President Dan Carey Announces Plans for Retirement

  • Tuesday, Sep 10, 2013

Madison, Wis. (September 10, 2013) – President Dan Carey, who has led the College through remarkable years of growth and progress, will retire in September of 2014. President Carey made the announcement at a special College Assembly session on campus Tuesday afternoon. Carey began his tenure as the 11th President of the College on August 1, 2004.

“Today is the perfect opportunity to thank the entire Edgewood College community for the many significant achievements of the past decade,” Carey said. “I am deeply indebted to the dedicated Board of Trustees, faculty, staff and strong leadership team.  The challenges we met, and the success the College has seen are not mine.  They belong to the entire Edgewood College community. For that I am very grateful.”

Speaking on behalf of the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa, the community that sponsors the College, Mary Ellen Gevelinger, O.P., said “Dr. Carey, these years you have placed the College on a calm, clear and steady path to the future. Your deep understanding of the challenges facing higher education, derived from your involvement at the national level, has assisted both our Board of Trustees and our faculty in understanding the steps required to sustain and develop the institution.” Gevelinger currently serves as Prioress of the Congregation.

“Your leadership, and your call to put our students first in everything we do, has set Edgewood College on a bright path toward a wonderful future,” Jim Barr, Chair of the Board of Trustees at Edgewood College, said. “We stand here today confident in the future of this College, and committed as ever to our Mission and Vision as you have been during your service here. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, thank you, Dan, for your intellect, spirit, imagination, and heart.”

The Board will coordinate listening sessions on campus for faculty, staff and students to begin the process of identifying Carey’s successor, Barr said.

While the College’s accomplishments during Carey’s tenure are too numerous to outline completely, his impact has been felt in four major areas: enhancing campus community, putting students first, expanding and strengthening academic programs, and leading through relationships.

Enhancing Campus Community

In 2005, the College began serving returning adult and graduate students at its Deming Way Campus, acquired shortly before Carey’s arrival; that site later became home to the School of Graduate and Professional Studies.

Located on Madison’s west side, the campus is especially well-suited for returning adult students, and gave the land-locked College much-needed space to enhance and expand academic programs.

In 2006, the College achieved Green Tier status, the first higher education institution in the state of Wisconsin to be named to the Department of Natural Resources’ program that recognizes outstanding environmental stewardship. 

In June 2006 the College broke ground for Dominican Hall, the newest and largest residence hall on campus. The first resident students moved-in beginning in August of 2007. Dominican Hall has the distinction of LEED® certification, the first residence hall on any campus in the state to receive this mark from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Concurrent with the construction of the new hall was a significant expansion of dining services on campus. In 2007, the College dedicated Phil’s, named for longtime College employee Phil Hansen, to accommodate a growing residential student population.

The Center for Nursing Excellence, a new partnership with Meriter Hospital, St. Mary’s Hospital, and Edgewood College, was launched in 2009. Located near the Beltline and Todd Drive in Madison, the Center serves nursing students and other health care professionals. The CNE features the latest in nursing education equipment and technology, including highly sophisticated patient simulators that ‘provide simulated clinical scenarios that mirror real-world patient care situations.

In September of 2011, Edgewood College, Edgewood High School and the Edgewood Campus School entered into new governance agreement, creating separate legal entities for each institution. This marked the culmination of a decades-long effort that serves to enhance the futures of each institution on the shared 55-acre Monroe Street campus.

Putting Students First

Carey’s leadership in two Strategic Planning processes set the institution on a clear path that puts students at the center of the life of the College. These efforts led to articulation of a mission and vision that extends from the core values of its Sinsinawa Dominican sponsors, creating a distinctive educational environment with student achievement at the forefront. Due in large part to this work, Edgewood College has made significant strides during the Carey years, including record freshman-to-sophomore retention rates for fulltime undergraduate students; increased enrollment and retention of ALANA (minority) students; enrollment growth in graduate and adult accelerated programs; consistently strong financial health; and growth in the number of alumni gifts and pledges.

The Community Scholars program, Eagle Grants for veterans and their families, global partnerships in China, Saudi Arabia and other countries, and a continued commitment to academic programming that meets the needs of our time have combined to create an increasingly diverse and vibrant community of learners. In 2011, nearly twenty percent of the incoming freshman class self-identified as students of color. Later that fall, the College received the Roberto G. Sanchez Nuestro Futuro Award  from Madison’s Centro Hispano. The award recognizes “demonstrated outstanding leadership and commitment to promoting educational and career opportunities for Latinos in Dane County.”  

In the past decade, Edgewood College enjoyed increased recognition on the regional and national stage. The College has been named to the Presidential Honor Roll for Community Service in each of the last six years. Edgewood College has been named to Forbes magazine’s Best Colleges for the past three consecutive years, and the College has been recognized by Forbes for excellence in teaching and learning. The College was named to the ‘Best National Universities’ list for 2012 by U.S. News & World Report.

Expanding and Strengthening Academic Programs

Under Dr. Carey’s leadership, the College has expanded academic offerings, and strengthened the foundation of the liberal arts educational experience. Students entering in the fall of 2010 began their studies under the auspices of the new COR curriculum. Named in honor of the College motto ‘Cor ad Cor Loquitur’ (“Heart Speaks to Heart”), the revision to the general education curriculum was a process that stretched over several years. Now in place, COR encourages students to examine the connection between learning, beliefs, and actions in order to build a more just and compassionate world.

Groundbreaking for a new visual and theatre arts center on campus took place on March 7, 2011. The 44,000-square-foot home to the College’s Art and Theatre Arts departments opened for students in the Fall of 2012. The Stream – as this state-of-the-art facility is now known - was dedicated on September 22, 2012, and provides theatre, classroom and studio space for these growing academic programs. The College pursued LEED certification throughout the planning and construction process. In 2013, The Stream was named Commercial Design Project of the Year by InBusiness magazine. Judges for the design competition remarked, “overall, when you factor in the ‘green’ features, the new technology, and the aesthetics, which were phenomenal, and what it’s being built for, it hits the mark in all phases.”

A major renovation of DeRicci Hall was launched in 2012. The third floor was transformed into a single home for the School of Nursing, more than doubling the space dedicated to the School. The renovation created some 15,000 square feet of classroom, office, conference and meeting spaces for nursing students. The expansion comes at a critical time, as the number of Nursing graduates at the College has doubled in size in the past 5 years.

In July of this year, the College announced the naming of this academic area: the Henry Predolin School of Nursing. The announcement comes as recognition for both a significant gift to the renovation of the new School of Nursing and for the ongoing support of the Henry J. Predolin Foundation for student scholarships in Nursing and in other academic areas.

In August, the College announced a one-million-dollar gift given to the College to create the Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin Center for Primary Care Innovation. The Center will engage and enlist Edgewood College nursing students and graduates in innovative, progressive models of primary care delivery.

New Academic programs added during the Carey years include the Master of Science in Accountancy, Master of Science in Organizational Development, the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. In 2011 the College began offering classes online in some select graduate-level programs.

Leadership Meets Relationship

Dan Carey grew up on a farm in southwestern Iowa. He earned his B.A. degree from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, majoring in English.  He served as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army and spent one year in Vietnam. 

Carey moved on to the University of Northern Colorado, earning graduate degrees, including the Ph.D. in College Student Personnel Administration. As part of his postdoctoral studies, Carey attended Harvard University’s Institute for Educational Management in 1986. 

He was awarded a Fulbright Grant to study and educational developments and international education in the Federal Republic of Germany in 1995.

Carey served as vice president at St. Louis University and at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio.  He was installed as President of Benedictine College, his alma mater, in 1995.  In 2013, Benedictine awarded Dr. and Mrs. Carey the Cross of the Order of St. Benedict, Benedictine’s highest award.

Carey has established himself as a leader in higher education on a national level. He has served as Board Chair of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. Together with colleagues from across the country, he has produced eight conferences specially designed for senior- level academic leaders who are considering accepting the challenge of becoming a college president. Several of these leaders have since become presidents themselves.