Director may be leaving but remains a Thunderduck at heart

Carter Bedford is moving west. 

His last day as director of the Office of Student Life (OSL) was Wednesday, but though he’s leaving Richland for Tarrant County College, he said he has enjoyed his time at Richland. 

Tarrant County has five campus locations, but he will be working at the Trinity River campus in downtown Fort Worth.

“I was told that I am now a Thunderduck for life. I will hold that mantle and I will hold that mantle high and will respect it to the best of my ability,” Bedford said.

Bedford, 36, said in his new position as director of student development services, he will have similar responsibilities as those at the OSL, but will also have oversight of the Student Health Center. 

“It will also give me oversight of the Center for Academic Success that they call the Discovery Center,” Bedford said. “I will also have a dedicated Student Union space, like its own building. And, I’ll have some strategic initiatives from the president directly. And, they’re going to pay me a little bit more, too.” 

Bedford said his family is excited about his new position. It puts him closer to where they live, in Arlington. He and his wife have three young children. He said he has a “career trek” in mind and his new position helps him get to the next step.

“This puts me a little bit closer, a little bit more responsibility directly from a president, a vice president, to make me a more viable vice presidential candidate when I get ready to apply for those opportunities,” he said. 

As far as his achievements at Richland, Bedford said it’s for other people to determine his legacy. For him, though, it’s really been about positive relationships. 

“I think I leave Richland having made positive connections, not just for me, but for the Office of Student Life with various departments across campus,” he said. “We started doing more things in terms of the number of programs that we’re doing and the number of collaborations that we’ve done. We try to do it with a positive attitude, an idea of good customer service and making sure that our students enjoy their experience.”

Bedford said the thing he’s enjoyed most about being at Richland is working with the students. 

Bedford worked in an academic environment before coming to Richland. Both campuses had students, but he said it is different in terms of the interaction with them. 

“This position at Richland has given me an opportunity to work with those students,” he said. “It has really given me an appreciation for the community college experience and for the students who are there.” 

Bedford also said he has been fortunate to work with great faculty and staff at Richland as well. In addition to his upcoming new position, Bedford is continuing his education.

“I’m a struggling doctoral student,” he said. “I’m 10 classes into a Doctorate of Education with an emphasis in higher education leadership.”

Bedford said he’s about half way there and hopes to finish in the “not-too-distant” future. 

Bedford attended the University of New Orleans and has a master’s degree in human relations and business from Amberton University through the Garland campus.

No one has been hired to replace Bedford at OSL as of press time.