A Busy Day in the Life of the Towson University President
For Towson University President Kim Schatzel, the day starts early.
“My manufacturing background makes me an early riser,” she says. “I catch up on the news of the day and answer emails with my morning cup of coffee.”
As the campus learned two years ago when she arrived from Michigan, she is a devout social media user. (Follow her @kimschatzel on Twitter and Instagram.)
“Social media helps me stay connected to our students and for them to know what I am doing, which I think is important,” Schatzel says.
Schatzel talks with United Way of Central Maryland leadership. The speech gives her an opportunity to emphasize the importance of higher education and earning a degree.
“For our current students and those yet to come, Towson University and all public universities must continue to work to ensure that higher education—the proven path to greater opportunities and better lives—remains open,” she says. “Creating opportunity is what we are all about.”
By mid-morning, Schatzel sits at a conference table in her office in the university’s Administration Building. This seat gives her a view of the massive construction project that, by fall 2020, will become TU’s largest academic building: a $162 million new Science Complex.
Schatzel meets with senior staff and her vice president of the Division of Innovation and Applied Research to discuss the university’s potential RISE Zone status. If approved, this designation “will advance the university’s connectedness and impact throughout the region,” she says.
Although she frequently lunches with key members of the business community or other important constituents, some days Schatzel simply grabs a healthy option from the café on the first floor of the Administration Building. She may use this time to catch up on office work and emails.
Schatzel also frequently meets with students, including editors of the university’s student newspaper, The Towerlight, and members of the Student Government Association.
Between mid-January and early April, much of her focus is 45 miles south of campus, as Maryland’s General Assembly convenes for 90 days in the state capitol. Schatzel routinely meets with key senators and delegates this time of year to advocate for the next campus construction priority: a new College of Health Professions building.
Schatzel’s leadership of Towson University is guided by her strong core values, her drive and her eight presidential priorities. Among them is the university’s commitment to a diverse, inclusive and welcoming campus.
Schatzel meets with the university’s first vice president for inclusion and institutional equity to track the university’s diversity progress—44 percent of new students who enrolled last fall were students of color and 22 percent identified as African-American.
“We work hard here to foster a diverse and inclusive campus and an educational experience that ensures every one of our students thrive and reach their fullest potential at Towson University,” Schatzel says.
Ten hours into her day, Schatzel—wearing her usual black and gold—heads toward Unitas Stadium to cheer on the women’s lacrosse team as they battle Michigan. Schatzel regularly attends activities across campus, including athletics, cultural, social and educational events.
After exchanging high-fives on her way out of the stadium, Schatzel—whose rear license tag holder reads “Tiger for Life”—makes the short drive home.
Schatzel prepares for her first meeting as the Colonial Athletic Association representative on the NCAA Division I Presidential Forum. She is the first female representative from the CAA, and the first leader of a Maryland institution, to sit on the forum. This role gives Schatzel an opportunity to represent the CAA and the university on a national stage.
“These have been the best two years of my life,” she says. “And there truly are great things ahead.”