In a special meeting on Dec. 17, McDaniel College’s Board of Trustees unanimously selected Dr. Roger N. Casey as the ninth president of the 142-year-old private, liberal arts and sciences college in central Maryland. Dr. Casey, 48, who currently serves as the vice president of academic affairs and provost of Rollins College (Florida), will succeed Dr. Joan Develin Coley, who announced her retirement last spring and will complete a transformative decade as president in June 2010.
The board has announced Casey’s appointment to the McDaniel community and will welcome him to its Westminster campus at an event scheduled for Jan. 27 during the opening of its spring semester.
Casey’s selection follows McDaniel’s first national comprehensive search for a president. Alumna Mary Lynn Durham (’70), who serves as the vice chair of the Board of Trustees, led a Presidential Search Committee, composed of eight trustees, three elected faculty members, one administrator and one student. The Board’s charge to the Search Committee was to recommend a candidate that met specific Search Criteria developed and adopted at the commencement of the process.
“The Search Committee reached a unanimous determination that Casey fulfilled each of the search criteria and recommended him as the individual best qualified to serve as McDaniel’s ninth president,” said Martin K.P. Hill, chairman of McDaniel’s Board of Trustees. “During the search interviews and campus visits, Dr. Casey distinguished himself as a visionary leader who understands McDaniel’s steadfast commitment to academic excellence through collaborative learning and deliberate faculty mentoring of students. We are absolutely confident that Roger will respect our traditions and realize our aspirations through focusing the College’s vision, advancing its mission and implementing its strategic plan.”
In a letter addressed to the McDaniel community, Casey writes: “With labor and love, I will do my best to live up to the expectations of those who have given me the chance to be the organizational leader of a community that champions the tradition of liberal arts education. That tradition, and the sense of community that undergirds it, is what first drew me to ‘the Hill.’ Building on the exceptional work of President Coley and her predecessors, my job is now clear: to make sure everyone hears the fullest understanding of what that tradition and its present manifestation means at McDaniel. I believe that message is important to our existing community, to future students, to this region, to donors and other supporters, to American higher education, and to the world. The message is that McDaniel makes a difference.
Casey will join the McDaniel College community in July 2010, having served at Rollins as its chief academic and student-affairs administrator since 2006, and as its dean of the faculty from 2000-06. At Rollins, Casey is responsible for academic and student affairs for three educational schools including the College of Arts and Sciences, the Crummer Graduate School of Business and the Hamilton Holt School for Evening and Graduate Studies. He also chairs the Rollins Leadership Team, co-chairs the Budget and Planning Committee, and serves on the Executive Committee. He also supervises the schools’ accrediting processes, international and multicultural initiatives, enrollment planning, library, museum, China Center and the Winter Park Institute.
Prior to Rollins, Casey served Birmingham-Southern College in Alabama as an associate dean and professor from 1991-2000. He is also the former director and co-founder of the Associated Colleges of the South’s Teaching and Learning Workshop. He received distinguished teaching awards from Birmingham-Southern and Florida State University and was a nominee for the Carnegie National Professor of the Year.
In 1994, Casey was named a Fellow of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation that supported his travel to 16 countries over a four-year period to examine the role of vision in the creation of community, a transformational experience that has instilled a strong sense of global and local responsibility. He has now studied and traveled in more than 60 countries. His current scholarly passions include exploring the organizational behaviors of Generation X and The Millennials, examining literary and film depictions of teachers and students, and studying the impact of social media on higher education. His expertise in these areas earns him frequent invitations to present at both national academic conferences and in corporate settings.
Casey teaches media and cultural studies at Rollins and also has served on the faculties of Birmingham-Southern and Florida State where he taught American literature, writing and drama. He has been a theatrical producer, director and actor, most recently in 2006 as F. Scott Fitzgerald in a Winter Park production of “Devotedly, With Dearest Love: The Letters of Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald.”
A native of South Carolina, Casey graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Furman University in 1983 and went on to earn both the M.A. degree and Ph.D. in English from Florida State University. He is married to Robyn Allers, who serves as the interim director of Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins.
Casey will join the McDaniel community following a decade characterized by change commencing with its name-change and rebranding in 2002. Since then, the College has defined new educational opportunities including the development and adoption of a new more global, interdisciplinary and multicultural undergraduate curriculum, the expansion of post-baccalaureate programs, the creation of the Center on the Study of Aging, and more than $45 million in campus improvements for academic study, student residential life and recreation.
McDaniel will also celebrate its most ambitious comprehensive fund-raising campaign during the most challenging economy in decades, and will exceed its lofty goal of $65 million by an unprecedented $10 million at its conclusion Dec. 31.
Founded as one of the nation’s first independent, coeducational institutions of higher learning, McDaniel College’s evolution is characterized by academic excellence, extraordinary administrative and faculty dedication and resourcefulness, and increasing student selectivity and diversity. And yet, throughout its history, McDaniel College has remained committed to expanding accessibility and opportunity to first-generation college students. Situated on a scenic hilltop in Westminster, Maryland, its ideal location is just a short distance from the nation’s capital and Baltimore provides a warm, friendly campus community with boundless opportunities for global learning and engagement.
Transcending the traditional classroom, the McDaniel experience encompasses the laboratories, the lounges, the athletic fields, and the residence halls, which 80 percent of our 1,700 undergraduates call home. Our students’ learning reaches beyond McDaniel’s 160 acres to a European campus in Budapest, Hungary, and study abroad partnerships on virtually every continent. Our promise to students is to guide them on their individual educational path and quest for personal development. The McDaniel Plan – an integrated program of studies in the liberal arts and sciences – is the centerpiece for customized learning and academic excellence at the College. A January mini-mester of uncommon courses, and options for self-designed majors provide learning opportunities beyond the norm.
Post-baccalaureate programs have also evolved to meet the changing needs of professionals in the region and across the nation. Eighteen master’s degree programs including Deaf Education, Gerontology, and Human Services Management further distinguish McDaniel College.
McDaniel College is nationally recognized as one of the eight colleges in the Northeast that changes lives, according to former New York Times education editor Loren Pope in his book Colleges That Change Lives.