Dr. Ernest R. Goeres establishes first higher education administration support fund


Past dean and faculty emeritus of the West Virginia University College of Education and Human Services, Ernest R. Goeres, has established The Dr. Ernest R. Goeres Higher Education Administration Endowment Fund. The $25,000 endowed fund will provide support to the college for research, teaching and service activities, as well as for the “extras” that come with a highly respected program.

Goeres served as an assistant dean, associate dean and interim dean of CEHS, before serving as the director of the higher education administration program. As a retired administrator, he understands first-hand the importance of discretionary funds. His decision to give back to the college that he helmed for years was instinctual.

“Without special funds the ‘extra’ things, even just pizza and pop, aren’t possible,” said Goeres. This is why he, along with other contributors, established the unique endowment.

Goeres joined the CEHS faculty in 1972 when he was recruited by Dean William G. Monahan, a man described by Goeres as “a combination of Mark Twain, Albert Einstein, and Mother Teresa. He was both brilliant, a great purveyor of stories, and humane.”

It was robust and humane leadership like Dean Monahan’s that greatly impacted Goeres’ successful career in higher education administration and inspired him to do the same for others.

Goeres’ program impact goes far beyond his financial support. “Dr. Goeres single handedly perked my interest in higher education administration, and convinced me that a career in this field is possible,” said Suzanne Gosden Kitchen, EdD, Teacher Associate Professor and Assistant Chair of the Management and Industrial Relations Department at the West Virginia University College of Business and Economics.

According to Goeres, “How you treat people is an important part of leadership, especially in higher education, and I think our program does a great job preparing humane and strong leaders.”

“It didn’t take long to recognize the hard work Ernie had put into the program over the years. His attention to quality and care of students has been a cornerstone in building such a strong program,” stated Nathan Sorber, PhD, Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Higher Education Administration Program. “It is an honor to continue Ernie’s great legacy through this gift.”

The support this endowment will give to students at CEHS also includes assistance for student research projects, graduate assistantships, program sponsored activities as well as positive opportunities to communicate with their peers, often over pizza and pop.

The WVU Foundation, in partnership with the University, is currently conducting A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University. The goal of the largest fundraising effort in the history of the University is to raise $1 billion by December 2017.

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