During Rogers’ tenure the College experienced a major transformation to become one of the foremost art and design colleges in the world, ranked the number three design school in the U.S. by LinkedIn. Enrollment has doubled with the addition of seven new undergraduate degree programs and the College’s first graduate programs. Numerous student service functions were added to improve the student experience. The endowment increased from $6 million to over $80 million, thanks in part to a $50 million bequest from Josephine F. Ford, the largest gift ever made to a private art and design college.
Physical space increased from 280,000 square feet to over 1.5 million. Rogers’ first major project was the creation of the Walter and Josephine Ford Campus between 1999 and 2005, including construction of the 102,000-square-foot Walter B. Ford II Building followed by the Josephine F. Ford Sculpture Garden in collaboration with the Detroit Institute of Arts.
In 2008, CCS embarked on the $145 million redevelopment of the 760,000-square-foot historic Argonaut Building (General Motors’ first research and design center) into the A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education. Located less than a mile from the original campus, the building houses programs from sixth grade through graduate school including the College’s graduate and undergraduate design programs as well as Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies, a charter school of art and design founded in 2009 by CCS, the Henry Ford Learning Institute and the Thompson Educational Foundation. The Taubman Center also is home to Shinola and Design Core Detroit, the economic development office launched by CCS and Business Leaders for Michigan that stewards Detroit’s UNESCO City of Design designation.
During Rogers’ time CCS made community engagement a core part of its mission. In addition to Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies and Design Core Detroit, its outreach efforts include its Community Arts Partnerships program and Community + Public Art: Detroit, which together bring art education and permanent public art projects to neighborhoods around the city and reach over 3,000 students per year; precollege and adult education programs; managing the Kresge Arts in Detroit program of artist fellowships for the Kresge Foundation; and an extensive series of public exhibitions and lectures.
Rogers serves on numerous boards including The McGregor Fund, New Detroit Inc., and Michigan Independent Colleges and Universities. He currently is a member of the steering committee and jury for the DIA Plaza and Midtown Cultural Connections project and has served on many ad hoc committees focused on Detroit revitalization.
A national search to identify Rogers’ successor will begin soon.