The search for the next Midwestern State University president continued on Wednesday with another candidate forum. There are only three candidates left.
Dr. Andrew Rogerson is the second candidate. Currently, Rogerson is the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Sonoma State University. On Wednesday he was at MSU for the forums and to take a tour of the University.
His resume shows he has held faculty and research positions in three different countries. This includes the U.S., Canada, and Scotland. However, he said now is the time to take on the role of a president.
“I'm ready because of the years of administrative experience of being an associate dean or a dean for about eight years,” he said, “I've been a provost for four years. This is a lot of upward progressive academic experience.”
One of the reasons why he wants to be the president at MSU is because it's a liberal arts university.
Dr. Rogerson said, “I believe in the mission of MSU. I love the fact that it's a liberal arts university. The only one of its kind in Texas.”
However, he realizes becoming a president of a university isn't easy. He explained there will be many challenges in the next ten years for higher education.
“I think we're seeing a trend where the number of students across America are dropping,” Dr. Rogerson said, “We dropped about two-percent last year, which is the first time since the 1990's.”
He said another struggle is getting students to stay at MSU and not transfer to another institution.
“Students for various reasons decide they don't want to finish their education here,” Dr. Rogerson said, “I think we have to do something about that and that's communication as much as anything else.”
Dr. Rogerson said they have to continue to remind students of what a university like MSU can do for them. Especially, since it appears MSU is leaning more towards health sciences.
“We can still teach in the liberal arts and science tradition,” he said, “We can still give a broad based education that's relevant to a professional degree.”
As he explained, it is very important for students to show employers that they can adapt.
“This is what employers want. I talk to employers routinely and 89-percent of them want this kind of graduate,” Dr. Rogerson said.
So he said he wants to continue pushing MSU in the liberal art direction. He said it's the future. He explained he also wants to push for more diversity among students, faculty, and staff.
“We have to infuse it in the curriculum,” Dr. Rogerson said, “Make sure students don't just accept diversity, but actually celebrate it.”
Dr. Rogerson is originally from Scotland and got his doctorate at the age of 26. Since then, he has been traveling, taking on various positions. As he explained, it's prepared him to take on this position if he is given the opportunity.
The name of the third candidate will be announced on Sunday, March 1