WLU presidential search update: Dr. Melinda Arnold met with campus community Nov. 2

On Monday Nov. 2, West Liberty University presidential candidate Dr. Melinda Arnold visited the WLU campus and held an open meeting for students, faculty and the community. The meeting took place in the Kelly Theatre in the Fine Arts building and was also accessible to view through Zoom. A recording of the meeting is now also available to view on Topper Station. Students were encouraged to participate in the meeting and ask questions.
The meeting opened with Arnold giving a background of herself, explaining that she is from Montanna and currently holds the position of Provost at Montana State University. She went on to give a brief overview of her previous positions such as both Interim Associate Provost and Executive Director of the Police Institute at the University of North Texas at Dallas. Arnold mentioned her primary field being criminal justice (which is one of the largest majors at West Liberty) and more specifically risk assessment and offender reentry after prison.
After the brief introduction, the floor was opened for questions. When asked about tenure, Arnold was fully supportive of, and stated her recognition in the value of having tenured positions having seen the importance of it in her own career.
The next question was simply “Why West Liberty?” In response Arnold said, “ West Liberty is representative of all the things that I’ve done in my past, particularly where I’ve worked. I’ve always worked at regional comprehensive institutions and always believed that these institutions really do form the bond – they’re the glue that keeps communities together and serve an incredibly important purpose.” She also made a point of the success of WLU under Greiner and her hope to be able to continue that growth and build on the achievements of the university.

Over the next five years, Arnold said, “West Liberty is poised to just go anywhere it wants to go.” The plans in place for both graduate and undergraduate programs are a focus point, but Arnold would also like to see an expansion in the area of adult learners at WLU, a segment that has been left fairly untouched in previous years.
Arnold also discussed her communication style. “Communication style is pretty informal. I like to hangout, I like to chat with people, I like to stop in on classes and hear what’s being taught,” she said.
The meeting closed with Arnold thanking people for coming. Her day continued talking to the campus community and getting to know West Liberty better.