Forsyth Tech Community College. A place of promise. President's Message. Dr. Janet N. Spriggs.

Good Morning Forsyth Tech Team,

It is my privilege and pleasure to share exciting news with you this morning.  Following an extensive job selection process yielding more than 60 applicants, I am happy to announce:

Dr. Jacob Surratt will join Forsyth Tech as our new Vice President of Student Academic Success/Chief Academic Officer on December 2, 2020.

The pool of candidates for this position, and particularly the five finalists, were highly qualified academic leaders and any one of them would have been an excellent VP/CAO.  However, during the extensive and collaborative search process, Dr. Surratt emerged as the frontrunner, and ultimately as the best choice to lead the Student Academic Success division forward as we continue our work to build a premiere Student-Ready culture focused on exceeding our Vision 2025 strategic goals and outcomes. His community college teaching experience and academic leadership, combined with his focus on advancing student success, his passion for delivering excellent, high quality teaching and learning, and his personable and relational approach make him the right choice and perfect fit for Forsyth Tech.

Dr. Surratt grew up in Mount Airy, N.C. He received his Bachelor of Science in Physical Education in 2002 from Appalachian State University where he was a North Carolina Teaching Fellow.  In 2008, he earned a Master of Science in Sport Studies from High Point University, and a Doctor of Education (EdD) in Kinesiology in 2019 from the University of North Carolina Greensboro.

After starting as a K-12 teacher, Dr. Surratt quickly decided education was his professional purpose, but knew he wanted to move into higher education.  He is currently Dean of Arts, Sciences and Health Professions at Wytheville Community College in Wytheville, VA, having previously served at Gaston College, moving from adjunct instructor into roles of increasing responsibility, including Associate Dean in Health and Human Services.

In his application cover letter, Dr. Surratt said, “No matter what I do, what is “best for students” is the focus. Ensuring student success does not solely exist in a program or initiative but should be ingrained in every aspect of any institution of learning.”

In his new role, Dr. Surratt will be the executive leader for College and Career Readiness, Transformative Learning including the Library/Learning Resources Center, Academic Tutoring and the Center for Teaching and Learning, and all curriculum programs encompassing 70 associate in applied science degrees, four college transfer degrees, and more than 100 certificate and diploma programs.

“I am thrilled to be joining Forsyth Tech as Vice President for Student Academic Success and Chief Academic Officer,” Dr. Surratt said. “I look forward to leading the college’s strong, dedicated and accomplished faculty and staff in creating new and relevant programmatic opportunities for students while helping ensure their continued persistence and retention.”

On the personal side, Dr. Surratt and his wife Casey have three children, Luke, Lillian and Liza and a dog named Daisy. Some of his interests are hiking, camping, being outdoors with his family, and playing the guitar and piano.

Dr. Surratt’s demonstrated ability to lead academic programming, to bring faculty and staff together to support and increase student success, and his innovative and collaborative leadership style will be instrumental in helping us achieve our vision to be a catalyst for equitable economic mobility, empowering lives and transforming communities.

Welcome to Forsyth Tech Dr. Jacob Surratt!

Final Thoughts

“Today is your opportunity to build the tomorrow you want.”

Ken Poirot

This year, we have faced many unforeseen and unwelcome challenges together.  I believe challenges breed opportunities, and we have certainly turned many COVID-19 challenges into opportunities to innovate with excellence.  Together, we have bravely faced every challenge, and together, we are building a tomorrow filled with opportunities for our students, and for our collective future.  Stay strong Forsyth Tech!  The best is yet to come.

Take care and stay safe!

Warm Regards,

Dr. Janet Spriggs