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TWU Board of Trustees Announce Next President

TWU Board of Trustees Announce Next President

The Tennessee Wesleyan University Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that on July 1, 2022, Dr. Tyler Forrest will become the next President of the University. Dr. Forrest is currently the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He will be the first TWU President to have been born and raised in Athens, Tennessee, where he resides with his wife, Emily, and their two children, Caroline and Benjamin.

The Board overwhelmingly elected Dr. Forrest for his financial and administrative expertise and natural leadership skills. Dr. Bobby Goodfriend, TWU Board Chair, commented that “Tyler Forrest is the right person at the right time. He has the background to build on the exceptional accomplishments of retiring President Dr. Harley Knowles. His proven talents on the operational side of higher education, his energy, commitment, and deep knowledge of best practices, the state, and the community are the perfect complement to support and build on our strong academics, student life, and athletics. We couldn’t be more excited to bring such a talented higher education executive to Tennessee Wesleyan University.”

As Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration at UTC, Dr. Forrest serves as the Chief Business Officer and member of the Chancellor’s Executive Leadership Team with responsibility for financial management, human resources, facilities operations, emergency services, and auxiliary enterprises. He has financial responsibility for campus operating, restricted, and capital budgets and is the financial liaison with the Campus Advisory Board, UT System, and UC Foundation.

Dr. Forrest has a Ph.D. in Learning and Leadership, an MBA, and a B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Additionally, he is a McMinn County High School graduate and a product of the Athens City School System.

Dr. Forrest currently serves on the SACSCOC Reaffirmation Leadership Committee, University Planning and Resource Advisory Council (UPRAC), UT System Enterprise Resource Planning Steering Committee, and the UT System Policy Committee. He is involved in many organizations within the Athens community, including the McMinn County Library Board of Directors, Athens City Council Advisory Committee, and the McMinn County Regional Humane Society Board of Directors. He is also on the Board of Directors of the Partnership for Families, Children, and Adults, the Orange Grove Center, the Bessie Smith Cultural Center, and Chattanooga African American Museum. Dr. Forrest and his family are active members of Eastanallee Baptist Church.

Dr. Steven Angle, Chancellor of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, said of Dr. Forrest, “This is a bittersweet transition at UTC because we are all so proud of Dr. Forrest and grateful for what he has meant to this institution. He has not only been an extremely effective leader but a friend, and he is a model of what our institution represents. Tyler and Emily will always be part of our Moc family. This is a wonderful opportunity for TWU and the Forrests, and we wish them the very best.”

Dr. Forrest offered this statement, “I am thrilled at the opportunity to serve Tennessee Wesleyan University in my hometown of Athens. It is an honor to follow Dr. Knowles, who, along with the TWU team, has put the campus in an excellent position. I look forward to working closely with the students, faculty, staff, and community to advance TWU to even greater heights. A special word of thanks is owed to Board Chair Bobby Goodfriend, Search Chair Jim Winer, the Board of Trustees, and the Search Committee, who invested countless hours into the search process. I am very thankful for their support. My family and I are incredibly excited to be a part of TWU.”

The search committee, consisting of trustees, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members, worked with WittKiefer, one of the leading academic and organizational search firms in the United States. The search garnered interest from an exceptionally strong pool of candidates. Three excellent candidates were invited to visit the campus, address the TWU and Athens communities, respond to questions, and meet individually with faculty, staff, and student groups. After careful deliberation, the Board concluded that Dr. Forrest matched the mission and leadership needs of the University.