MSP President Fran Brown has been very busy since beginning her tenure in September. She was kind enough to answer a few questions about her experience so far as President below.
You have been an integral part of the MSP community for many years, in several roles (masters and doctoral student, Director of Clinical Training, and Program Director/Chief Academic Officer). What has been your experience so far in the top job?
Honestly? I say this all the time: What’s not to love about being President of MSP? I am regularly awed by the dedication of our students, staff, faculty and board. Coming from a business background, I have seen my share of institutional dysfunction. We are the polar opposite! MSP is a very special place, and I never take that for granted. It’s a gift to hold this position.
What do you miss about serving as Program Director/Chief Academic Officer?
What helps me most is the experience I’ve gained in my different roles; I’m very fortunate that I have hands-on knowledge of just about every aspect of our institution. That sometimes also presents a challenge. I’m no longer involved in the day-to-day work associated with those positions. I still have a strong commitment to those things, but need to let the very capable individuals in those roles do their jobs without my interference.
Name one unexpected challenge to being President.
It may be too soon to answer that question, as nothing comes to mind. Ask me in a year?
One expected challenge is development and fundraising. Traditionally our operating expenses have been met primarily with tuition dollars. As a non-profit institution, we must identify new funding sources to support the activities and capital expenses of our new building, including the MSP training and community clinic. That’s a major focus of my work these days.
Is there an accomplishment that you are most proud of as President so far?
So many great things are accomplished here daily. But if I have to name just one, and one in which I was directly involved, I’d have to say it’s the outcome of recent discussions with the Michigan licensing department (LARA) regarding LLP licensure. We were able to successfully work through a fairly complex licensing issue that was challenging our MA grads; I’m happy to report that it’s no longer an issue. As part of those same discussions we also pointed out some problems with the supervision evaluation section of the license application, which LARA just amended based on our input.
Describe one thing students might be surprised to learn about you.
I started my career right out of high school as a clerk typist in the “typing pool” of a large corporation. To measure production, an odometer-like thing was attached to my typewriter (yes, typewriter) to measure how may keystrokes I made daily. People often comment about my fast keyboarding – that’s why!
What are your priorities for MSP in 2019?
- To increase awareness of MSP and our humanistic legacy
- To develop community and donor relationships that will support our fundraising activities
- To further our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion at MSP