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Former Thomas More President Tapped as Interim Director of Gateway Urban Campus

Former Thomas More College President Sister Margaret Stallmeyer will lead the Gateway Community & Technical College Urban/Metro Campus in Downtown Covington, the college's President/CEO Dr. Ed Hughes said Tuesday.

Hughes made the announcement in an internal email Tuesday afternoon obtained by The River City News. Stallmeyer will join GCTC as Special Assittant to the President and Interim Director of the Urban Metro Campus through June 2014, reporting directly to Hughes. Stallmeyer retired as President of Thomas More College in June after ten years at the helm of the Crestview Hills college affiliated with the Diocese of Covington. 

According to the email, Stallmeyer will focus on several areas with respect to the urban/metro campus, including the conducting of an overall assessment of the status of the campus and recommend an organizational structure to be implemented on July 1, 2014. That assessment will include a look at the external and internal partnerships associated with the campus and assisting Gateway in adjusting the operational plan.

Stallmeyer will provide additional on-site leadership of the Two Rivers building (the Gateway Urban Center) in conjunction with Jack Keller and others when needed. She will also represent the college at key events in Covington and throughout the urban core and serve as an extension of Hughes's office to that community.

Additionally, according to the email, Hughes asked Stallmeyer to conduct a complete review of the organizational structure of the college. "We have evolved the organization over the past twelve years and it is tome for someone with a fresh perspective to assess the organization and make recommendations that will better align our human and organizational assets with our mission, vision, and strategic plan," Hughes wrote. :In this role she will have unlimited access to individuals, materials and other information at the college from which she can provide her professional judgment and recommendations for discussion and consideration." Hughes wrote that individuals who discuss these issues with Stallmeyer will have their identities protected, "So, please, share with her your thoughts on a confidential basis."

"She understands well the history, purpose, and commitment we are making to the residents of the urban core of the region," Hughes said. Stallmeyer, prior to taking the reigns at Thomas More, was a teacher and principal at Our Lady of Providence Academy in Newport and was instrumental in the merger of that school with Newport Catholic High School to form Newport Central Catholic High School.

Stallmeyer also served as a canon lawyer for the Diocese of Lexington and Chief Financial Officer for her religious community. She served on numerous boards including St. Elizabeth Heath Care where she was chairperson.

While at Thomas More, Stallmeyer was an integrat part of the Urban Learning Center Partner Board that nurtured the educational outreach in the urban core, involving Gateway, Northern Kentucky University, and Thomas More College, three school districts, and several community organizations, Hughes wrote.

The River City News reported on November 18 that some members of the Gateway Community & Technical College Board expressed doubts at the feasibility of the planned urban campus, a lofty $80 million plan that involves several Downtown Covington buildings, some of which have already gone under construction

Covington City Commissioner and Gateway College Foundation Board Member Steve Frank welcomed the news of Stallmeyer's hiring. "I think the dissident board members are about to be flushed and Sister will do whatever cleaning up needs to happen to justify building out the campus in even the most skeptical mind," Frank told The River City News.

The review Stallmeyer will undertake is important, Hughes wrote, and comes at a good time in the life of GCTC. "There are transitions that will occur at (Gateway) and at (Kentucky Community and Technical College System) during the next fifteen to eighteen months, including the develpment of the (urban metro campus), the likely closing of the Amsterdam Road/Park Hills campus, and a new president at KCTCS," Hughes wrote. 

Stallmeyer starts on December 2 and will have an office at the Urban Center on Scott Boulevard in Downtown Covington and may also work from Hughes's office in Boone County and Amsterdam Road.

Written by Michael Monks, editor & publisher of The River City News

Photo: Rendering of the old Marx Furniture building on Madison Avenue that will become part of Gateway's urban campus/RCN file