Last summer Dr. Tom Bogart and his family from Pennsylvania vacationed in Tennessee.
This summer, they will become permanent residents. The 46-year-old Bogart has been selected and has accepted the position of president of Maryville College. He will begin his tenure as the college’s 11th president on July 1.
“My wife has a brother who lives outside of Nashville,” said Bogart from his office at York College of Pennsylvania. “Last summer there was a family get- together in Nashville, and then we vacationed in East Tennessee, not knowing where fate was going to lead us.”
The Maryville College board of directors announced Thursday morning that Dr. William T. “Tom” Bogart, had accepted the position of president, succeeding President Gerald W. Gibson, who will retire at the end of the academic year.
Bogart is dean of academic affairs and professor of economics at York College. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University.
“Board members were impressed with Dr. Bogart’s leadership experience, his background as a scholar and a teacher, his commitment to undergraduate education, and his understanding of the challenges and opportunities of a church-related college,” said Dr. Dorsey D. “Dan” Ellis, chairman of the board. “In the search process, the college community compiled an extensive list of desired attributes, and we believe that Dr. Bogart possesses all of these qualities.”
Bogart said he was attracted to the job at Maryville College because of a variety of factors, including the liberal arts curriculum, the academic quality, the church-related nature of the college, the emphasis on developing the whole person and individual attention for students, the quality of the faculty and also the geographic location.
Bogart said there are similarities between York College, which has a student population of 4,600, and Maryville College.
“At York, we have that same focus on working individually with undergraduate students to help them identify and achieve their potential,” he said. “The sizes of the schools aren’t the same, but there is the same educational philosophy.”
When asked what his long-term career goals are, Bogart was quick to answer. “This position is my long-term career goal,” he said. “Maryville has a marvelous history of long-serving, successful presidents, and I hope to continue that.”
Bogart is active in his community at York College now and said he looks forward to being active in the community in Maryville. “I can’t say too much in detail about how I’m going to get involved. I will look for opportunities where I can be helpful,” he said. “That’s the real answer. I’ll look to be involved in ways I can be helpful and in ways where it can help Maryville College.”
The incoming president said he is excited about the Clayton Center for the Arts opening soon. “I can’t wait to see it finished. It was spectacular when I was on campus in January,” he said. “That facility is going to create lot of new opportunities for the college and the community to interact.”
Bogart played soccer in college and when asked to describe his management style, he compared himself to a soccer coach.
“What a soccer coach does is find really good people, help them get into positions where they can be successful and where they can support each other,” he said. “You help them work together to achieve a common goal. That’s my management style.”
Bogart said he enjoys interacting with students. “That’s why I’m in higher education. We’re here for the students,” he said. “I look forward to getting to know them in academic and cultural settings, at sports events and in a variety of other ways.”
Bogart graduated from high school in Manassas, Va., and earned a bachelor’s degree from Rice University in Houston. He met his wife Mary when he moved to Cleveland, Ohio, to become a professor. They have been married since 1992.
“We both looked at Maryville very closely, and we are both really excited about it. This wasn’t something I sprung on her,” Bogart said. “She’s very excited to come down.”
The Bogarts have one daughter, Elizabeth, who is in seventh grade. “She’s a very positive person and is looking forward to a new adventure,” he said.
The incoming president said his priority in the first year will be listening. “Maryville has enthusiastic faculty, students, staff, board members, alumni and friends who have a lot of ideas on how to keep the institution at a high quality and help it do even better,” he said. “I’m looking forward to listening to lots of those ideas.”
The search for the new president began in May, shortly after Gibson announced his retirement plans. Dr. Bryant Cureton, president emeritus of Elmhurst College and a member of Maryville College’s board of directors, chaired the search committee, which consisted of 15 members representing the board, faculty, staff, students, alumni and the community. Washington, D.C.-based Academic Search Inc. was hired to conduct pre-search studies, create a search profile and advertise the position.
A total of 89 candidates applied for the position. The search committee eventually narrowed the pool to 13 in November and then to three. Those three candidates were brought to campus in January for interviews and meetings with numerous constituencies.
At a recent board meeting, members received a report from the search committee and voted to offer the presidency to Bogart.
According to Ellis, written evaluations from the campus community revealed strong confidence in Bogart. “His success as both an administrator and professor was cited on nearly every evaluation, as were his personal interests in both sports and music. And because of his own educational background and expertise, people felt like he would be a a tremendous asset to the community, as well,” the chairman added.
Prior to joining York, Bogart was on the faculty of Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), where he was chair of the Department of Economics and a research associate of the Center for Regional Economic Issues. While at CWRU, he earned numerous teaching awards, including the Carl F. Wittke Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching and the Weatherhead Undergraduate Teaching Award.
His research interests include state and local government tax and spending decisions, local government economic development and land use policy and the effects of school redistricting on real estate markets. He has published widely, including two books, “The Economics of Cities and Suburbs” (Prentice Hall, 1998) and “Don’t Call It Sprawl: Metropolitan Structure in the Twenty-First Century” (Cambridge University Press, 2006).
Active in the community, Bogart serves on the community development coalition YorkCounts and as chair of the finance committee of the Yorkshire United Methodist Church. Mary Bogart is a York College writing instructor and professional writing tutor.
An opportunity to meet the new president and his family is scheduled for the spring.