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Rodney Rogers adapts to new position as provost

Rodney+Rogers
Rodney Rogers

Rodney Rogers has had several offices on college campuses, but he has never liked to stay cooped up in one for very long.

His academic work has taken him across the globe – from Portland State University in Oregon to Marseille, France – where he has taught accounting and served in various administrative positions.

At Bowling Green State University he has taken on his role as the new provost by striving to make an impact on campus and in the community. Those closest to him attest to his dedication.

“He’s pretty approachable; a lot of my friends say when you imagine a provost, you don’t imagine someone who is so easy to talk to,” said senior Skyler Rogers, Rodney’s nephew. “I think it’s really cool that he has Ohio roots, and has done things all over the world, but is now giving back to the area that started it all.”

Rodney, from Kenton, Ohio, was named the University’s vice president for academic affairs and provost in November after a nationwide search and interview process. His yearly salary will be $275,000.

Rodney was the University’s interim provost prior to the search and has been the dean of the College of Business Administration since 2006.

When he moved to Bowling Green that year with his wife and twin sons, Rodney quickly made a home for himself in the welcoming atmosphere of what he calls a “traditional college town.”

“I had never lived in a college town before, and this city and University are integrated beautifully,” Rodney said. “Energy exists that is somewhat unique when students arrive in the fall, and that hustle and bustle is something we all enjoy.”

Rodney received his bachelor’s degree from Ohio Northern University, master’s degree from Bowling Green State University and his doctorate from Case Western Reserve University.

His primary goals as provost include revamping undergraduate education, implementing a graduate strategic plan and improving student retention and faculty research, Rodney said.

A great deal of making those goals a reality requires interacting with faculty, staff, administrators and student leaders on campus, Rodney said. He plans to meet with “all academic units of the University” this semester to hear their concerns.

“If there’s an individual or a group trying to move forward, I’ll support them in any way possible to achieve their goals,” Rodney said. “As a leader, I need to know when to push and also when to stop and ask how I can help. There’s always give and take involved.”

John Folkins, Faculty Senate chair, said the effort clearly shows.

“He’s doing a great job to collaborate and is going out of his way to interact with not just the senate, but faculty as a whole,” Folkins said. “There’s a lot of optimism on campus right now, and we’re looking forward to a healthy, working relationship with him.”

Bill Primrose, Board of Trustees chair, agreed. He worked side-by-side with Rodney on the search committee that selected Mary Ellen Mazey as the University’s president.

Based on the experience, Primrose said he is confident Rodney can tackle his latest task with the board: heading academic affairs committee meetings starting this Friday.

“He was one of the best on that committee as far as delving into resumes and understanding the needs of BGSU,” Primrose said. “He was very thoughtful and analytical, and I would call him for his council often … I’m very comfortable with him running the meetings because I know he’ll do a great job.”

The feeling also applies to Rodney’s new role as provost, Primrose said.

“We have a wonderful team there with the new president and provost, and really the entire cabinet,” he said. “I think [Rodney] is a perfect guy for President Mazey to work with and I’m really optimistic for what’s ahead.”

That work will also benefit students, who shouldn’t view a separation between themselves and University administrators, Skyler said.

“I challenge students to reach out to him, whether they have an event coming up, or if they’re just interested in hearing what’s going on at the University,” he said. “He may have a busy job, but he has a student-centered attitude, and he will listen to anything they would suggest to make the University a better place.”

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