By Felley Lawson
OBU News Bureau
ARKADELPHIA — Dr. Rickey Rogers has been named vice president for student development at Ouachita Baptist University, effective June 1.
Rogers has served as dean of students and director of residence life at Ouachita since 2017. When he takes on his new role, he will succeed Dr. Wesley Kluck. Although Kluck is stepping down as vice president for student development, he will continue to serve Ouachita as university physician.
“In our search for the next chief student development officer, Dr. Rogers distinguished himself from other candidates,” said Dr. Ben Sells, Ouachita president. “He has strong support from Ouachita colleagues and students, and high recommendations from student development leaders in Christian higher education.”
Sells added, “Dr. Rogers is part of the retention leadership group that’s been key to the university marking its highest recorded graduation rate, adding to our institutional momentum.”
After completing his B.A. degree in physical education from Ouachita, Rogers earned an M.S. degree in clinical mental health counseling from Henderson State University and an Ed.D. degree in higher education leadership and management from Regent University.
“I am so proud of Rickey and his new position of vice president of student development,” Kluck said. “He has earned this position with his hard work and experience. Receiving his doctorate last year was an example of his pursuit of excellence in higher education. Ouachita will truly benefit from his leadership.”
As vice president, Rogers will lead several key areas of the university, including Residence Life, Campus Housing, Student Life, Student Conduct, Counseling and Disability Services, Health Services, Recreational Life, Summer Camps and Campus Safety & Emergency Management. His main objective will be leading the university’s efforts to provide support to students as they work toward earning their degree. This is especially important to Rogers, whose doctoral dissertation explores ways for Christian universities to build what Rogers calls a “culture of retention.”
“Programs come and go with the person leading them,” Rogers explained. “Developing a culture of retention leads to more permanent growth and stability. The key to that is building a team, where everyone understands their piece of the puzzle. Everyone plays a part in helping students grow and getting them from admission to graduation.”
Rogers’ wife Lydia is also a Ouachita graduate; she serves in Tiger athletics as senior woman administrator and director of athletic compliance at Ouachita. The couple’s children Rickey Jr. and Reyna attend Ouachita; youngest son Ryan is a freshman at Arkadelphia High School. The Rogers are active members of First Baptist Church in Arkadelphia.