University employee ends 34-year career

Kristin Gustafson

After 34 years of handling the comings and goings of University personnel, Roger Forrester is taking his own leave.
After starting as a human resources personnel representative in 1965, Forrester worked his way up to his current position as the director of the University’s job center. He celebrated his retirement Thursday at the East Bank’s Campus Club.
“I’ve seen it all and done it all,” Forrester said. “It is time for me to slow down and let someone else have a chance to do it.”
Carol Carrier, vice president of human resources, said Forrester is known as a “strong champion of the University as a great place to work.”
“Roger has a sense of commitment and caring that really does touch people,” Carrier said. Forrester’s exuberance, energy and love of the University has been consistent over the 10 years she has known him, she said.
Forrester said last year’s Golden Opportunities campaign was one of his greatest challenges. The campaign aggressively recruited well-qualified staff and student employees for the University, now the state’s third-largest employer.
Working on the University’s first-ever staff appreciation day this last year was his most rewarding accomplishment, Forrester said.
Forrester began his University career in 1965 when he first came for his master’s degree in human resources. He took full advantage of the University’s employment-benefits programs by taking classes with the Regent’s Scholarship, he said. The scholarship offers six free graduate credits per quarter for qualified University employees.
From 1987 until 1993, Forrester served as director of personnel, working with civil service employees. He finished with this position after he helped the University merge their academic and nonacademic human resources. It made for an effective “one-stop shopping for human resources,” he said.
Francine Morgan, director of human resources for the college of liberal arts, said, “Roger has been consistently willing to take on some very difficult human resources initiatives and lead them for the University,”
Working with him for more than 20 years, both as his employee and colleague, Morgan described Forrester as accessible and a good mentor. He will be missed personally and professionally, Morgan said.
Forrester’s wife, Gisele, said they are looking forward to moving into their newly built home in the foothills of Tucson, Ariz. But she was not optimistic her husband would stay completely retired. “He promised me three to four months,” she said.
“It’s time,” she said. But, she added, “he will miss a lot of people too.”