The President-Elect Gets Direct

Incoming President Addresses Students


Vanessa Bolen

Dr. Doug Palmer

Culver-Stockton College students were invited to meet new President-Elect, Dr. Doug Palmer, on March 2nd.   Palmer was introduced by Chairman of the Board of Trustees Ron Leftwich, who opened with the comment “You can tell it’s midterms and that this isn’t an ACE event” about the small crowd. Leftwich spoke briefly of the search committee who, with the help of C-SC junior and member of the committee Taryn Hutcherson, came to decide Dr. Palmer was the right person to lead Culver-Stockton forward.

With his wife and three sons beside him, Dr. Palmer first and foremost presented himself as a family man.  He spoke on how important community was for him; he spoke of his past in the army as a paratrooper; and his time as a professor. The biggest reason Dr. Palmer chose to pursue being a college president is his belief that having a college education is the biggest aspect of producing political change. To see changes in the world, such as the end of segregation and colleges for women, we need educated leaders.

Our job here is not only to provide you an education and a career, but also training you to be citizens”

— Dr. Doug Palmer

When discussing the future of students, Dr. Palmer was obviously passionate and excited about the possible future he could provide for his students. “Our job here is not only to provide you an education and a career, but we also are training you to be citizens,” stated Palmer. “Part of our job is to send you out into the world with skills as well as a moral and ethical compass.” This belief is part of the reason Dr. Palmer chose to have an interest in Culver-Stockton. With the real-world experience students gain in a variety of internships, the outside perspectives and opportunities of international travel, and the hands-on learning in the classroom, Palmer knew that Culver-Stockton was the place for him.

After sharing the fact Dr. Palmer will have an open-door policy, he turned the discussion to the students and answered their questions.

Not wasting any time, one student asked, “After following a female president how will you implement female empowerment and inclusion?”

Dr. Palmer answered this head-on. He responded how he felt it wasn’t right to see a wall of 25 male presidents, 1 female president, and immediately followed by a male. While he is on The Hill he wants to assure fair and equal chances across the board regardless of a person’s race and gender. Dr. Palmer believes in equity over equality, that differences should be acknowledged but those should not be the reason people receive chances. While he does not know the issues this college faces in that area he does promise to tackle problems as soon as they present themselves.

Other students asked how Dr. Palmer plans to be present in the community and be involved with the students.

Palmer stressed how important the community of Culver-Stockton is to him and how he plans to be at every game he can as well as travel at least once with every team on campus. He looks for the students to become a part of his family, as well as become mentors for his own children. To show his Wildcat spirit, Dr. Palmer said, “I want to go a step above stickers. I want to wrap my car in a Wildcat so everyone knows where I am from everywhere I go.”

Lastly, students wanted to know how he felt about the negative connotation around Greek life and how he would about supporting the houses.

Dr. Palmer admitted to not knowing much on the topic but was actively educating himself on the topic knowing how important Greek life is on campus. “I believe Greek life is an effective way to integrate the values of a college into a closer residential environment,” Dr. Palmer also shared the belief Greek involvement does help make people more productive citizens due to philanthropic efforts. While he was impressed with the philanthropies done by Greek life, he did state that he would hold the houses to a standard and they would be held accountable for all actions.

Chairman Leftwich ended the event stating, “Dr. Palmer is not here to replace Kelly, but to be the next best step to take for the college and the board of trustees stands behind him unanimously.”

Dr. Palmer and family cannot wait to take to The hill in the Fall.