Arkansas Tech University President Dr. Robin E. Bowen announced on Nov. 20 that Dr. C. Blake Bedsole has accepted an offer to become vice president for enrollment management at ATU contingent upon approval by the ATU Board of Trustees.
Bedsole, director of admissions and enrollment management at the University of West Alabama, will take office at ATU on Jan. 2, 2018.
He will become the first person to serve as Arkansas Tech vice president for enrollment management, a position that will have direct responsibility for undergraduate, graduate, transfer, international and online admissions on the ATU campuses in Russellville and Ozark. Recruiting, financial aid, marketing and communication will also report to Bedsole.
“Dr. Bedsole has prepared himself for this opportunity through his educational experiences, the progression of his career in higher education and the contributions he has made to strategic enrollment growth at his previous institutions,” said Bowen. “He brings with him an understanding of the evolving nature of student recruitment and retention while maintaining a focus on student success. We look forward to welcoming Dr. Bedsole to our executive council, our university and our community.”
Bedsole holds a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology and a Master of Arts degree in higher education administration from the University of Alabama. He earned a Doctor of Education degree in higher education management from the University of Georgia.
After beginning his career in higher education as coordinator of orientation and special events in the University of Alabama Office of Enrollment Services and Programs from 2006-07, Bedsole spent the next five years as director of admissions and student services in the Manderson Graduate School of Business at the University of Alabama.
Achievements by the Manderson Graduate School from 2007-12 included a 59 percent increase in the applicant pool and a 54 percent increase in the Master of Business Administration degree class size.
Bedsole went on to serve as director of enrollment management in the University of Alabama Graduate School from 2012-15. The school established new record highs for applications, admitted students and enrolled students under his leadership.
The University of Alabama also recruited more Southern Regional Education Board Scholars than any other institution during those three years and enrolled the most diverse entering class in the history of its graduate school in 2014.
Bedsole accepted his current position at the University of West Alabama in July 2015. Annual freshman enrollment at UWA increased by 30 percent during his time in Livingston, Ala.
Three of UWA’s four largest freshman classes over the past 32 years were recruited during Bedsole’s tenure, and the applicant pool increased by 384 percent during a time when the institution reached its goals for academic quality and diversity.
Bedsole is a member of the National Association for College Admissions Counseling, the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers and the National Orientation Directors Association.
He has provided volunteer service to such organizations as the West Alabama Red Cross, Miracle League of Tuscaloosa, Ala., and the American Cancer Society.
Bedsole will visit ATU in mid-December as part of his preparations for his new role.