NTID introduces its new president—alumnus Gerard Buckley

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Mark Benjamin

Gerard Buckley has always enjoyed his time working with students. In January, he will assume the role of president of NTID.

The next president of NTID knows the RIT campus well. He graduated from RIT/NTID in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree in social work and has worked at NTID for more than 20 years.

Gerard Buckley will become NTID’s first graduate to serve as its president, starting Jan. 1.

RIT President Bill Destler announced Buckley as NTID president and RIT vice president and dean for NTID following a yearlong search that included 18 applicants. A committee comprising students, faculty and staff narrowed the field to three finalists, all of whom are deaf or hard of hearing. 

Buckley has more than 30 years of progressively responsible experience in higher education. At NTID, he was chairman of the Department of Educational Outreach, associate dean for student services and currently is assistant vice president for college advancement.

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

“I’m very honored,” Buckley says of his appointment. “I’m extremely proud to be an alum serving in the RIT president’s leadership council, and I look forward to interacting with the RIT community. I have a daughter and son-in-law who are alums, and my son currently is enrolled in the College of Science. My brother, Larry, teaches in the College of Science. So, the Buckley ties with RIT are deep.”

A native of St. Louis, Buckley also holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Missouri and a doctorate in special education from the University of Kansas.

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 a national search to be conducted.

“We have a very exciting and bold strategic plan that fits with RIT’s plan to become known as ‘The Innovation University,’” says Buckley, “and I’m very excited about working with the students, faculty and staff to implement it.”

NTID this year has a record 1,521 students—more than 1,300 of them are deaf or hard of hearing. Buckley plans to further integrate NTID with RIT and wants to establish a program to help groom emerging deaf and hard-of-hearing leaders at the college. 

“One of my top priorities is going to be to ensure that the future leadership of NTID is increasingly diverse and reflective of the population we serve,” he says.