Daemen College Names Dr. Gary A. Olson President

Daemen College Names Dr. Gary A. Olson President


November 8, 2012


Contact:   Thomas E. Brydges


     Jaeckle, Fleischmann & Mugel, LLP

     Avant Building, 9th Floor

     Buffalo, New York  

     (716) 843-3812


The Board of Trustees of Daemen College is pleased to announce that Dr. Gary A. Olson has been selected as president of the College beginning in 2013. Dr. Olson was previously the provost and vice president for academic affairs at Idaho State University in Pocatello, Idaho. In this position he oversaw seven colleges, as well as the University’s libraries, University press, and museum of natural history.


Dr. Olson obtained his Ph.D. in literary criticism and rhetoric from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1980. His early research at the University of Alabama and the University of North Carolina-Wilmington focused on rhetoric and writing studies. He also holds a Master’s degree from the University of Connecticut, and a Bachelor’s from Kings College.


Dr. Olson is a nationally prominent scholar of rhetoric and a monthly columnist for The Chronicle of Higher Education. He is currently a professor of English at Idaho State University in Pocatello.


Dr. Olson will succeed Dr. Edwin Clausen, who has served as Daemen’s president since the retirement of Dr. Martin Anisman in May, 2011.


Board Chairperson Caroline Buerk stated, “The Board is delighted that Dr. Olson will help lead Daemen to new levels of excellence.


“President Clausen is an invaluable asset to the College. He has not only led Daemen over the last two years without missing a beat, but he has also been instrumental in developing and enhancing the College’s reputation and level of academic excellence.”


Dr. Clausen will continue at Daemen as a Distinguished Professor and member of the history and government faculty. 


From 2004 to 2009, Dr. Olson served as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Illinois State University where he led the college through a five-year strategic plan.


For nearly two decades prior to this (1985-2004), Dr. Olson served as an administrator and faculty member at the University of South Florida (USF), one of the nation’s top 63 public research universities offering degree programs to over 46,000 students on four campuses. Dr. Olson served as the chief academic officer at USF’s St. Petersburg campus from 2002 to 2004, helping to lead the campus to become a free-standing, self-governing, and separately accredited campus within the USF system.


He is the author or editor (often in collaboration) of 20 books and over 100 essays and articles and has written on a number of subjects central to rhetoric studies.

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