BOWLING GREEN - Rodney Rogers, the new dean of Bowling Green State University's College of Business Administration, said his college can do more to help the regional economy.
A native of northwest Ohio - he grew up in Kenton in rural Hardin County - Mr. Rogers worked in the Toledo area as an accountant in the 1980s, an era he recalls fondly, especially "the excitement of downtown Toledo."
He returns to the area after studying and teaching in Cleveland, England, France, and the state of Oregon, and he has a different point of view.
"Economic vitality is the key," he said, "and I'm worried. We really need to get after the business of revitalizing the economy. Business schools have a responsibility to work with communities."
Mr. Rogers, who was last at Portland State University in Oregon as an associate business dean, said he has several goals: recruit more high-achieving high school students, "find ways to embed BGSU in the fabric of our community," teach business in a more holistic way, and work more closely with the University of Toledo's College of Business Administration.
Dean for two months, he met recently with his counterpart at UT, Thomas Gutteridge, business dean for the last three years, to discuss possible areas of cooperation.
Said Mr. Gutteridge: "We can work together to improve the regional economy. We'll continue to compete on the football field and in recruiting of students, but that leaves a lot of room for cooperation."
Mr. Rogers received an accounting degree from Ohio Northern University in Ada, an MBA from BGSU, and his doctorate from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.
In between colleges, he worked for the Arthur Young accounting firm's Toledo office from 1981 to 1985, and then spent six years at a private accounting practice in Kenton while teaching at Ohio Northern.
A former colleague at Arthur Young had high praise for Mr. Rogers. Larry Davenport, now a partner at Ernst & Young, said, "He was an excellent businessman as well as an excellent tax accountant."
Mr. Rogers said he doesn't mind the nicknames for accounting types - terms such as "bean counter" and "number cruncher." But he said, "I would hate to be thought of as a bureaucrat."
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