Nido Qubein, who becomes president of High Point University today, has already hit the ground running.

That is predictable from a man who is a nationally renowned motivational speaker. Qubein knows the importance of getting off to a decisive start.

Toward that end, Qubein will meet with 60 High Point community leaders Tuesday and will announce the name of the university’s first director of community relations.

The new job reflects the university’s new direction. In the past, the university and the city of High Point seemed separated by an invisible moat. Qubein, a former businessman, knows that closer relations between town and gown will benefit both.

In Greensboro, for example, colleges and public schools have wisely collaborated and created special college programs for particular high school students. High Point University should explore similar possibilities with local schools.

Qubein said his new director of community relations will be “an exceptional communicator’’ who will draw the community to campus and have ties with organizations in the Triad. That sounds promising.

But bridging the gap between the university and the Triad is merely one of Qubein’s goals. Just as his own name enjoys national recognition, he wants to put High Point University on the national map by strengthening academics and publicizing the institution.

His predecessor, Jacob C. Martinson, enhanced the institution’s academic reputation during his 19-year tenure. Qubein hopes to take the 80-year-old Methodist-affiliated institution to a higher level.

When university trustees tapped Qubein for the presidency last summer, their choice seemed unorthodox. Unlike most college presidents, Qubein, a resident of High Point, does not have a Ph.D. nor even an academic background.

What he does have, however, is creativity, charisma and a solid record of business success. That background bodes well for a university eager to make changes and think big.

We wish him well.

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