Vice President Roger Demareski to leave college at the end of month

Roger+Demareski+has+worked+at+Lafayette+since+2014.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Villanova+University%29

Roger Demareski has worked at Lafayette since 2014. (Photo courtesy of Villanova University)

Lucie Lagodich, Editor-in-Chief

The Vice President for Finance & Administration Roger Demareski will be leaving Lafayette towards the end of this month to begin his new role as executive vice president of administration and operations at his alma mater, Villanova University. He will begin this new position on Nov. 29.

Demareski spent the last seven years at Lafayette working in the president’s cabinet and emphasized that his fondest memory of Lafayette will be the team he worked with during his employment.

“We all progress through our careers, we leave different places or institutions. I’ve had the pleasure of working at Turner Construction, Seton Hall, Princeton, but Lafayette has been, I would say, for me the most special of all my experiences. [It is] the hardest institution for me to move on from,” Demareski said. “It’s the relationships, the team.”

While at Lafayette, he worked on improving the financial health of the college and focused heavily on planning and implementing Lafayette’s ongoing construction and expansion plans.

“I’m proud of Rockwell and McCartney, and I’m proud of the financial health of the institution and getting us through covid,” Demareski said. “I’m most proud of the team that we built. Some very, very talented, hardworking people, just fantastic to work with. And then the opportunity to work with two very talented presidents. Obviously, with Allison Byerly longer, but then the opportunity to work with and get to know and have relationships with the Board [of Trustees], those are probably my things I’m most proud of.”

“The projects, the finances are great, but the relationships are really the key ones for me,” he added.

Hurd explained that Demareski went through a national search process and was offered the position at Villanova. She added that his position will remain vacant for the time being, and no one will immediately step into the roll.

“I’m squarely about community. I want to hear some input about reshaping that job and thinking about how we might restructure that job to reflect where the college is going next,” Hurd said, “So, it’s an opportunity to think about candidates, think about community values and think about what we’re going together before we post a job. We’re going to do some listening and learning about how to reshape that position.”

While excited to return to his old institution, Demareski noted that Lafayette has had a significant impact on him and his career.

While Demareski said that Lafayette has had a significant impact on his career, he is excited to return to his alma mater, where he met his wife and maintains a strong connection to the school due to status as an alum.

“For me, it’s about taking my experience, the things I’ve learned at Lafayette, Princeton and Seton Hall and…giving back to the place that did so much for me and so that’s really what’s been driving my change,” Demareski said. “It’s a wonderful position. It’s a larger university setting, more responsibility. But I think for anyone, the chance to get back to their alma mater, a place that certainly made a huge difference in my life, that’s probably the largest draw.”

He added that his new role is an “elevation in responsibility.”

“For me, being Executive Vice President, and having the ability to work even more closely with Father Peter—who’s the president–and provost on their new strategic plan, which they just launched in 2020. I think that’s the attractive part,” Demareski said. “But certainly, I’ve enjoyed being the Chief Financial Officer at Lafayette. But this expanded role, I think I’ll have a greater impact…and a larger opportunity to give back.”

Lafayette released a statement about Demareski’s appointment at Villanova on Nov. 1.

“I’m thrilled to be sort of going back home to my alma mater and have the ability to get back. But I’ll always be–I tell people–I’m always going to be a parent. My son is class of 2023 as a junior, and I couldn’t be prouder of him and how well he’s doing. So, I have a connection to Lafayette that will never go away,” Demareski said. “I look forward to staying in touch with the place.”

News Editor Nathan Kornfeind ’23 contributed reporting.

Correction 11/9/21: This article originally stated that Lafayette had not released a statement on Demareski’s departure. The college did release a statement on Nov. 1 that was emailed to faculty and staff and is available on the Lafayette Today website.