Thursday, November 4, 2010

Alum named president of Rochester Institute of Technology's National Technical Institute for the Deaf

From NTID News:

Gerard Buckley (pictured), a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology and RIT's National Technical Institute for the Deaf, will become NTID's first graduate to serve as its president starting Jan. 1, 2011.

RIT President Bill Destler today announced Buckley as President for NTID and Vice President and Dean for RIT following a year-long search which included 18 applicants. A selection committee comprised of students, faculty and staff narrowed the field to three finalists, all of whom are deaf or hard of hearing.

Buckley, 54, has more than 30 years of progressively responsible experience in higher education, including more than 20 at NTID as chairman of the Department of Educational Outreach, Associate Dean for Student Services and currently Assistant Vice President for College Advancement.

"Gerry's combination of experiences in higher education, combined with his intimate knowledge of NTID and RIT through the variety of appointments he has had position him well for the challenges ahead," Destler said in a statement to the RIT community announcing the appointment. "He has built a good rapport with all constituencies including students, staff, faculty, alumni and government officials. This combination of experiences, skills and commitment prepare him well to serve as a spokesperson and advocate for NTID and deaf education throughout the United States and the world."

"I am honored to have been selected as NTID's president and appreciative of President Destler's confidence," Buckley says. "RIT/NTID has enriched the lives of thousands of deaf and hard-of-hearing students and I am excited about the opportunity to work with and for the students, faculty, staff and alumni as we move forward with the implementation of our Strategic Plan for 2020."

A native of St. Louis, Mo., Buckley came to RIT/NTID in 1974 and graduated in 1978 with a bachelor's degree in Social Work from RIT's College of Liberal Arts. He also holds a master's degree in Social Work from the University of Missouri in Columbia and a doctorate in Special Education from the University of Kansas in Lawrence.

His wife, Judy, is a sign language interpreter. The couple has three adult children: Jennifer, a graduate of RIT/NTID who recently received her doctorate in Veterinary Sciences; Timothy, who teaches Music Education in Monticello, N.Y.; and Ryan, a fourth-year student in the Biomedical Sciences program at RIT. Baby Eleanor blessed the family earlier this year, becoming Gerry and Judy's first grandchild.

The search for the next president of NTID began at the end of 2009, when Alan Hurwitz retired and James DeCaro, who had been dean of NTID for 14 years, accepted the appointment as interim president for one year to allow for a national search to be conducted.

DeCaro, students, faculty and staff have spent much of this year working on Strategic Decisions 2020, a blueprint of planning for NTID for the decade to come. This bold plan is designed to prepare NTID for the challenges that lie ahead.

Buckley will become the sixth chief executive officer of NTID in its 45-year history and the third Deaf individual to serve in this leadership role. There have been several titles for the person leading NTID over the years, including director, vice president of RIT, dean and CEO. The title "president" was first given to Alan Hurwitz in 2008 to better reflect the role of NTID's leader.

Previous heads include D. Robert Frisina, William Castle, Robert Davila, Alan Hurwitz and James DeCaro.

NTID was established by Congress in 1965 to provide technical college opportunities for deaf and hard-of-hearing students who were underemployed in those fields. Today, a record 1,521 students attend NTID; more than 1,300 of them are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Others are hearing students enrolled in interpreting or deaf education programs.

Rochester Institute of Technology is internationally recognized for academic leadership in computing, engineering, imaging technology, sustainability, and fine and applied arts, in addition to unparalleled support services for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. RIT enrolls 17,000 full- and part-time students in more than 200 career-oriented and professional programs, and its cooperative education program is one of the oldest and largest in the nation.

For two decades, U.S. News & World Report has ranked RIT among the nation's leading comprehensive universities. RIT is featured in The Princeton Review's 2011 edition of The Best 373 Colleges as well as its Guide to 286 Green Colleges. The Fiske Guide to Colleges 2011 includes RIT among more than 300 of the country's most interesting colleges and universities.