Robert R. Kline, 80, a Catholic priest who served as president of Mount St. Mary's College and Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md., from 1961 to 1967 and who then taught there until retiring in 1987, died of cancer June 5 at the home of a nephew in Steelton, Pa. He lived in Emmitsburg on the college campus.

Monsignor Kline, a Pennsylvania native, began his affiliation with Mount St. Mary's when he entered the college as a freshman in 1937. He left eight years later, after graduating from both the college and the seminary.

He was ordained a priest of the diocese of Scranton in 1945, then returned to the college in 1946 as a member of the faculty. A professor of philosophy, he also taught courses in psychology and sociology.

In 1947, he was named assistant dean of men. Over the next 16 years, he also served as campus chaplain and chairman of the philosophy department and taught classes at St. Joseph College, also in Emmitsburg.

Also during these years, he received master's and doctoral degrees in philosophy from Georgetown University.

In 1962, he was elevated by Pope John XXIII to domestic prelate with the title right reverend monsignor.

Following his years as college president, Monsignor Kline returned to teaching and the post of philosophy department chairman. He later chaired the psychology and sociology department. After retiring as professor emeritus, he continued to teach at the college. He also served as chaplain of the St. Joseph College alumni association until his death.

He was the recipient of the highest awards of both Mount St. Mary's College and its alumni groups. The college's awards included both an honorary degree and the Mount's 1986 President's Medal.

Monsignor Kline, who is said to have taught more than 15,000 students over the years, leaves no immediate survivors.