Our Town Crete: Doane Future

Pure Nebraska
Published: Aug. 20, 2021 at 10:05 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - During a visit to the Doane University campus, we got a chance to visit with the new school president about what he hopes to achieve for students and faculty there.

Dr. Roger Hughes graduated from Doane in 1982, and although he’s spent time in coaching and education in many other places, he is no stranger to Crete. “I’m originally from Crawford,” Hughes said. “My daughter graduated from here about three years ago. My brother went to Doane, my sister came to Doane for a couple of years, so Doane is a big part of my family. The thing that struck me about Doane when I was a student here was the experience I had with both my coaches and my faculty. They weren’t just mentors, they were advocates. Everywhere along my career, there’s been a Doane influence. So, Doane doesn’t just take care of you while you are here, they take care of you for the next 40 years of your life. It’s from recruitment to retirement. It’s the people here that make such a difference.”

Hughes is excited about being the new president, and has a number of goals. Perhaps the highest goal is to make sure students are having a great experience. “I’m kind of taking the George Washington approach,” Hughes said. “He had a saying where he said, I want to listen, I want to learn, and help where I can. As I learn all of the moving parts of a university, we’ve got a lot of great things here, and it’s mostly the people. During my interview, one of the things that struck me is people had been here 13, 16, 20 years, and I asked, why do you stay? And they said, because we love it here. We love helping our students. Doane is all about the students.”

There is a hope to continue to keep student numbers strong. “Enrollment is a big part of the business model, and if you don’t have students, you don’t have the revenue to drive that vision which is to create a great student experience,” Hughes said. “It’s on everyone’s mind at the small college level, because there are not as many college-age students available, so the competition is great. Additionally, some people are thinking about not going to college and taking a different route. We have got to make sure we are creating value, and I think Doane has that value. We need to do a good job of telling the story.”

If you are interested in Doane University, you can always pay a visit to the beautiful campus, or go to the website doane.edu to schedule your visit.

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