The End of An Era: President Drew Bogner Opens Up On Decision To Leave
By Richard Staple | MolloyLife Media | News Content Editor
On Tuesday, April 11th, Chair of the Molloy College Board of Trustees John P. McEntree announced that president Drew Bogner will be retiring upon the completion of his contract in June of 2020. This will effectively end an era that spans 20 years that saw abundant changes at Molloy. In lieu of a decision that had plenty of contemplation, President Bogner took some time to formally reflect on his journey at Molloy and what precipitated his decision.
When asked about how hard the decision was to make, President Bogner admitted that he struggled. "When you spend 20 years here, it can be very hard to say goodbye." It was onerous for the president to pinpoint a specific moment where he knew that it was time for a transition. However, 2017 proved to be a challenging year for Dr. Bogner in every facet.
The president revealed that early in that year, he suffered from a congenital condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This caused Dr. Bogner to have hospitalizations, and these problems would be compounded by an enrollment surge in the fall semester of that year as a result of Governor Andrew Cuomo's Excelsior Program. "I wanted to leave in a time that was advantageous to the college, but I believe that period of time is where I was needed to combat those challenges, especially the challenges you do not see coming."
These series of events caused Dr. Bogner to take pause and begin to prioritize. However, another challenge exists in finding a worthy successor that will continue the success left in his future absence. In terms of how far along Molloy is in choosing a new president, we are still in the starting process. "We have hired a search firm who will be listening to staff members, faculty and students alike. All of this feedback will be collected in a report that will eventually be reviewed by our Search Committee."
It can be difficult for one to imagine Molloy College without Dr. Drew Bogner, but to ensure that the ideals and progress that Molloy has made in the past two decades, there was one word used to describe the one quality the new president must have. "Our new president must have vision. I can't predict what Molloy will look like 10 years from now, but with a compelling vision, the people will be willing to follow those ideas."
Dr. Bogner reflects on his journey at Molloy and what lies ahead for the future.
In regards to any outstanding goals that Dr. Bogner has left in the 15 months remaining in his contract, there was reference made to the amount of architectural work that has been taking place on campus.
"In addition to the transition plan that we have in play, we are working on a number of construction projects, including the beautification of the campus yard, creating an outdoor living space and revising our parking structure." In addition, the president has also been working tirelessly to give Molloy university status. The barrier of having enough doctoral programs has alluded that goal for some time, and it is his hope that will be one of his lasting achievements.
In regards to Dr. Bogner's legacy, he hopes for students, faculty and members of the community to view him as a role model. "I'd like to be remembered as a man of character who treated others well and with respect, regardless of where they come from. That's what being human is all about."
Under Dr. Bogner's 20 year tenure, Molloy College has seen amazing success. Total enrollment and degrees conferred have almost doubled, retention and graduation rate has increased, and there are over more than six times the amount of student clubs since Dr. Bogner took his place in 2001.
In addition, Molloy has established a popular reputation and has received much notoriety. In 2016, Molloy was recognized by Money Magazine as the top value college in the country. In 2017, they were named a top 3 value college in the country by money.com. Molloy College was also the only school to reach top 3 status for three years in a row.
Last year, in 2018, Molloy was named the 11th most transformative college by money.com as well. Molloy's highly renowned nursing program and NCLEX passing rate of over 92% have also become the envy of many across the country.
While this is a hefty list of accomplishments, Dr. Bogner insists on remaining humble and states that the biggest accomplishment in his tenure was his ability to positively impact the lives of others. According to him, the lives of the students who graduate are the barometer by which a college should measure its success.
"Making a difference and changing lives is my biggest reward, but the contributions of the students who work hard, graduate and impact other lives is what I am most proud of."