Changed Assignment: Ericke Cage

Changed Assignment: President Ericke Cage
President Ericke Cage is Dr. Foster’s guest on this episode of Fostering Solutions. The 13th president of West Virginia State University, President Cage is a native of Halifax County, Virginia. He joined the university in July 2021 as vice president and chief of staff and was subsequently appointed by the Board as the university’s chief operating officer on July 30, 2021, with responsibility for managing the day-to-day operations of the university. Since assuming the leadership of West Virginia State University, Cage has prioritized institutional stabilization and operational optimization, renewal of the “state spirit,” the development and expansion of high demand academic programs, and the cultivation of a diverse range of internal and external relationships to support WVSU’s forward momentum and growth.

Under Cage’s leadership, the university was able to obtain historic levels of state funding for its land-grant programs and Healthy Grandfamilies program during the recently concluded state legislative session. Also, the university recently obtained a more than $700,000 grant from the Kanawha County Commission to launch a Cybersecurity Innovation Center at WVSU in fall 2022. Plans are also underway to add the university’s first doctoral degree program in education.

Prior to joining WVSU, Cage most recently served as executive advisor to the president and Board of Visitors at Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Virginia – where as a member of the university’s executive management team he served as principal advisor to the university president and board of visitors on matters related to institutional policy making, governance, government relations, and university ombudsman. Cage also served as speechwriter for Norfolk State’s presidents and board chairs.

While at Norfolk State University, Cage led the university’s 2019-2025 strategic plan committee, served as the chief architect of the university’s 2019-2020 self-assessment, and modernized the university’s policymaking process to improve decision making and compliance. As a former education lobbyist, Cage was instrumental in expanding Norfolk State’s presence and impact on Capitol Hill and before the Virginia General Assembly.

He directly supported outreach efforts that helped Norfolk State secure the largest state appropriation in the history of the university. While at Norfolk State, Cage also authored a successful $2.7 million grant proposal to support student access, retention, and completion. As the principal advisor and speechwriter to Norfolk State’s presidents and governing board chairs, Cage played a pivotal role in developing the institution’s strategic priorities and crafting the narratives that helped to move these priorities forward. As university ombudsman, he advanced a culture of care and inclusion at Norfolk State by serving as a confidential resource for employees as they worked through issues of conflict and challenge.

Prior to joining Norfolk State University, Cage served as director of government affairs for Teach for America, and also served as state policy and research director for the Obama-Biden 2012 reelection campaign. Cage served as legislative counsel for U.S. Congressman Tom Perriello, where he managed a legislative portfolio that included federal education, healthcare, defense, and veterans affairs policy. Cage also served as a law clerk for the U.S. Department of Defense, and a legislative fellow for the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs. He also served as a congressional fellow in the office of U.S. Congressman Keith Ellison. During law school, he completed summer legal placements in the New York City Law Department’s Special Litigation Unit and at Prudential Financial Corporation. Cage began his professional career as a high school government teacher in his hometown of Halifax County, Virginia, where he was recognized as teacher of the year by the senior class in 2004.

Cage is a graduate of Virginia Tech and the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in leadership studies. He holds a juris doctorate from the Rutgers University Law School, where he served as an Associate Editor of the Women’s Rights Law Reporter, Associate Editor of the Rutgers Business Law Journal, Member of the Rutgers Moot Court Board, and Third Circuit Governor of the American Bar Association’s Law Student Division. Cage holds a masters of law degree in litigation and dispute resolution from the George Washington University Law School. He is also a graduate of the United States Air Force’s Air Command and Staff College and the University of Virginia’s Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership.

Cage currently serves on the boards of the Mountain East Conference, the West Virginia State University Research and Development Corporation, and the West Virginia State University Foundation. He is a past board member of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Alumni Association and the U.S. Selective Service System (local board). Cage is an active member of the Rotary Club of Charleston, West Virginia.

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