About President Roellke
Christopher F. Roellke, PhD
Biography | Announcement | November 2019 Visit and Address
Roellke is the former Dean of the College Emeritus and Professor of Education at Vassar College, and became the 10th president of Stetson University on July 1, 2020. Roellke is widely regarded as an exceptionally effective and collaborative higher education leader who is past president for the Association of Education Finance and Policy, a 2014 Fulbright Scholar, and the founder and fundraiser of Vassar College’s Urban Education Initiative.
Roellke succeeds Wendy B. Libby, PhD, who served as Stetson University's president from July 2009 until her retirement June 30, 2020.
A graduate of Cornell University and Wesleyan University, Roellke has served three presidents at Vassar College. As Dean of the College, he was one of three tenured faculty members on the President’s Senior Leadership Team and oversaw the Dean of Studies, Dean of Students, Campus Life and Diversity, Career Development, portions of Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/Title IX, Accessibility and Educational Opportunity, Safety and Security, and Campus Activities.
He has worked with senior leadership and the Vassar community in the development of its strategic budgeting priorities and oversaw international partnerships and exchanges, including Vassar's junior year abroad programs in Europe, Russia and Costa Rica. An American Council on Education Fellow, Roellke has also served as a visiting scholar at Yale Law School conducting research on school finance litigation. He has an upcoming book, the fourth in a co-edited series on research in education fiscal policy and practice with co-editor Jennifer King Rice, dean of the School of Education at the University of Maryland. The latest volume is focused on fiscal issues in American higher education and is due to be released this year.
Roellke's election by the Board of Trustees follows an extensive presidential search that drew a large and competitive group of candidates and was announced in October of 2019.
A dedicated fundraiser, Roellke has secured donations for major Vassar campus life and renovation projects, career development and local community outreach programs. He directly oversaw several major campus life construction and renovation projects, including the $8 million renewal of the central dining facility to better serve the needs of students and faculty. He has successfully solicited grants from the Dyson Foundation, Mellon Foundation, Arthur Vining Davis Foundation, and Metropolitan Life and Economic Policy Institute, and helped to create outreach and support for alumni and parents.
Roellke's wife, Kim, is a veterinarian and they have three daughters, Emma, Julia and Olivia. President Roellke and his wife were introduced to the Stetson communities during welcome ceremonies in both DeLand and Gulfport in November of 2019.