DePauw's 19th President, Brian W. Casey, Takes the Reins of the University
July 1, 2008
July 1, 2008, Greencastle, Ind. - [Download Audio: "President Casey Has Arrived" - 258kb] "It's exciting," says DePauw's nineteenth president, Brian W. Casey, who officially takes the helm of the University today. "I'm unpacking boxes and getting my office organized. But I'm going to commit considerable time during these next few days walking around and saying 'hello'" to members of the University community," Dr. Casey says. "I feel as if I know so many of DePauw faculty and staff because they've written to me. One of my first job is to thank people for all of the wonderful welcomes they've given me."
Casey was selected to lead DePauw after an intensive, nine-month worldwide search, which culminated in his February 21 introduction as the successful candidate. He comes to DePauw from Harvard University, where he was associate dean for academic affairs in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Before working at Harvard, Casey served as assistant provost at Brown University and taught at both institutions. He succeeds the longest-serving president in the University's history, Robert G. Bottoms, who led DePauw since 1986 and as president emeritus will serve as director of the Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics.
The captain of the swimming team as an undergraduate at the University of Notre Dame, Casey earned his law degree from Stanford and worked as a Wall Street attorney before taking his first position in the world of higher education. In 2000, he received a Ph.D. in history from Harvard.
Even before his first interview, and without announcing he was coming, Casey visited the DePauw campus -- swimming in the Lilly Center pool and tagging along on an admissions tour -- to get a feel for life at the University. He also read up on DePauw's 171-year history, which he says is one of the institution's great assets.
[Download Audio: "Early Impressions" - 356kb] "It's a place that has enormous amounts of love and loyalty about the institution," the new president says, adding that the good feelings are shared by alumni, students and members of the faculty and staff. Casey believes DePauw "needs to take that enthusiasm and put it out in the world a little bit more. I don't know whether it's an Indiana thing, a Midwestern thing, but there's humility and shyness about DePauw's greatness that officially ends as of today, July 1," he said with a smile.
The new president has formed an assessment team which will begin work shortly. The group will consist of Dr. Casey; Neal B. Abraham, vice president for academic affairs at DePauw; Christopher Wells, who joins DePauw as senior adviser to the president after serving as assistant dean for academic affairs at Harvard; and Tom Dixon, who was DePauw's vice president for finance and administration from 1993 through 2000 and is rejoining the senior administration at DePauw this year as special adviser to the president.
The team [Download Audio: "The Assessment Team" - 461kb] is "going to help me gather data from various corners of the University," President Casey says. "I intend to be as rigorous as possible in my going about learning about DePauw, so I've set up a series of days with every division in the University to have them offer presentations as to where they are, how they got here, and where they think they can be. So I'm going to do lots of gathering of information so I can really see deeply into the University."
Casey looks forward to greeting the students in six weeks, and promises he will be "on the road quite a bit" meeting with DePauw alumni.
"I'm thrilled to now be an official member of the DePauw community and look forward to working with everyone here and around the world who loves this University to take it to even higher levels," declares the new president.
Dr. Casey delivered a welcoming address to DePauw's Alumni Reunion Celebration in Kresge Auditorium June 14. A summary of that speech -- and accompanying video clips and an MP3 file of his remarks -- can be accessed in this story.Back