Fred Alfred Pierce III considers himself to be a life-long pupil of higher education. He attended college as a first generation student attempting to find his way, and chose to study and incorporate Appalachia into his intellectual pursuits as frequently as possible. Discovering a passion for intellectual inquiry in himself, he felt compelled to return to southwest Virginia to worth with Project Discovery to inspire high school students to consider the pursuit of post-secondary education. Working in this program solidified his calling as an enrollment officer at a purposeful institution. Working first at the University of Tennessee, and then at the University of Mary Washington and the University of Wisconsin La Crosse, he built on 10 years of college-based admissions and comprehensive student support experience in the advancement of expertise in competitive recruitment, admissions and aid packaging.
Fred Pierce came to Lake Superior State University from the University of Iowa, where he was the director of corporate partnerships and career services for the Tippie College of Business from 2016 to 2019. “I was drawn to Lake Superior State University by its mission of service to the region and commitment to furthering access, equity, and social mobility for the students we serve,” said Fred. “The quality of life in the Upper Peninsula significantly contributed to the attractiveness of the opportunity.”
In his position at the University of Iowa, Fred developed and supported the expansion of corporate partnerships across the Tippie College of Business and enhanced existing strategic initiatives related to coordination of diverse career services. He coordinated responsibilities, activities and support to maximize outcomes, resource allocation, responsibilities and staff expertise.
Prior to that, Pierce was the associate vice chancellor for enrollment management and the director of international education and engagement at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse from 2013 to 2016. In that role he provided strategic direction and leadership to the division of Enrollment Management to create a student centric, data driven culture. Accomplishments in this position include creating the largest class in 30 years; securing the most diverse class in the history of the institution; and increasing the four year graduation rate by 6%. Included in his time at UW-La Crosse was a year as director of international education and engagement.
Earlier experience includes two years at the University of Mary Washington as associate provost for enrollment management and student services, where he introduced territory management, created brand management strategy and reinvented academic and career services. In ten years at the University of Tennessee as the director of the College of Business Administration undergraduate programs he simplified the application process to increase yield, increased college retention from 74% to 90% and increased the six year graduation rate from 68% to 86%. While there he also served five years as co-director of the Global Leadership Scholars, a college-based honors program. Prior to that he spent two years as assistant director of advising services for the College of Arts & Sciences, two years as a graduate assistant advisor and three years as a graduate teaching assistant, all at the U. of Tennessee. Before coming to UT he spent a year as a program counselor for Project Discovery with People Incorporated Community Action Agency in Abingdon, Virginia, assisting first generation, at-risk and low income high school students with college preparation.
Pierce completed leadership development programs in La Crosse, Wisconsin and Washington County, Virginia. He instructed numerous leadership seminars and academic classes and was an institutional representative for ROTC.
Fred has attended multiple professional conferences in the areas of admissions, advising, career services, corporate relations, customer relationship management, enrollment management, first year experience, high impact practices, international education, management and assessment and geography. He has presented at several national conferences on academic advising and also in the geography discipline.
Pierce was recognized with the Global Leadership Scholars North Star Award for Leadership in 2011; the College of Business Administration Outstanding Staff Award for Professionalism in 2004 and 2010; and the Provost’s Citation for Excellence in Advising in 2002.
“I look forward to making substantial contributions to the city of Sault Ste. Marie, the EUP, and LSSU,” said Fred. “It is a great opportunity for me and my family to be part of a great community.”
Pierce earned a bachelor of arts at the University of North Carolina, majoring in economics with a minor in American studies. He completed a master of science in the Department of Geography at the University of Tennessee with a thesis on Manufacturing Communities of Appalachian Tennessee 1958-1992. He has completed doctoral level coursework in geography, human resource development and management.
Fred and his wife Kim have a daughter, Clara, who is in the second grade. Their dog Roxy is a redtick coonhound and direct descendant of the Michigan Swamp Rooster. The family enjoys outdoor activities and is looking forward to a glorious summer in the U.P.