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Olivet College President Don Tuski announces plans to lead new institution
Mar 16, 2010

After almost 30 years of serving Olivet College as a student, faculty member and leader, President Don Tuski 85, Ph.D., has announced his decision to assume a new role as president of Maine College of Art in Portland, Maine. His resignation will become effective June 30, 2010. An executive committee meeting of the Olivet College Board of Trustees will be held in April to discuss future leadership of the college.

I want to thank the Olivet College community for giving me the opportunity to lead this great institution for the last nine years, Tuski said. The college is in a great position to move forward with further improvements and to build on the record $17 million Capital Campaign which was recently completed. Having been here since I was a student in 1981, I feel it is now time to move to another institution with new challenges. I wish the students, faculty, staff, trustees and alumni well.

Tuski was appointed president of Olivet College in October 2001. He is the 26th person to lead the college since its founding in 1844. He is also an alumnus of the college, having graduated cum laude in 1985 with a bachelors degree in biology.

Under his leadership, Olivet has experienced record enrollment and increased alumni giving. In February, the college closed its largest fundraising effort in school history at more than $17 million. The Capital Campaign has supported unprecedented campus growth and improvements in the past two years. All of these major building and renovation projects, including the state-of-the-art Cutler Event Center, L.E.E.D.-certified M. Gorton Riethmiller Art Building and Gillette Student Village apartment-style housing, have been paid for almost entirely through alumni and foundation support.

From student to president, Don Tuski has written a legacy at Olivet College that doubtlessly cant be matched, said Olivet College Board of Trustees Chair David Hayhow, L.H.D. He is a brilliant leader and a warm, caring human being. As president, he has led Olivet College to new heights of quality and growth. The college will miss both the president and the person.

While his shoes will be most difficult to fill, the college is immediately initiating a vigorous search for a successor, Hayhow concluded.

Tuski has been with the college since 1981, when he enrolled as a first-year student. After graduating in 1985, he became a resident educator and in 1986 was named an adjunct instructor in science. From 1988 to 1992, he was the head coach of the Olivet womens soccer team. He was made assistant professor of science in 1991; associate vice president for academic affairs in 1998; vice president for academic affairs in 1999; and in 2001, acting president. He also serves on the colleges faculty as professor of anthropology.

In the early 1990s, Tuski helped to develop the colleges vision, Education for Individual and Social Responsibility. In 1997, he also helped lead the effort that resulted in the writing and passage of The Olivet College Compact. Tuski also worked closely with the college community on the creation and implementation of The Olivet Plan. In 2009, Tuski secured a $100,000 donation for faculty to create new majors and minors and improve The Olivet Plan.

Tuski has received several academic honors, including the Michigan Campus Compact Faculty/Staff Community Service Award. He has received numerous awards from his colleagues for teaching and research and has been honored by his students for excellence in mentoring and teaching.

Tuski earned a masters degree and a doctorate in anthropology from Michigan State University. His family includes wife, Louise, and two children, Ian and Kenna.

The Olivet College community wishes President Tuski well in his new endeavors.

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