VP of Student Affairs candidate shares goals for CMU at first open forum

Bill Hebert, Jr.

Vice President of Student Affairs candidate Bill Hébert Jr. discussed student retention and housing and food security during the first open forum on April 13 in the Bovee University Center Lakeshore Room.

Hébert is currently the Vice President of Student Success at Illinois Central College (ICC). In this position, he oversees enrollment services, Dean of Students departments, International Student Services and the Department of Athletics. Hébert has over 25 years of experience in administration positions.

Hébert began the forum by sharing three experiences that have helped him throughout his career including his single mother's persistence, teamwork in division 1 sports and overcoming obstacles.

“Those things have shaped the person I am,” Hébert said. “I'm able to lead these large student affairs departments, create change, be innovative, be visionary and then work in teams collaboratively across the board.”

One audience member asked Hébert how he would combat students feeling like they do not belong.

He said he would work on keeping students engaged with campus by assessing resources, assisting registered student organizations and creating student appreciation events. 

“Belongingness is a two-way street where you want the students engaged and do what I call taking ownership of campus,” he said.

Hébert said retention is "right up his alley" as he currently works with enrollment services at ICC. He referenced an effort that recruited over 1,000 students through wellness surveys, academic advisors and a student success coaching program called Inside Track.

“I’m about being proactive,” Hébert said. “Anything internal, we should be able to fix.”

Hébert said to best serve the campus community, he would first assess students basic needs' and then, ensure resources are available fulfill those needs.

“There's so many different ways to do it, but at the end of the day it's what we identify as a need, and inhabit structure in a system,” he said.

Hébert said part of his passion is creating, being innovative and being proactive. He said he is ready and excited for the opportunity to mentor students. 

“I’m ready to be here for the long haul,” Hébert said. “I’m ready to contribute and ready to be a part of (CMU's) fabric.”

Upcoming open forums

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Renee Watson

5:30 p.m. - 6:20 p.m.

Bovee UC room 303, Lake Michigan Room

Friday, April 15, 2022

Michael Jasik

5:30 p.m. - 6:20 p.m.

Bovee UC room 125, Lakeshore Room.