Students’ Opinions Considered in Presidential Search

Megan Robinson

Co News Editor

On December 17, 2009 McDaniel College named its ninth president of the college. Dr. Roger N. Casey comes to the college from Robins College in Florida where he worked as Vice President of Academic Affairs and provost. Dr. Casey was named president by the Presidential Search Committee including student representative junior Ben Cowman.

The committee was comprised of board members who also served on the transition committee, three faculty members, one staff member, and one student representative. The student representative, Cowman, also serves as Executive Vice President of Student Government Assembly.

Cowman said that while any student could have served as the student representative, he was chosen because he expressed interest in serving on the committee and the administration was familiar with him through his work on SGA. As Executive Vice President of SGA, Cowman brought not only a student’s perspective to the committee but also a broad knowledge of the institution’s policies and administration.

Cowman felt it was “important to have a student member that is informed about a lot of different issues on campus.” He said he felt “when you know what’s going on in the whole institution, it sheds a whole different light on the college.”

Despite his well rounded knowledge about the institution, however, Cowman did not only contribute his own opinions to the Presidential Search. Cowman held a focus group of about thirty students in the beginning and then again in the later part of the fall semester to address concerns from a variety of different students. This focus group was made up of students from various organizations around campus including the All College Council, the Resident Assistants, and Greek Life.

Cowman expressed the difficulty in presenting all the perspectives of such a large student body, and accurately addressing every individual’s concerns. However he feels he did the best job he could of representing the student body. Despite being the only student representative he feels he “made an impact on the committee.”

Cowman expressed that he was very pleased with the candidate they selected. Cowman believes that the Presidential Search Committee chose the best fit out of an “extraordinary pool of candidates.”

In addition to being very well qualified, Cowman feels that Dr. Casey can “take every decision that [he] makes and relate it to the students.”