President Casey Presents Vision for the Future of Colgate

Zoe Frishberg, Maroon-News Staff

President Brian Casey discussed what Colgate currently is and what he envisions it becoming as the university moves into its third century during a lecture on his vision for Colgate on Thursday, February 22. Casey began taking notes when he first arrived at Colgate observing and creating ideas for improvements, which eventually grew into a vision statement for the school. Casey emphasized that the vision statement is not a “set of steps,” but rather a “directional document” intended to set the direction of the future of the institution. 

Casey kept three goals in mind while writing this directional document. First, he wanted to focus on institutional alignment, meaning he wanted the institution as a whole to focus on one problem and debate at a time. Second, he wanted to focus on these key matters for a sustained period of time because he feels disappointed with the status of debate on campus. Third, he wanted to set forth guidance for investments and resource allocations. In the fall of 2017, Casey met with the board, the Alumni Council, and other groups on campus to discuss relevant goals and issues.

Casey also stressed that the campus needs to have a deeper understanding of its own culture in order to determine its future. Out of all the institutions he has visited or worked at, Casey noticed Colgate students have the least knowledge of their own university’s history. Casey described the monumental steps in Colgate’s history, including the transition to include women in the student body in the 1970s and decision to diversify the student body and faculty in the 1980s. 

During the discussion, Casey outlined the three “intangibles” that he feels make Colgate what it is today: a sense of scale, a sense of energy and a sense of place. These three traits of Colgate make it a unique and indescribable campus. Casey then outlined the fundamentals for moving forward: maintaining our academic programs, enhancing the experience of our campus and further beautifying our campus. Casey stressed that Colgate has very few traditions compared to other campuses he has seen, and that we must enhance our traditions in order to maintain the enthusiasm of the alum and attract new student candidates. 

Additionally, Casey explained his steps for the future, including further investing in Colgate’s arts program, improving life on campus, enhancing the admissions process, increasing financial aid and strengthening the athletics program. Overall, Casey emphasized further integrating the community within Colgate’s campus, as he feels that the students are too separated. President Casey strives to make Colgate’s campus a more integrated and diverse community. 

“[Colgate] has much to be proud of as it considers its first 200 years, and much to be optimistic about as it considers its next century,” he wrote in the Vision Statement. 

Sophomore Eli Cousin shared his thoughts on the event. 

“I was interested in hearing about President Casey’s vision for Colgate as we move forward in the 21st century and beyond,” Cousin said. “[I believe that President Casey is] committed to fostering a culture of academic rigor surrounded by an energetic and vibrant campus community.” 

Contact Zoe Frishberg at [email protected].