Written by: John Stephen
VSU has finally found a permanent provost—a well-traveled Trinidad and Tobago native who jams to vinyl records, has a passion for helping students succeed and yes, even takes long walks on the beach with his wife.
Dr. Hudson Rogers, father of two and grandfather of one, currently lives in Fort Meyers, Fla., where he has resided for the past 17 years while working at Florida Gulf Coast University, moving his way from finance and marketing department chair to dean of FGCU’s Lutgert College of Business.
But now Dr. Rogers and his wife, Dr. Elsa Rogers, are leaving behind the sunny Florida coast to start a new life in Valdosta as he becomes VSU’s provost and vice president for academic affairs, one of the highest and most influential positions on campus.
Dr. Rogers says he is “elated” to be chosen for the office.
“Exciting things are happening at VSU, and it is an honor to have the opportunity to be a part of the VSU family,” Rogers said in an email.
The search for a new provost proved to be long and somewhat difficult. A special committee at VSU scoured a nationwide pool of candidates, looking for just the right person.
During that time, President William J. McKinney said that Dr. Rogers swiftly emerged as one of the top contenders.
“Not only did Dr. Rogers instantly rise to the top of a very competitive pool in our national search, but he was also the unambiguously clear choice of our campus community and the unanimous first choice of our search committee,” Dr. McKinney said.
Dr. Rogers said he was impressed with VSU from the start of his journey to becoming the provost and believes that he is the right fit for the job.
“(I have) an experiential frame of reference and a skill set that fits well with the university, and I look forward to joining an outstanding faculty, staff and administrative team focused on student success,” Dr. Rogers said.
Dr. Rogers has certainly accumulated an impressive track record.
He holds a doctorate degree in business administration, and in addition to his extensive administrative experience, he has taught marketing at several universities in the United States and other countries around the world, including Germany, France and his home country of Trinidad and Tobago, or “Trinbago,” as he fondly calls it.
Dr. Rogers is full of ideas for maintaining and improving the quality of post-secondary education, and he hopes to assist in resolving the major issues that plague VSU and most higher education institutions, such as budget reductions, tuition increases and rising student debt.
He understands the difficulties students face because he faced the same challenges while in college−trying to find access and affordability and attempting to balance school, work and life in general.
Dr. Rogers said motivating students to succeed, despite the obstacles they encounter, is one of his greatest accomplishments, right after raising two children with his wife.
“The drive to succeed is a gift/blessing that was given to me by my parents, teachers and mentors, and I am simply paying it forward,” Dr. Rogers said. “I believe that we find our passion by being a part of and involved in something bigger than ourselves.”
When not focusing on the academic world, Dr. Rogers reads for entertainment and cultivates his love for music−blues, jazz, and especially calypso, a form of music that originated in Trinidad and Tobago. Early in his life, Dr. Rogers found a passion in collecting vinyl records, and he now possesses over 3,000 of them.
If Dr. Rogers’ music interests are any reflection of his personality, students can expect a new provost that is easygoing and humorous as well as upbeat, intelligent and unique.