At the end of this school year, Campus Provost Kenneth Greene will be leaving Fairleigh Dickinson University’s College at Florham after 38 years of service.
Greene first worked as an assistant professor of political science after arriving at the campus in 1974, and was promoted to full-time professor in 1982.
Greene assumed the role of the social sciences and history department chair from 1979 to 1997 and served as assistant, then associate, provost at the university from 1997 to 2002.
Despite the many years he has spent with the school, Greene is the first to admit how fast the time has passed.
“It doesn’t seem that long. It went by pretty quickly actually,” said Greene. “There were some good years, some bad years, and some good years again.”
Greene is departing just as the John and Joan Monninger Center - arguably his biggest alteration to the College at Florham - is set to be completed within the upcoming semester.
Even as the stage is set for his exit, Greene continues to speak of his responsibilities at the university in the present tense.
“We’re all together in this, it’s just how we do it,” said Greene.
Greene said that his time at FDU was spent in pursuit of maximizing the school’s strengths as a “small college” by implementing positive changes at the academic level, as well as by improving the campus facilities.
“I really like small colleges,” said Greene. “They have small classes, so there’s lots of personal attention and there’s a chance for you to get involved.”
Besides the new Monninger Center, Greene has also overseen successful alterations to Twombly and the Dreyfuss building while acting as Campus Provost.
His hopes for the university in his absence will remain the same as they were while he served as provost. Greene stated that he would like to see Fairleigh Dickinson continue to be “an exceptional small college,” as well as keep students “very intellectually active on campus.”
Though Greene was open to discussing the changes that have occurred and his dreams for the school, he was also candid about the things he wished were different.
“Money has always been an issue,” he said.
With more money to spend, Greene would have liked to have hired more full-time faculty members, as well as spend more on “campus beautification.” Above all, he intended to supplement the means for students to actively engage themselves on campus as much as possible during their time at FDU.
Greene anticipates he will be applying those same holistic values towards his retirement plans, which he said will be made up of primarily working on his golf game, reading more and doing some home remodeling.
Although Greene lives nearby, which is an indication that the campus will not be too far from his watchful eye, he has faith in his successor, Peter Woolley.
“I think he’ll do a really good job. He’s committed to the place,” said Greene.
Woolley will be assuming the role of Campus Provost during a time that Greene feels is a healthy one for the university.
“I have really been impressed with the students. I think they have really responded to the small college atmosphere,” said Greene.
He went on to report that there has been less vandalism on campus currently than there has been in the last ten years and that, overall, there is more participation on the part of students.
“I think the direction we’re moving in is the right one,” Greene said. “It’s just, can we do it faster?”
The answer to Greene’s question will only come along with the passage of time, but what remains unarguable is that Fairleigh Dickinson University will be left without the talents of a man who dedicated a large portion of his life towards the betterment of the school.
According to Becton College Dean Geoffrey Weinman, who has known the outgoing provost during his entire tenure and has worked with him closely over the past seven years, Greene provided a “foundation on which to build the future.”