When Elizabeth "Betsy" Epperly accepted the position of president of the University of Prince Edward Island in 1995 the institution was on the verge of great change.

Epperly looks back on how the school changed, and how that changed her, in her new memoir Power Notes: Leadership by Analogy.

'Nothing had changed in a long time.' - Betsy Epperly

Even her appointment was a new direction for the school. She was the first woman president, and relatively young for the job.

"I was in my forties, my early forties, but I was still one of the youngest faculty members, and that's not a good thing," Epperly told CBC's Island Morning.

"Nothing had changed in a long time."

There had been few new hires for years, said Epperly, and the university needed an influx of teaching and research ideas.

"People didn't know what we were doing, because it had become so insular," she said.

"We were separate, and people saw us as separate, instead of being a vital institution for the province and an economic and cultural driver, which it is. We were not perceived that way."

No finger pointing

Epperly was in the president's post for just three years, but oversaw a huge turnover in the faculty. The changes she made faced a lot of opposition and she outlines how she navigated her way through that opposition in the book.

"It's a creative memoir because I didn't want to be pointing the fingers at any particular person or people or even any group of people," she said.

"I was talking about the quality of situations and interactions and that's what's important."

Epperly wrote her first draft of the book immediately after leaving office. She said she has shared her insights from that time with many people, and felt it was time to get them down on paper.

With files from Island Morning