Dr. Roger Hughes Named 13th President of Doane University
CRETE, Neb. — Dr. Roger Hughes has been named Doane University’s next president. His appointment was affirmed by Doane’s Board of Trustees May 7. Dr. Hughes will join Doane University June 1 as its 13th president, succeeding Dr. Jacque Carter.
Hughes, who currently serves as head football coach at Stetson University in Deland, Florida, holds a bachelor’s degree from Doane University (1982), a master’s degree from the University of Nebraska—Lincoln (1984) and a Ph.D., also from the University of Nebraska—Lincoln (1987).
“Doane is known for providing a high-quality liberal arts education and for professors who not only mentor students, but actually become their advocates. The intimate setting of this university allows it to provide high-impact experiential learning opportunities that are becoming more valued by students and their parents,” said Hughes. “I am excited about this opportunity and about Doane’s future.
“My life has been devoted to helping young people become leaders and the best version of themselves—instilling habits and values that will make them successful for their entire life. The opportunity to extend that to the Doane community is compelling,” Hughes said.
“Although it is rare to find a Ph.D. who is a football coach and who continues to pursue strong academic interests, they do exist—Dr. Hughes is among them. He is an outstanding team- builder who excels at developing relationships, fund-raising, and is a highly capable visionary leader,” said search committee chair and incoming chair of Doane’s Board of Trustees Paul Schelstraete.
“Dr. Hughes is passionate about the high value of a liberal arts education as a strong framework for individual success, and fully recognizes the quality of Doane’s faculty, students and extended community. His personal connection to, and high regard for all that Doane is and can become in its next chapter is remarkable. Our search committee is certain we have found the right person to fill this critical role, with the ability to build and lead a team toward an inspired and inspiring future,” said Schelstraete.
“Roger Hughes has been a huge part of the Stetson community since 2011 and many point to his success in relaunching football for the Hatter Nation, said Christopher F. Roellke, Ph.D., president of Stetson University. “His greatest contribution isn’t just a winning team, but his leadership and deep understanding of teaching and learning. He is known for his mentorship, for focusing on personal growth among student-athletes and for instilling values in his players. He will be an incredible president and I know we all wish him the best.”
Dr. Hughes’ academic background is primarily related to sports medicine and athletic performance and includes teaching, academic publications in refereed journals, and presentations at national and international conferences.
Prior to his tenure at Stetson, Hughes served as head coach and quarterbacks’ coach at Princeton University from 2000 to 2009 where he led the football team to an Ivy League Championship in 2006—the best season for the team in 47 years-- and also led a highly successful donor outreach and fundraising effort.
“As Princeton’s football coach, Roger Hughes set a high standard for both academic and athletic success among his players,” said Princeton University President Emerita Shirley Tilghman. “Beyond the playing field, Roger had an ability to connect to diverse audiences on a personal level, whether he was addressing groups of alumni, trustees, prospective students, or faculty. What came through on these occasions was his integrity and decency, as well as his unshakable commitment to the wellbeing of our students.”
Dr. Hughes, 61, is a native of Crawford, Nebraska, and is married to Lincoln native Laura Hughes. Their daughter, Maddison, a 2018 graduate of Doane University, lives and works in Omaha. Hughes’ brother, Dr. Rommie Hughes, lives and works in Scottsbluff, Nebraska and is a 1986 Doane graduate. His sister, Shari Schlichtemeier, also attended Doane and lives and works in Ogallala, Nebraska.
About Doane University
Doane University is the oldest private, liberal arts school in higher education in Nebraska. Founded in 1872 as Doane College, its original campus in Crete is home to traditional, residential undergraduates as well as Tiger Athletics, which competes in the Great Plains Athletic Conference, one of the premier NAIA conferences in the country. Doane is also recognized for its convenient, affordable continuing education programs in its College of Education, College of Professional Studies, College of Business and School of Innovative Learning, which have undergraduate, masters and doctoral programs available at satellite campuses in two of Nebraska’s largest metro areas — Lincoln and Omaha — as well as programs that are available fully online.