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The dean of students of an Arkansas university will become vice president for student development July 1 at East Central University in Ada.

The appointment of Dr. Jerry Forbes was approved at the June meeting of the Board of Regents of the Regional University System of Oklahoma.

Photo of Jerry Forbes
Photo of Jerry Forbes

Forbes has 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. Since that time, ATU has 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.

At ECU he will oversee a wide range of supportive and challenging programs and services designed to help students develop to their full potential.

“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.

Areas under Forbes’ oversight at ECU will include 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.

ECU Dean of Students Bronson Warren has served as the acting vice president for student development for most of the 2010-2011 academic year.

At Arkansas Tech University Forbes also worked to enhance pre-orientation and orientation programs and strengthen its parent association. He helped add a first-year transition course to the curriculum and taught graduate courses in the School of Education.

Before coming to ATU, he was vice president for student development and dean of students from 1992 to 2002 at Oklahoma Wesleyan University in Bartlesville. 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.

Forbes 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.


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