By JUSTIN TONEY
On March 10, the UMW Board of Visitors appointed Judy G. Hample as the University of Mary Washington’s eighth president and first female president.
Hample will remain in her current position as chancellor for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) until July 1, when she officially takes on the title of university president.
At her introduction to a gathering of students, faculty and community members in Dodd Auditorium this past Monday, she said that she is looking forward to working with the University.
“I really look forward to being on a University campus again,” Hample said.
Rector J. William Poole introduced Hample to the auditorium, tearing up with emotion as he readied to announce her. Pausing to compose himself, Poole explained, “It’s been a long process.”
According to Poole, Hample was informed that the board had elected her from the handful of finalists selected by the Presidential Search Committee to fill the position.
In her first address to a UMW audience, Hample expressed her excitement to join the University and her enthusiasm for the development of academia and diversity at UMW. Afterward, she answered questions from the audience.
Acting President Rick Hurley also delivered an introduction for Hample in which he said that he was happy to serve in the position. “I’m happy for the university and I’m happy for her,” Hurley said.
“She said exactly the same thing I would have said,” said Hurley, who added that he had mixed emotions about leaving his position.
As chairman for PASSHE, Hample oversees 14 universities, a $1.8 billion budget and more than 12,000 faculty and staff.
When asked why she would choose to work at Mary Washington instead of her current position, she explained that she has a passion for liberal arts education.
“I don’t think of UMW as a little Virginia college,” she said, “I think of it as an outstanding Virginia liberal arts college.”
“One of the things I love about this institution is its size,” she added while responding to a question about whether or not she would try to expand the University.
“We want to expand in terms of the academic,” she said, adding that she has no plans to expand student enrollment.
In answering questions from the audience, she also expressed her intention to address what she saw as problems in the state of residence halls, faculty compensation and diversity on campus.
Hample predicted that this will be the last move of her career saying, “I spent most of my career on University campuses, and that really is my first love.”
Hample said that in 2005, when the position became available after former President William Anderson retired, she considered taking the position, but ultimately decided against it due to the public nature of the selection process at the time.
Despite student protests, Poole holds that the closed nature of the selection process improved the quality of applicants for the position.
Poole said that of those considered by the Search Committee, 40 percent were presidents or chancellors in higher education.
When the position again became available this past summer after then-President William Frawley was removed, Hample said that she sought out the position.
“You have excellent students and excellent faculty,” said Hample to the Bullet, “and you bring those two together in an environment I find very conducive to learning.
“It’s a very attractive position.”
Her contract, which was certified on Tuesday, promises a $300,000 salary for the next five years. As president of Mary Washington, she will have use of the Brampton mansion, and a school car.
In her current position, Hample earns $327,718. She also has use of a Pennsylvania-owned house and car. Among her upper-administrative peers in the PASSHE, Hample is the highest paid public official.