Bowling Green State University President Mary Ellen Mazey will be retiring this month after seven years with the school.
The first goal of any university president should be for the school to be in better shape on his or her final day than on the first.
Not many meet this goal. But Mary Ellen Mazey did. During her seven-year tenure as president of Bowling Green State University, Ms. Mazey, who is retiring on Dec. 31, oversaw $500 million in infrastructure investment, improved retention and graduation rates, was a prolific fund-raiser, and pushed enrollment up to more than 19,300 students.
“I am more than satisfied with where we are,” Ms. Mazey told The Blade’s editorial board. “If I thought I had a lot to do, I would stick around.”
The two points of emphasis for Ms. Mazey were quality of life on campus and career tracks for students. Thus, the student recreation center underwent a $14 million renovation during her tenure and education programming was expanded, notably with the creation of the forensic science and aviation programs. Partnerships with the business community have also been solidified to create more internship opportunities and post-academic career prospects.
“It is all about the student. We want to make sure they have a career after leaving here,” she said.
Ms. Mazey told The Blade she was deeply affected by the death of university vice president Steve Krakoff, who died in October from cancer at the age of 61. She said his death reminded her very keenly that our days are finite. She turns 69 next month, and plans to, among other things, spend more time with her three grandchildren in Cincinnati. That’s been part of Ms. Mazey’s charm — she is a warm and real human being.
Mary Ellen Mazey is a true leader, a fine administrator, and her record is one of tangible and lasting accomplishment. Her gain — of peace and time — is northwest Ohio’s loss.
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