Oklahoma Higher Education Campus E-Clips sponsored by the Communicators Council

August 2011

Forbes Named ECU's Vice President for Student Development


Dr. Jerry Forbes is the new vice president for student development at East Central University.
Dr. Jerry Forbes is the new vice president for student development at East Central University.

Dr. Jerry Forbes, the former dean of students at an Arkansas university, became East Central University’s vice president for student development on July 1.

Forbes oversees programs and services designed to help students develop to their full potential, including recruitment and retention, financial aid, campus life and leadership, student government, student health services, disability services, international student programs, career development, several federal grants, and housing, residence life and dining services.

“Student Development is a vital part of the college experience,” said ECU President John Hargrave. “It complements academics by helping students transition from high school to college and by providing opportunities for academic success.

“Dr. Forbes’ background and experience will help ECU continue to foster and expand student success, whether in the classroom or by providing experiences that can help them cultivate the skills to live productively in a complex global society,” he said.

Forbes had been dean of students at Arkansas Tech University in Russellville since January 2008. He was hired as ATU’s first associate dean and director of retention services in 2005 specifically to oversee and improve student retention rates. During Forbes’ tenure, ATU experienced an increase of almost 1,200 students, a 40 percent increase in students living on campus and a 7 percent increase in retaining first-year students.

He also worked to enhance pre-orientation and orientation programs and strengthen ATU’s parent association. He helped add a first-year transition course to the curriculum and taught graduate courses in the School of Education.

Forbes was vice president for student development and dean of students at Oklahoma Wesleyan University in Bartlesville from 1992 to 2002. While there he also established a retention program and increased on-campus occupancy by 25 percent. During the 2002-03 academic year he also was director of institutional research.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in 1981 at Asbury College in Wilmore, Ky., and a master’s degree in education/college student personnel administration in 1984 from the University of Miami in Coral Gables.

He returned to Asbury College until 1989, where he was an adjunct faculty member, a residence hall director and then director of residence life.

He earned a doctor of education degree in higher education administration in 1992 from Indiana University in Bloomington.

ECU dean of students Bronson Warren served as the acting vice president for student development for most of the 2010-11 academic year.

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