Dr. Bradley Caskey, the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, has been selected as the new provost and vice president for academic affairs at Birmingham-Southern College. Dr. Caskey will assume the position July 1, 2017.
The provost and vice president for academic affairs reports directly to the college president and is the chief academic officer with broad responsibilities for the full range of BSC’s academic programs and support services. Caskey will replace Interim Provost and Mary Collett Munger Professor of English Dr. Susan K. Hagen, who is retiring after more than 40 years of service to the college.
“A nationwide search brought us outstanding candidates but Dr. Caskey rose to the top when it came to his leadership style, his professional accomplishments, and his reputation for creativity and collaboration,” said BSC President Linda Flaherty-Goldsmith in announcing the decision on Thursday, April 27. “I am thrilled to welcome him to the BSC community and know he will help make BSC’s innovative academic programs even stronger going forward.”
Caskey’s career in academia spans more than 30 years. In his current deanship, which he has held since 2009, he oversees 16 academic departments and interdisciplinary programs that include 2,200 students and more than 200 faculty and staff. Under his leadership, the school has developed new academic programs and majors; remodeled its microbiology laboratory and theatre; established innovative international partnerships with institutions of higher education in Korea; and built a new program for students whose primary language is not English, among other accomplishments.
He has also helped the College of Arts and Sciences secure and steward its first-ever $1-million non-estate gift and is part of a team that recently secured a $1.5-million gift to a department in his college. He has worked on behalf of UW-River Falls to increase enrollment, streamline student registration, increase student and faculty diversity, and develop the school’s first residential learning community and first-year student experience in the College of Arts and Sciences.
“There is no more important role we play in higher education than in supporting excellent teaching and a well-rounded student experience,” Caskey said. “Coming to a place with a superb academic reputation like BSC is an absolute dream. I cannot wait to help the college find even more innovative ways to prepare its students for the future. My wife Wanita and I are very excited and ready to become engaged members of the Birmingham and Birmingham-Southern communities.”
Before becoming dean, Caskey served as associate dean and interim for the College of Arts and Sciences; prior to that, he was chair of the psychology department from 2001-2005. He was involved with UW-River Falls’ 2008 accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission/North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. He also serves as a tenured member of the faculty, teaching developmental psychology and earning the school’s Distinguished Teacher Award in 1997 and the Advisor of the Year award in 2004; he was nominated to be U.S, Professor of the Year in 2006. He is co-principal investigator for an $898,000 National Science Foundation grant designed to increase the number of graduates in science, technology, and mathematics.
Caskey graduated from UW-River Falls in 1980 with a double major in psychology and secondary education and a minor in sociology. He earned an MS and a Ph.D. in developmental psychology at Purdue University, completing his Ph.D. in 1985.
The process for selecting the new provost began in December of 2016 with the selection of a diverse committee comprised of students, staff, and faculty. The committee closely reviewed more than 60 applications; four finalists were invited to interview on campus earlier this month.
“Dr. Caskey brings the unique combination of skills that align with BSC’s future, including a focus on students, dedication to interdisciplinary experiences that provide graduates the edge they need to succeed in the job market, and a commitment to his community,” said BSC Trustee and Alumna Brooke Tanner Battle, who headed up the search committee. “Dr. Caskey chaired the board of his local United Way and led several collaborative projects that strengthened the River Falls area. He will be a great asset to BSC and the larger Birmingham community.”