.D. from Syracuse University. Higher education was a dream for Dr. Milley, and because of her persistence and dedication, she was able to accomplish all that she had set out to do.
“It (education) has enabled me to have access to travel, to owning my own home, owning a decent car, contributing to other entities that I’m interested in,” Dr. Milley said. “Education has provided me with that. It was a possibility. It was a dream, and it was a dream that came true.”
With over 40 years of experience in the education field, Dr. Milley has discovered many things. First, higher education is the key to a better, long term future. No matter what level of degree you pursue as a student, Dr. Milley finds that each ladder will lead you to a better and brighter future for yourself and your family. Second, communication is key.
“I think, to me anyway… you have to be able to communicate with everybody at their own level. Not because you’re the president of the college, but because you are talking to another person…, and you need to be able to communicate, not in a superior way at all, but at a level with anyone,” Dr. Milley said.
While it has only been a few months since beginning her duties, Dr. Milley has set several goals to achieve. She wishes to increase the activity on campus by bringing many outside opportunities here. One way she is going to accomplish this, is by bringing in local school choral groups. Dr. Milley has recognized how wonderful choral groups are around here and finds that it would be a good way to begin the journey of bringing people to WVU Parkersburg. She also plans to increase fundraising through grants, private gifts, foundation gifts and more to support what goes on at the college with education.
At WVU Parkersburg, there are many activities in which students can partake, but Dr. Milley wishes to expand extracurriculars and see more student involvement. By creating more opportunities for both traditional and nontraditional students, she hopes to appeal to the student body and increase the number of students at the college.
Dr. Milley wishes to find out what we can do that will give the public more information about what is happening on campus. She excels at getting out into the community, trying to spread the word about activities and all the college represents.
“I try to make sure that I can get out as much as I can, and others can help us spread the word about what WVU Parkersburg is all about,” Dr. Milley said.
Dr. Milley has enjoyed her time here so far as the college as president. She has come to know the faculty and staff and learn what they enjoy most or wish to see at the college. Just recently she began a luncheon with the faculty to discuss matters and what they wish to let the president know. Dr. Milley enjoyed the time she spent with the faculty so much, she is going to make this a biweekly event.
“It’s mostly about my listening to what they have to say. I really enjoy talking with the faculty and the staff. I think the faculty and staff are tremendously devoted and care about student success,” Dr. Milley said.
With the search for the new president underway, Dr. Milley is involved, but focuses her attention on the job at hand. She is here at WVU Parkersburg as the interim president, just as she was before when she was the interim senior Vice President for Academic Affairs from April ‘15 to ‘16.
In her experience at WVU Parkersburg, Dr. Milley has advice that she would give to the next president. She has found that a president should possess a tremendous need to bring the community and the campus together. Also, the new president should have good communication with the faculty and staff. Dr. Milley also advises the new president to be open to new program development and fundraising opportunities.
“The new president needs to get to know the area and West Virginia, and understand what it’s like not to be in a major metropolitan area,” Dr. Milley said.