February 03 2014
Category: Campus Life
Courtesy of the Elmira Star-Gazette
To Ronald Champagne, the mission of colleges today is no different from when they were created in the 15th century: Teach people to think, speak and express themselves in writing clearly.
Champagne, interim president of Elmira College, said such knowledge equals freedom in a democratic society, as Thomas Jefferson believed when he founded the University of Virginia in 1819.
Champagne is 19 months into his appointment at Elmira College, his fifth college presidency. He said the small, private institution college, founded in 1855, continues to adapt its liberal arts education with professional preparation to survive, as all colleges must do.
While college trustees initially envisioned Champagne working two years as president, they have asked him to extend his service to see programs introduced since he arrived. At this time, there is no search underway for a permanent president.
Driven by faculty ideas, Champagne said the college recently chose five signature areas to develop during the next five years: general studies, honors program, health sciences, education and business. He shared plans the school has for its 55-acre campus in the City of Elmira.