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Presidential Qualities: Dr. Timothy Moore Discusses Indian River State College's Newest Chapter

Dr. Timothy Moore
Tania Ortega-Cowan
Dr. Timothy Moore

A discussion with the college’s new president about his perspective on leadership, and what we may expect moving forward.

It’s Inauguration Week, and the subject of presidents, and what the future may hold, is top of mind. Indian River State College - which is home to this station – also is starting a new chapter under a new president, Dr. Timothy Moore. So last week, we paid a visit to his office on the Fort Pierce main campus.

TM: I go by Tim. How are you?

TOC: Tim? Tania…

Late last year, the college’s longtime, beloved president, Dr. Ed Massey, retired after leading for decades.

TM: I’m the funny new guy that showed up back last September. And what I’m trying to do is take the great legacy that Dr. Massey left me here and build upon it and grow it to the next level.

We ask him to elaborate.

TM: We’ll start off, as you may know, we got a little check in the mailbox right before the holidays. MacKenzie Scott was very generous to us.

Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott has been extremely generous with her enormous personal wealth to fund the worthy efforts of thoroughly vetted organizations. She and her team looked at thousands in fact, and awarded Indian River State College the largest single donation in the college’s 60-year history: 45 million dollars.

TM: So, what does that mean? That means we’ve had a very vigorous examination by what you would call a third party.

And of course, what $45 million means in hard dollars is that there is a solid foundation for the new leader and his team at the college to be able to dream big.

Really we’re talking about helping people achieve their intellectual awakening. We take people from anywhere, any walk of life, with any skill set or non-skill set, and give them the ability to learn and develop skills so they may go and achieve their God-given abilities in the workplace and earn a living.

To start this new chapter, Moore says he and his team are re-thinking the way they do things.

TM: There’s a lot happening that we all have to try to sort through, but the key thing is that we are going to deploy some of this capital from this gift and begin to build programs of distinction at our college. Things that make us different than anybody else in the FCS. (Florida College System)

Areas like entrepreneurial studies, manufacturing & technology, outreach to underserved areas of the community, child development, public safety, and athletics…

TM: All those and more, because I’m not going to be prescriptive and say this is what we’re doing. I’m empowering my team to innovate, create and come up with ideas and then we’re going to create breakout strategies and then go do it.

We ask him to describe his leadership strengths.

TM: I try to put energy in the system. I try to make people become, reclaim their passion for why they’re doing what they’re doing. Make it fun. Laugh at each other. Be self- deprecating. Not take myself seriously. That’s why I go by Tim, not doctor, not president, if you want to know the real reason behind that. It is this: if my title gets in the way of you telling me the truth, then why have I got it?

He says he likes to leave his office doors open.

TM: Why? Because I’m going to be symbolic and real in that everything I do is transparent, above board and visible to everybody that works here. I’m the college president. Great. But I work for everybody here. It’s not the other way around. People got the model inverted. It’s not a pyramid model. I work the other way around. I’m the Atlas Boy. I’ve got to help support this place.

We ask him how he thinks he can best do that.

TM: We were number one in the country last year. That’s wonderful. But that was last year. This is this year. We’ve got to go forward. And we’re going to go forward with velocity and energy and ideas and excitement. And so what I tell our faculty and students here, in the great pinball of life the student is the ball. We, faculty, staff, administration and this president serve as the pins in the machine. If the ball hits an active pin, it goes into higher play. If it’s a dead pin, it goes into recycle. So, we’re going to try to be that active pin. Right? Right? So that we can actually transform people’s lives.

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