Provost’s versatile background makes good fit for Dordt

Amber Vis-Co-editor

Eric Forseth has an eight-page resume.

Most would find this impressive. The resume of Dordt’s new provost includes a bachelor’s degree, masters, postdoctoral studies at Harvard and doctorate from Ohio State.

Forseth has served as a head athletic trainer, head soccer coach, professor, athletic director, department chair, chief executive office, superintendent and vice president of Mount Vernon Nazarene University in Ohio and Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho.

His honors and activities fill up a whole page, single-spaced, from an MVP basketball award in high school to founder and initiator of a China recruitment program in Xi’an and Changsha.

Despite all these accomplishments, Forseth said, “It is humbling to see how God orders our steps. I don’t know any other way to say it except to acknowledge and express gratitude for the professional callings I’ve been afforded in preparation for this present calling as provost.”

President Erik Hoekstra said Forseth was selected from a national, yearlong search for a provost. Hoekstra said that the characteristics which Forseth brings “gave me the confidence and excitement to have him as Dordt College’s next provost.”

Hoekstra thought that Forseth’s previous experience and knowledge of higher education were great characteristics. Hoekstra also said that Forseth has “faith in action.”

“Eric’s personal relationship with Jesus Christ is strong, and it comes out in how and why he does his work,” Hoekstra said.

Hoekstra also thinks that Forseth is equipped with caring for people, managerial effectiveness and “servant-hearted leadership.”

“Eric understands how Christian education can be personally and culturally transformational,” Hoekstra said.

As provost, Forseth’s duties include overseeing the faculty, intercollegiate athletics, dean for curriculum and instruction, dean for scholarship and research, global education (international students) and registrar.

On a typical Wednesday, Forseth has meetings with the dean of global education, registrar, athletic director, dean of curriculum and instruction and the executive assistant on planning matters.

In between all of these meetings, Forseth returns phone calls, answers emails and works on strategic initiative planning.

In spite of all these meetings and planning, Forseth wakes up early to exercise, has personal devotions, attends chapel, has a spontaneous lunch in the commons with students, spends time with family and takes the family dog, Bandit, on a walk.

“Our family is excited to be at this juncture of Dordt College’s history,” Forseth said.

Forseth’s son, Nathan is a junior at Dordt, who majors in business and plays baseball. His daughter is a special education teacher in a Christian school in Idaho, and she is also the head volleyball coach there. Forseth’s wife has been involved in Christian higher education, and she was previously a department chair in HHP.

“I really enjoy the people and the students. I have an admiration for this place already because it is purposeful and intentional. I can see it in the way people walk around here. They want to have a transformational, educational experience,” Forseth said. “Dordt College is an amazing institution that has such a ‘purposeful’ direction. Students are challenged to grow deeper in all areas of their life versus just growing academically.”


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