McGadney discusses his new role and goals for the College

unnamedVice President and Secretary of the College Andrew McGadney may be the first person on campus to embrace the standing desk trend, which boasts many health benefits. “It’s my wife’s idea, so I’m trying it out,” he said after explaining that he is trying to reverse the effects of having to drive 50-minutes to work every day over the past eight years. McGadney’s new office in Eustis is only about a mile and a half away from his home in Waterville.

Prior to arriving at the College, McGadney worked at several other higher education institutions. After graduating from Wesleyan University, he worked for United Technologies Corporation for several years before venturing back to his alma mater to work in the alumni relations field. He stayed there for twelve years before taking a position as Vice President for University Advancement at Clark University, staying “within the fundraising and alumni, parent and friend engagement realm,” he said. McGadney remained at Clark for eight years before coming to Colby this past August.

The selection process that went into hiring McGadney involved a broad group of campus representatives and members of the Board of Trustees. “[McGadney] was chosen for this position for a number of reasons. He has great breadth and depth of experience…having had substantial experience at Wesleyan University prior to his time at Clark. In his previous jobs, he was known for his exceptional judgment, his collaborative approach to work, his deep regard for the intellectual mission of the college, and his capacity to solve complex problems and make significant improvements,” said President David Greene in an email correspondence.

While McGadney’s new role at the College does not encompass the fundraising realm (the area he formerly specialized in), Greene has asked him to serve as an interim Vice President of Development until someone else can fill the position. “The job at Colby is one that’s really exciting. I’m honored to be in this role to partner with Colby’s 20th president….My work here is partnering very closely with the Board of Trustees, the president and the senior staff, looking at governance issues for the Board, [and working] with the provost and members of the faculty on new strategic initiatives that come down the pipe. I’m happy to engage in those areas. It’s really a great opportunity to understand, learn, partner with the team on various issues to enhance the college,” he said.

McGadney also discussed the way his former jobs play into his role at Colby. “The key piece of the puzzle is really about…the ability to build, foster and strengthen relationships. That’s something I’ve done throughout my entire career, and in this particular role [at the College], relationships are critical to long-term success with the board, faculty, senior staff and students. In order to partner, lead and motivate, it’s important to have that basis of strong relationships,” he said.

McGadney believes that his primary role at the College is to help  “make a great institution even better—that’s the short answer,” he said. “It’s an exciting moment in Colby’s history where you have a new president that has really awesome aspirational goals and a vision for the institution. So, part of my role is to really help to make sure those goals and aspirations are realized, and a large part of the work that I’m doing is…operationalizing the board or the faculty or senior staff to…ensure we’re working together toward a unified goal,” he said.

When McGadney is not on campus, he is only a short walk away. “I can see the Hill, which is awesome. I could walk to work,” he said. His three children attend public school in Waterville, and his “wife is loving the Colby community,” he said. “We’ve made really great, fast friends with faculty and the senior staff…. It’s a very warm kind of collegial feel….The thing that’s always struck me since I arrived is [that] there’s this genuineness about people’s interest in you….There’s this easy-going nature with people here, and maybe that’s the tagline of Maine, you know, ‘The way life should be,’” he added.

McGadney views winter as one of his family’s greatest tasks in adjusting to life in Maine. “I think the challenge for us now is to embrace the long winters. What I’ve learned is that we really need to just embrace the outdoors because that’s the way to thrive in Waterville, Maine,” he said. At the end of the interview, McGadney mentioned that in several hours, he would be going to watch his daughter in her kickball game. “I’m excited to get to do that after a day of work,” he said.

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