At the Unity College Board of Trustees meeting on Friday, February 22, the board welcomed its new chair, Sharon Reishus. In addition to her new role on the board, Reishus, who previously served as vice chair of the board, is a strategic advisor to the electric power sector and has served as a chair of the state regulatory agency that oversaw electricity, natural gas, water, and telecommunications in Maine. Early in her career, she served as an intelligence briefer to President Ronald Reagan while serving as senior duty officer in The White House Situation Room.

“I want to welcome Sharon to her new role as board chair,” said Unity College President Dr. Melik Peter Khoury. “She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to our board, and I look forward to continuing to work with her in this new role.”

The board voted to move forward with a formal agreement to keep the President in his role for at least the next six years, in order to see the new strategic plan, currently titled Unity College 2025, to fruition.

“As the landscape of higher education continues to change, the first thing I wanted to do as the chair of Unity College’s Board of Trustees was to ensure stability and secure Dr. Khoury’s position as President of Unity College,” Reishus said. “He has our unanimous support, and for good reason. The board has seen so much success during Dr. Khoury’s time as President, from successfully sunsetting the previous strategic plan, which brought to fruition new academic and auxiliary programs that have set the College on a course of solid financial footing and sustained growth. Now that we have all agreed to this formal commitment, I’m excited for the community to truly rally behind Dr. Khoury as Unity College continues down the path of success.”

While the board and the President agreed in principle on his commitment in September, this move makes it official, ensuring that Dr. Khoury will stay for at least six more years, and leaving the option for him to remain in that role as far beyond should he so choose.

“During this unprecedented disruption in higher education, discipline, stability, and innovation are the cornerstones for success,” said Dr. Khoury. “I am humbled by the faith that the board has put into me to fulfill the mission of the College, especially in these times when our mission is more important than ever.”

“The board determined that there is no doubt Dr. Khoury is the right person for this job,” added Reishus. “Moving forward, Unity College is going to lean into the unconventional, become more nimble, and ultimately grow in various ways, and Dr. Khoury has had a proven track record over the past six years in those areas.”

Unlike some strategic plans, Unity College 2025 is not a list of important projects, but a framework for prioritization and decision making. Unity College has chosen to prioritize the element of audience above all else. “Audience” is best defined as a segment of society that needs a program, experiences, or product that Unity College can deliver in fulfilling its mission of ensuring the abundance of environmental and sustainability leaders.

“Our mission should not be seen as being political, nor as a niche in the world of higher education, but rather as the very nucleus of our planet’s survival,” said Dr. Khoury. “The environment is central to everything we do, and my vision for Unity College is that we become the hub of sustainability education for individuals, governmental organizations, businesses, and anyone who has the desire to better understand sustainability as we all embrace our roles in the environmental century.”

Unity College 2025 has three goals:

  • To serve audiences through engagement with Unity College and its mission in response to clearly identified needs.
  • Establish the Enterprise approach at Unity College as an exemplar of organizational flexibility and responsiveness.
  • Share the story of Unity College through powerful storytelling and inspiring thought-leadership.