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McDaniel College appoints Dr. Julia Jasken as tenth president

Dr. Julia Jasken has been selected by the McDaniel College Board of Trustees as the college’s tenth president, effective June 1, 2021. Jasken will be only the second woman president in the college’s history. She has dedicated nearly her entire professional life to higher education and most notably to McDaniel, beginning in the classroom in 2003 as an English professor and most recently has served as the college’s executive vice president and provost.

JJasken_Headshot

Dr. Julia Jasken has been selected by the McDaniel College Board of Trustees as the college’s tenth president, effective June 1, 2021. Jasken will be only the second woman president in the college’s history. Jasken, who began at McDaniel in 2003, will succeed Dr. Roger N. Casey, who announced his plan to retire at the end of the 2020-2021 academic year after serving over a decade as McDaniel’s president.

The McDaniel College Board of Trustees voted unanimously to appoint Jasken as president during a special meeting following the endorsement of the Presidential Search Committee. The committee, which was chaired by Bruce H. Preston, a 1975 alumnus and member of the board since 1995, was formed in October and consisted of six other trustees, three elected faculty members, one staff representative, one alumni representative and one student representative. The committee, with the assistance of the search firm TBC Consulting, held focus group meetings and solicited survey responses from college constituents and leaders in the Westminster community to develop the presidential search profile.

“The most important task of our board is selecting the president of the college." --McDaniel College Board Chair Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Otto J. Guenther '63.

“The most important task of our board is selecting the president of the college and I want to express sincere thanks to the members of the Presidential Search Committee, particularly Bruce Preston, for their great service to the college,” said McDaniel College Board Chair Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Otto J. Guenther, a 1963 alumnus.

“We are grateful to the many members of our community who participated in open forums and surveys that allowed us to identify the desired qualities we were seeking—the very qualities, in fact, that make Dr. Jasken so uniquely qualified for her new role. Her accomplishments are impressive and impeccable, and she is truly the best possible choice to lead McDaniel.”

Jasken said, “I am humbled and honored to be elected by the board of trustees to lead the institution that I love. McDaniel is such a special place. Over my 17 years at the college, I am grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to build new programs and develop partnerships with members of the Westminster community. I am excited to expand upon partnerships in this new role. I am looking forward to meeting virtually with various campus groups and community members in the new year.”

Jasken has dedicated nearly her entire professional life to higher education and most notably to McDaniel, beginning in the classroom in 2003 as an English professor specializing in new media pedagogy and teaching a variety of professional writing courses. For the past eight years, she has assumed increasing responsibility in administrative positions, most recently serving in her current role as the college’s executive vice president and provost, overseeing the newly integrated academic and student life divisions. Her expertise spans academic and campus life restructuring, student success initiatives, adjunct faculty union contract negotiations, and building and supporting a culture of safety and compliance.

A champion of both the liberal arts and McDaniel’s student-centered mission, she has overseen many of the college’s most important strategic initiatives that created opportunity for McDaniel’s past two years of record enrollments. Jasken developed, and then served as director of, the Center for Experience and Opportunity (CEO), the college’s one-stop shop for experiential education and career development for McDaniel students and alumni. While serving as the McDaniel’s first associate provost, she collaboratively built the college’s first cross-divisional entrepreneurship program.

Jasken envisioned and designed the college’s signature McDaniel Commitment, which emphasizes experiential learning and alumni connections, and guarantees that every student, guided by a team of mentors, can construct and tailor their personal educational path. With Jasken at the academic helm, McDaniel launched 10 new career-oriented majors and charted professional pathways for students through agreements with graduate schools and community colleges as well as McDaniel’s own five-year bachelor’s-to-master’s programs.

Most recently, Jasken led the Return to the Hill committee planning efforts that prepared McDaniel to reopen for the Fall 2020 semester during the COVID-19 pandemic, enabling McDaniel students not only to return to campus but to remain through the end of the semester when many colleges were forced to close their doors to on-campus learning. She also serves as the chair of the college’s recently created diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) administrative team, which has overseen the college’s DEI initiatives over the past six months.

At the graduate level, Jasken made the decision to centralize graduate admissions and enrollment, resulting in improved institutional recruiting and tracking. She also helped craft a Data Analytics partnership program. As a proponent of campus-community partnerships, particularly related to community engagement efforts, she earned the Maryland-D.C. Campus Compact Statewide Faculty Award for Outstanding Service-Learning in 2012 for her work developing a “Writing for Non-Profit Organizations” course that pairs McDaniel students with nonprofit organizations.

A native of Moorhead, Minn., Jasken earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, Minn., and a master’s degree from Northern Illinois University. She received her Ph.D. from Michigan Technological University. She currently resides in Westminster, Md., with her husband and two sons.

To learn more about Jasken and read her letter sent to the McDaniel community, visit www.mcdaniel.edu/tenthpresident.