President, Dr. William E. Troutt
President of Rhodes since 1999, Bill Troutt has led a strategic planning process that culminated in the Rhodes Vision, which focuses on student access and learning both in the classroom and through significant student research, work, service, internship and study abroad. Through his leadership, Rhodes has made the following strides:
- Applications for admissions have more than doubled.
- Diversity has also increased, with individuals of color representing 13% of both faculty and student body.
- The college has risen to the top tier of national liberal arts colleges.
- The faculty has adopted an outcomes-based curriculum that gives students greater flexibility in designing their educational experience.
- Seven new endowed faculty chairs and professorships have been established.
- The college has received $11 million in gifts from the Robert and Ruby Priddy Charitable Trust to establish Rhodes CARES (Center for Academic Research and Education through Service) and CODA (Center for Outreach in the Development of the Arts).
- Students have been increasingly connected to Memphis with partnerships established to support student learning at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, FedEx, the National Civil Rights Museum, Rhodes Learning Corridor, Rhodes Hollywood Springdale Partnership and Teach for America–Memphis.
- The nationally recognized Rhodes Student Associates Program has been established to give students meaningful work experiences on campus while defraying a portion of their college costs.
- The college has received the largest gift in its history—$35 million—to build the Paul Barret, Jr. Library, a magnificent building that has re-centered the campus and created a new hub where students connect to each other, to the faculty and to the world.
- The college has increased its emphasis on study abroad and has garnered greater resources to fund students’ international education experiences.
- The East Village apartment-style residential community has been constructed to ensure that the college remains true to the ideals of its residential liberal arts campus.
- A new track and field improvement project provides recreational opportunities and support for Rhodes Division III athletic programs.
A national education leader, Troutt has chaired the American Council on Education and the National Commission on the Cost of Higher Education. He recently completed service on the Abraham Lincoln Commission on Study Abroad. A native of Bolivar, Tennessee, he was named one of the nation’s most effective college presidents in a national study funded by the Exxon Foundation.
Dean of the Faculty, Dr. Michael R. Drompp
Dr. Michael R. Drompp, Dean of the Faculty and Vice-President for Academic Affairs, is the chief academic officer of the College and the “go-to person” for all matters that affect student learning at Rhodes. He is charged with enhancing the quality of undergraduate education through promotion of excellence in teaching, the development of scholarship, and close student-faculty interactions. In addition, he works with academic department chairs and interdisciplinary program directors in addressing curricular, personnel, and budgetary matters.
A published authority on Chinese and Inner Asian history, Drompp has served the College in a number of capacities. He was chair of the Department of History for eight years, headed the President’s Diversity Task Force, chaired the Steering Committee for the President’s ten initiatives for the College, and most recently served as Dean of Academic Affairs for Post-Graduate Fellowships and Faculty Fellow for International Programs.
Drompp joined the Rhodes faculty in 1989 and received the Clarence Day Award for Outstanding Teaching in 1999. He also is a pianist and composer. He holds B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from Indiana University.
Vice President for College Relations, Dr. Russ Wigginton
Dr. Russ Wigginton is Vice President for College Relations at Rhodes College. In this role, Wigginton oversees college grants, foundations and government relations, communications, alumni relations and continuing education. Previously he was a professor in the History department at Rhodes from 1996-2004, specializing in African-American and community history.
Wigginton earned his bachelor’s degree in History from Rhodes College, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2006 Wigginton published a book entitled, “The Strange Career of the Black Athlete: African-Americans and Sports” with Greenwood Press. He has also published articles and essays on African-American social history.
Wigginton’s civic involvement includes serving as board chair for Big Brothers Big Sisters and he is on the board for Ballet Memphis, Memphis Zoological Society, KIPP Academy, St. Georges’ Day Schools and the Memphis Prep Program. He was formerly on the board of Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association, Memphis Literacy Council, and Buckman Boys and Girls Club.
Dean of Students, Carol Casey
A veteran professional in student services, Dean of Students Carol Casey has served Rhodes in various capacities since she joined the staff in 1997. She has directed residence life, crisis management and judicial affairs as well as overseeing all departments in the division since August, 2007.
Casey holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Wittenberg University and a master’s in college student personnel from Miami University. Before coming to Rhodes, Casey spent several years at Tulane University in housing and career services. She is highly respected by both students and peers, having received outstanding administrator awards from both the college administration and Rhodes Student Government (RSG).