A seasoned college administrator with a strong track record of program and resource development has been tapped for a newly created senior level position at Unity College in Unity, Maine.
President Stephen Mulkey, an internationally recognized scientist, announced that Dr. Melik Peter Khoury has been appointed to the newly created position of Senior Vice President for External Affairs (SVPEA).
“The entire College community is pleased to welcome Dr. Khoury, an individual with a long list of achievements in higher education,” said Mulkey. “There are critically important junctures in the development of every institution of higher education. This is a time when Unity College is rising to the most important environmental challenge of this era, the mitigation of climate change. Dr. Khoury’s role will be critically important as Unity strives to reach its potential and broaden its constituency for the development of the next generation of environmental leaders.”
Developing strong revenue streams and increasing programming capacity for Unity’s extensive physical resources will be within Khoury’s purview.
“Developing strong revenue streams and serving Unity’s mission are not inconsistent ideas,” Khoury said. “The two are actually inextricably linked. You can’t have a strong college without revenue.”
Supporting Unity’s Aspirations and Focus on Sustainability Science
Khoury praised Unity’s focus on sustainability, defined as a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged. Sustainability is so important to Unity College and its culture that it recently became the first college in the United States to divest its portfolio from investments in fossil fuels, an action that is motivated by the reality that humanity is facing a planetary crisis due to human caused global climate change directly related to carbon emissions.
“Divesting from fossil fuels became an inevitable step toward our commitment to the environment, and I believe that this is only the beginning of ‘firsts’ for Unity College under the leadership of President Mulkey and the Board of Trustees,” Khoury stated. “I am proud to be one of the newest Unity members to support, lead and advance our commitment for a better tomorrow.”
Leading the Office of External Affairs (OEA) and overseeing the departments of Development, Enrollment, and Marketing, Khoury will develop, support, and evaluate short, mid, and long-term externally oriented strategic goals in service to Unity College’s environmental mission. The OEA is the campus epicenter for envisioning Unity’s arc of development. It is focused on providing the impetus and planning to help Unity College achieve the institutional goal of becoming a nationally recognized, leading-edge environmental college focused on sustainability science as the “what’s next” of higher education for 21st century environmental problem solving.
“Unity College has a clear and relevant vision, purpose, and niche, which are key ingredients in the success of any small private college in the 21st century,” Khoury said. “I borrow from the words of Margaret Mead who stated ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world: indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.’”
Building Capacity and a Vibrant Future
The SVPEA creates interdepartmental synergy to ensure that Unity is well positioned for the demands of the higher education arena for the coming years. Through Khoury’s efforts all constituents, internal and external, will appreciate, partner, and support Unity College’s mission in its role in attracting, retaining, graduating, and placing prepared environmental stewards, effective leaders, and responsible citizens into the world.
“It all starts with living the mission,” Khoury said. “In the short time that I have been a part of this community, I have no doubt that we do, and will continue to do so in the years to come.”
Khoury says that he was attracted to Unity College because of its sense of self-awareness and knowledge of what it wishes to become and why.
“From a macro perspective, any initiative that is undertaken, whether it be from an environmental, economic, or political perspective, must be sustainable or is doomed to fail,” Khoury stated. “The fact that I get to be part of an institution that strives to be the thought leader in ensuring that sustainability is the lens that we use to scrutinize each perspective is simply an opportunity I could not pass up.”
He possesses extensive senior-level higher education experience including most recently serving as the Senior Vice President for Strategic Positioning at Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa. He has also served as Vice President for Enrollment Management and College Marketing at Culver Stockton College in Canton, Missouri; Vice President for Enrollment Management at Paul Smith’s College in New York; and Director of Admissions at the University of Maine at Fort Kent, where he also served concurrently as an Adjunct Business Faculty, Head Men’s Soccer Coach, and Assistant Women’s Soccer Coach.
Diversity and International Expansion are Important
Throughout his career Khoury has guided colleges and universities through complex restructuring, international expansion, master planning, and capital campaigns. He has also streamlined operations to drive growth, implemented system-wide technology, and addressed issues relating to student enrollment, University-wide marketing, and business processes redesign.
Khoury brings a strong international perspective with a focus on diversity and financial management skills within higher education to the position. He holds a Doctorate in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. The title of his doctoral dissertation was: Culver-Stockton College: A descriptive case study analyzing culture, leadership and change to maintain financial sustainability.
He holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Maine and a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the University of Maine at Fort Kent.
Unity College is a science-based liberal arts college that inspires students to be leaders in sustainability science, to imagine and enact solutions to 21st century environmental issues, and to contribute to the renewal of civilization.