UMN-Crookston Chancellor Casey announces retirement

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University of Minnesota, Crookston Chancellor Charles H. Casey Announces Retirement

Chancellor Charles H. Casey, D.V.M., announced today that he plans to retire at the end of the 2011–12 academic year.  Casey has been UMC chancellor since September 2005 and has held other University leadership roles over nearly 35 years, including serving as a member of the Board of Regents and as dean and director of University of Minnesota Extension.

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Casey, whose last day as chancellor will be June 30, 2012, made the announcement during his “state of the campus” address to the UMC community.  He expressed pride in the growth of the campus during his tenure, citing accomplishments including new programs, gains in enrollment and diversity, strategic facility investments, and completion of a comprehensive strategic plan.

“This is the right time for me to step down after a long and satisfying career,” said Casey.  This is a time of significant challenges for higher education, but by most measures, the University of Minnesota, Crookston is thriving and well positioned for further growth.  I have great confidence in the future under the leadership of University President Eric Kaler.”

Casey added, “I will always be grateful for the support I’ve received.  The faculty and staff of the University of Minnesota, Crookston are incredibly talented and committed to the campus as well as to the success of our students.”

University Senior Vice President Robert J. Jones, who with Kaler oversees the University’s four coordinate campuses, said Tuesday that plans for a national search for Casey’s replacement will be announced soon, with the goal of having a new chancellor on board at Casey’s departure.

“Chancellor Casey has been an exceptional leader for the Crookston campus and for the greater University,” said Jones, who was on campus for Casey’s address.  “He has steered the campus to a new level of excellence as a teaching and applied research hub for northwestern Minnesota.”

“Chuck’s contributions to the entire University and state have been significant, including his leadership for UMC, Extension, and on the Board of Regents,” said Kaler.  “I thank him for his exemplary service and look forward to working with him to ensure a smooth transition for the Crookston campus.”

During Casey’s tenure, the campus added several new degree programs, including bachelor’s degrees in biology, criminal justice, environmental sciences, marketing, and software engineering.  The number of online degree programs, and student enrollment in such programs, expanded significantly, with an emphasis on high-quality educational services for nontraditional or continuing students, community organizations, and the workforce.  In 2009, the campus also became home to an online-learning support and referral center serving the entire University system.

The Crookston campus saw significant enrollment gains including four consecutive years of record high enrollment.  The number of degree-seeking students hit an all-time record of 1,600 for fall semester 2011, a 52 percent enrollment increase over the six-year period from 2005 to 2011. Two new residence halls, Centennial Hall (2006) and Evergreen Hall (2009), were built to accommodate the influx of students.  Casey said that securing approval from the Board of Regents for construction of an additional residence hall will be a priority during his final semester as chancellor.

The diversity of the UMC student body also grew under Casey’s leadership, with increased enrollment of both students of color and international students.  In fall 2011, students of color represented approximately 11 percent of the student body, compared with 8 percent prior to Casey’s arrival in 2005.  International students were 9 percent of the student body in 2011, compared with just under 3 percent.  Agreements that Casey signed with schools in Korea and China accounted for much of the international growth; overall, UMC now welcomes students from 30 countries and 40 states.

Casey, who holds a doctor of veterinary medicine degree from the University of Minnesota, was a two-term member of the University of Minnesota Board of Regents, from 1979 to 1991 (from 1989 to 1991 as chair). Prior to his appointment as chancellor, he served six and a half years as dean and director of University of Minnesota Extension; before that, he spent seven years as director of outreach services for the University's College of Veterinary Medicine.  He was the vice chair of the North Central Extension Directors and served on the University of Minnesota Foundation Board, Hubert H. Humphrey Institute Advisory Board, and the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development Board.

Early in his career, Dr. Casey served as a captain in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps, worked for 27 years as a practitioner in rural veterinary medicine, and was a partner in the Dodge Veterinary Clinic in West Concord and Dodge Center, Minnesota.  He is a lifetime member of both the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association.  He has served on a number of local volunteer organizations.

He is a member of Phi Zeta Honor Society of Veterinary Medicine and Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society of Agriculture, and has received awards including the Outstanding Achievement Award from the University of Minnesota, Director’s Distinguished Service Award from the Minnesota Extension Service, Torch & Shield Award from the University of Minnesota, Crookston, and Minnesota Veterinarian of the Year.

Casey is married to Barbara Muesing and has three adult children and three grandchildren.