March 2, 2015

Academia / Education

Trendsetters - May 2007

Mike Vogel | 5/1/2007

Roger Casey
Rollins College
Vice president, provost
Winter Park

Degrees: Doctorate, English, Florida State University, 1991; master's, English, FSU, 1988; bachelor's, English, Furman University, 1983.

Favorite Shakespeare: "Hamlet."

A favorite non-Shakespeare play:
"How I Learned to Drive."

Recent acting gig: With his wife, Robyn, in "Devotedly, With Dearest Love: The Letters of Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald."

Driving Change

Roger Casey's father was a mechanic in South Carolina. "My earliest memories are of crawling under a car with him," he says.

That may explain why as a student of literature he dwelled on the car. His writings include "The Driving Machine: Automobility and American Literature."

These days, though, Casey, 46, steers Rollins College, the Winter Park liberal arts college with 1,750 traditional undergraduates where Casey is provost, or chief academic officer. The word "provost," he jokes, "sounds like one of those drugs they give you for a disease you didn't know you had."

His prescription for Rollins has included pushing student community service, locally and internationally in places such as the Dominican Republic; overseeing the addition of 70 faculty and a lowering of faculty-student ratios to 1:10; and increasing opportunities for faculty to broaden themselves internationally by learning Spanish or visiting the Galapagos, China or elsewhere.

Change in a tenure-secure environment is notoriously difficult to pull off. Casey says the key is to plant seeds at the lowest level and be grateful for getting some of what you want, not all. He likens it to his experiences directing theater. He studied acting and directing at the Royal Shakespeare Company in England. In speeches, he's been known to rap. Casey's own driving machine is a Miata, though he owns a 1970s vintage F100 pickup and a Thunderbird.

Tags: Trendsetters, North Central, Education

Digital Access

Add digital to your current subscription, purchase a single ditgital issue, or start a new subscription to Florida Trend.

An overview of the features and articles in this month's issue of Florida Trend.


Florida Business News

Florida Trend Video Pick

Brevard man finalist for one-way trip to Mars
Brevard man finalist for one-way trip to Mars

A Merritt Island man has advanced to the final round of 100 candidates vying to be selected as astronauts by the Mars One Foundation, which wants to establish a human settlement on the Red Planet in the next decade.

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

Is this the year Florida's legislature will accept billions of dollars in Medicaid expansion?

  • Yes, legislators can't avoid it. It's our money.
  • No, the House won't approve anything related to Obamacare.

See Results

Ballot Box