The Unity College Board of Trustees has announced that Dr. Melik Peter Khoury will serve as the 11th sitting permanent President of Unity College.
The board voted unanimously Aug. 12 to appoint Khoury as president starting immediately in order to ensure long term continuity.
Khoury has served as President of Unity College in an interim role since January 3, when he was appointed to an initial 30-month contract. At the time of that appointment, Khoury was serving as Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer.
In an Aug. 12 letter to the college community announcing Khoury’s appointment, Board of Trustees Chairman John Newlin cited Khoury’s leadership results and bold vision as key factors in making the appointment.
“A year ago we set some very high expectations for Dr. Khoury,” Newlin said. “The truth is, Melik and the team he has assembled has met and significantly exceeded those lofty goals.”
“Three straight years of record enrollments, significant increases in revenue and budget, and consistent faculty and staff raises – proof points like these make Unity the envy of other small, private colleges in an era when small colleges are closing at an alarming rate,” Newlin said.
Khoury takes the challenges facing higher education as an opportunity to reimagine the industry and invite partnership, saying “The challenges facing higher education are an invitation to reinvigorate our institutions. I have been travelling around the state and country, meeting with corporations, lawmakers, foundations, and leaders of higher education, and I have been inviting them to partner with Unity College to reimagine sustainability and higher education for a post-partisan era,” Khoury said. “Some are taken aback by the boldness of our vision and our big tent approach, but most seem to find it refreshing.”
“Thanks in no small part to Dr. Khoury, Unity College is now in the enviable position to imagine the future of America’s Environmental College from a position of real strength,” Newlin said. “For well over three years, Dr. Melik Peter Khoury has demonstrated the relentless discipline to complete infrastructure, invest in personnel, institutionalize sustainability, commit unapologetically to student success, and realize a Unity College that promises financial viability into the future.”
Khoury said he is humbled by the appointment.
“This appointment is not about me,” he said. “Unity College is in the unique position to help redefine the nature of small, private higher education. I am thrilled to be a part of that undertaking and appreciate the Board of Trustees’ confidence in me.”
Alumni, faculty, and students are expressing support, as well.
“As I have renewed my relationship with my alma mater I have been overwhelmingly impressed,” said Chuck Johnson ‘73, a newly appointed member of the Board of Trustees. “Dr. Khoury blends a powerful vision for liberal arts education with the business acumen necessary to realize it. Continuity of leadership is essential for success and getting a long term commitment from Dr. Khoury was very important to the Board of Trustees.”
“The Unity College faculty are education innovators committed to helping students achieve their academic and personal goals, said William Hafford, Psy.D. ’08. “Dr. Khoury’s appointment and long term commitment mean that faculty will have an educational partner for years to come. I’m looking forward to the journey ahead.”
“Melik has been a student favorite since he came to Unity,” said Gunnar Norback, Unity College Senior and Student Government President. “Whether students are playing soccer, making presentations at the student conference, or eating in the cafeteria, Melik joins in and always wants to know what students are thinking and how they’re doing.”
“People outside of Unity College think I’m joking when I say our goal is simply to change the world. But we’re doing just that,” Khoury said. “One student at a time.”
Khoury has served in progressively broader leadership roles since arriving at Unity College in early 2013: first, as Senior Vice President for External Affairs, then Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer. In 2015 Khoury added Chief Academic Officer to his portfolio of responsibilities before becoming interim President in January of 2016. Dr. Melik Peter Khoury is now the eleventh sitting President of Unity College.
Khoury came to Unity from Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa, where he held the position of Senior Vice President for Strategic Positioning. Khoury previously served as Vice President for Enrollment Management and College Marketing at Culver Stockton College in Canton, Mo.; 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.
During his long and varied career in higher education, Khoury has held a full-time faculty appointment, coached men’s and women’s Soccer, and worked as director of residence life. Prior to committing to a life of service in higher education, Khoury worked overseas in international business.