Inside Higher Ed | Rhodes College

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Rhodes College

Rhodes College

Educational Excellence In One of the South’s Most Vibrant Cities

Ask anyone who knows about Rhodes College and you will learn about this rare jewel among the nation’s finest liberal arts colleges. Rhodes’ students live and learn on a campus cited as one of America’s most beautiful. Quietly nestled among 110 acres of wooded charm and Collegiate Gothic stone buildings in an attractive residential section of Memphis, Rhodes is just minutes from a revitalized downtown where Beale Street (Home of the Blues) meets the majestic Mississippi River. 

The campus is within walking distance of the Memphis Zoo and the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. Memphis is the 20th largest city in the United States and offers a broad variety of entertainment, cultural and recreational opportunities, good restaurants, malls, shops and great hangouts. As the region’s medical and business hub, Memphis provides students with many internship and research opportunities, as well as career and service opportunities.

Rhodes’ educational excellence is well documented: US. News & World Report lists Rhodes in the Top Tier of America’s Best National Liberal Arts Colleges. Fiske Guide to Colleges names Rhodes one of the “best buys” among the nation’s leading institutions. Rhodes is one of only 40 schools listed in Loren Pope’s “Colleges That Change Lives,” and is also ranked among the top 100 colleges and universities in “Choosing the Right College: The Whole Truth About America’s Top 100 Schools.”

And, Rhodes is included in the Top 100 Best Values in Private Colleges and Universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine. Rhodes ranks 16th among southeastern liberal arts colleges.

Rhodes has achieved this recognition through its long and steadfast commitment to provide its students with an education that challenges them to think critically, independently and creatively, that actively engages them in research and internships, and that connects them in meaningful ways to one another and the larger Memphis community.

Rhodes brings together three major facets of learning seldom found at a single institution: Intellectual growth fostered by intensive interaction between students and faculty; Preparation for professional life supported by a unique internship program drawing on Memphis’ rich variety of opportunities; Personal values strengthened by being part of a diverse student body that adheres to a student-run honor code and regularly engages in service to the broader Memphis community. Rhodes’ faculty members are more than teachers. As Rhodes president William E. Troutt says, “They are gifted teacher-scholars who are challenging, engaging and connecting students in life changing ways. Rhodes graduates will tell you that where they are today comes from being inspired by inspiring teachers.”

Rhodes’ students hold impressive academic and extracurricular credentials. Their mid-range SAT is 1200-1360 (ACT 27-31) with an average grade point average of 3.56. More than one-third were president of at least one high school club or organization and more than 20% were captains of a varsity athletic team. More than 7% were National Merit Scholarship finalists or semi-finalists, 8% were president of their class, 10% were valedictorians or salutatorians of their class and 9% were editors of their high school newspapers or yearbooks.

The college’s 2,025 students are a diverse group, representing 46 states and 7 foreign countries. With 75% living on campus, they form a rich and vibrant community. They are keenly aware of social responsibility and are involved as volunteers throughout their college years. More than 80% of Rhodes’ students are active in community service in the greater Memphis area.

Rhodes’ academic program offers its students a broad variety of programs. There are 18 departmental and 13 interdisciplinary majors leading to a B.A. or B.S. degree. Rhodes’ students benefit from a curriculum that is designed to develop their ability to think critically, communicate effectively, and to appreciate broadly. With one faculty member for every 10 students, it’s easy to get to know teachers. Classes at Rhodes are small, with the average size being 14. Many, particularly advanced, courses are even smaller, promoting intensive interaction between and among students and faculty. Rhodes also offers a variety of opportunities for students to study abroad, gaining valuable insight into other people and cultures. 


Diversity Profile: Rhodes College

A diverse learning community is a necessary element of a liberal arts education, for self-understanding is dependent upon the understanding of others. We, the members of Rhodes College, are committed to fostering a community in which diversity is valued and welcomed. To that end, Rhodes College does not discriminate – and will not tolerate harassment – on the basis of race, gender, color, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and national or ethnic origin.

Rhodes Equal Employment Opportunity Policy prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, veteran status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or disability.

Discrimination and harassment on grounds of race, gender, color, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, and national or ethnic origin are forms of misconduct that undermine the institutional mission of the College and thus will not be tolerated. All members of the College community are responsible for maintaining an environment of mutual respect for all persons.

The College’s policy on sexual harassment and assault is contained in a separate document. This document contains the College’s policy governing other forms of harassment as well as discrimination. The Judicial Coordinator is responsible for ensuring that students are informed of this policy. The Dean of the Faculty and the Director of Human Resources are responsible for taking necessary steps to notify College faculty and staff of the provisions of this policy.

Rhodes College reserves the right to modify these policies and procedures as needed in order to maintain the environment of mutual respect for all persons that is an objective in issuing this present document.

Diversity-Related Offices

Chaplain’s Office

The Chaplain’s Office serves as a gateway to many religious and service opportunities. For more information, contact Walt Tennyson at [email protected], 310 Briggs or 901.843.3804.

Office of Disability Services

The Office of Student Disability Services (SDS) is committed to ensuring that educational programs are accessible to all qualified students in accordance with the provisions of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and expanded by Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. To guard against discrimination on the basis of disability, reasonable and appropriate accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids are determined on a case-by-case basis for otherwise qualified students who have a demonstrated need for these services.  For more information, please contact Melissa Butler McCowen at [email protected] or 901.843.3885.

Office of Multicultural Affairs

Established in 1990, the Office of Multicultural Affairs has a unique role in offering programs & services that enhance the overall quality of life for students of color and other underrepresented populations.  All of the cultural organizations such as All Student Interested in Asia (ASIA), the Black Student Association (BSA), the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), the Hispanic Organization for Language & Activities (HOLA), and Rhodes Indian Cultural Exchange (RICE) reside under the Office of Multicultural Affairs.  These organizations, along with the Multicultural Resource Center are located on the 4th floor of Burrow Hall, and are open to all faculty, staff, and students. For more information contact the Assistant Dean of Multicultural Affairs at 901.843.3885.

Academic Departments

Academic departments such as African American StudiesAsian StudiesLatin American StudiesReligious Studies and Gender & Sexuality Studies are also available sources of information. 

A diverse learning community is a necessary element of a liberal arts education, for self-understanding is dependent upon the understanding of others. We, the members of Rhodes College, are committed to fostering a community in which diversity is valued and welcomed. To that end, Rhodes College does not discriminate – and will not tolerate harassment – on the basis of race, gender, color, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and national or ethnic origin.

We are committed to providing an open learning environment. Freedom of thought, a civil exchange of ideas, and an appreciation of diverse perspectives are fundamental characteristics of a community that is committed to critical inquiry. To promote such an academic and social environment we expect integrity and honesty in our relationships with each other and openness to learning about and experiencing cultural diversity. We believe that these qualities are crucial to fostering social and intellectual maturity and personal growth.

Intellectual maturity also requires individual struggle with unfamiliar ideas. We recognize that our views and convictions will be challenged, and we expect this challenge to take place in a climate of open-mindedness and mutual respect.

Multicultural Affairs

Established at Rhodes in 1990, the Office of Multicultural Affairs fosters a campus-wide climate of respect. It advocates for the promotion of a culturally diverse and nondiscriminatory campus community, preparing students for pursuit of lifelong learning. The Office is open to assist all students regardless of race, gender, color, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, and national or ethnic origin. However, the Office has a unique role with regard to enhancing the overall quality of life for students of color on campus by focusing on retention, programming, leadership development, diversity education, and assisting with recruitment.

The Office is available to the campus community as a resource for crisis intervention. It is also responsible for developing and implementing formal and informal programs and services to educate the entire campus community regarding issues of diversity. As an integral part of the mission of Rhodes, the Office strives to foster an environment conducive to teaching and learning, and supports and nurtures in its students, faculty, and staff, intellectual development and openness to a range of ideas and human possibilities.

Multicultural Resource Center

Students, faculty, and staff may use the multipurpose Resource Center to:

  • Watch movies as well as read books and magazines that offer insight about the history, issues/concerns, and achievements of ethnic minority groups (See resource list for details.)
  • Access the computer lab for multicultural research
  • Facilitate dialogue in a small, intimate, and safe place about diversity-related issues such as race, gender, class, sexual orientation, disability, etc.
  • Conduct tutoring, discussion, or study groups
  • Meet with the Assistant Dean of Students for Multicultural Affairs

LGBT Resources

The Rhodes LGBT Working Group, which was established by Dean of Faculty Michael Drompp and Dean of Students Carol Casey, continuously assesses the college’s LGBT policies and environment to ensure that the Rhodes campus offers the broadest possible inclusivity.

Safe Zones

Safe Zones serve as a source of support and information, free of judgment and hostility. They display the Safe Zone logo to indicate that they have completed Safe Zone training and have signed a contract expressing their commitment to Safe Zone policies and procedures. Safe Zones are also expected to challenge assumptions and prejudices related to sexual orientation and gender and to address heterosexist comments or behaviors in an educational and informative manner.

Serving Our Students (SOS)

SOS matches first-year students with upper-class peer mentors to help them make the academic and social transitions to college life. Mentors help new students feel more connected to the Rhodes community.

Cultural Student Organzations

The Multicultural Affairs Office works closely with several cultural organizations on campus to produce seminars, off-campus experiences, speakers, cultural celebrations and workshops. These programs explore and support the intellectual, social, cultural, political and spiritual development of the entire campus.

Our city and our connections to it are as much a part of the Rhodes education as any lab or lecture hall. Home to Fortune 500 companies such as FedEx and International Paper, and a major hub for biomedical research, distribution and industry, Memphis offers prestigious internships and research opportunities. The city′s independent spirit makes it fertile ground for arts and culture, non-profits, community service and do-it-yourself leaders of all kinds.

Life in Memphis

  • The Beale Street Historic District, the Cooper-Young Entertainment District, and the South Main Arts District are all just minutes from campus.
  • Hailed as the birthplace of both the blues and rock-and-roll, Memphis music is as diverse as our city. World-class entertainers play at clubs and concert venues year-round.
  • Restaurants are almost as legendary as the Memphis music scene. Our students all have their favorites, for everything from downhome barbecue and burgers to fine dining and ethnic specialties.
  • The city also boasts one of the top urban park systems in the US, covering 7,000 acres, and one of them, Overton Park, is right next to our Midtown campus (as is the famous Memphis Zoo).
  • Memphis hosts year-round sports action, with the NBA Grizzlies, the Mississippi River Kings (ice hockey), and the Memphis Redbirds, the minor league baseball team affiliated with the St. Louis Cardinals.

AAUP Compensation Survey Data
Rhodes College


Jobs at Rhodes College

  • Vice President for Student Life

  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • Rhodes College seeks an experienced, strategic, and forward-looking leader for the position of Vice President for Student Life. Reporting to Presid...

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  • Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • Rhodes College seeks a strategic, collaborative, and responsive leader to serve as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Provost wil...

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  • Postdoc Fellow in Physics - CubeSat Program

  • Memphis, TN
  • Posting Details Position Information

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Rhodes College Announcements

Hires and Promotions
  • Alicia Golston

    Dean of students

    Date Announced: June 28, 2019
  • Matt Dean

    Director of athletics

    Date Announced: April 17, 2019
  • Sherry Turner

    Vice president of strategic initiatives

    Date Announced: January 28, 2019
  • Portia Hoeg

    Executive director of athletics

    Date Announced: May 25, 2018

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