Portland, OR 

  • Former university administrator
  • Nurse
  • Grantmaker

Orcilia Zuniga
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Dr. Orcilia Forbes was appointed to the State Board of Higher Education in July 2012. Her term expires in 2014. Dr. Forbes retired from Oregon State University in 2004 as vice president of university advancement. In this position, she served as the university’s senior administrative officer for alumni relations, development, communications, marketing, and community and government relations. She was also the executive liaison to the OSU Alumni Association and the OSU Foundation and served as interim president of the OSU Foundation from 2002 to 2003. She came to OSU in 1998 from the University of New Mexico, where she was vice president of student affairs and institutional advancement. Prior to that, she was dean of students and vice president of student affairs at Portland State University.

Dr. Forbes has served as a trustee for the Meyer Memorial Trust since 1999. She is also serving on the boards of the Chalkboard Project and the University of New Mexico Foundation. In addition, Dr. Forbes has served on the boards of many community organizations, including the Albuquerque and Portland Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, Providence Health and Services System, National Hispanic Cultural Center Foundation, and the Spanish Colonial Arts Society. In 2009, the University of New Mexico’s Alumni Association honored her with the Bernard S. Rodey Award for her contributions as an alumna. Among other awards, in 1991 she received the MANA de Albuquerque’s Brindis a la Mujer Hispana Award and the NAACP’s Martin Luther King Jr. Award. She has been featured on Spanish language station KUNP Univision Portland as a role model of what one can achieve through dedication and hard work.

Dr. Forbes earned a B.S. in nursing from the University of New Mexico in 1960. She went on to receive her M.S. in nursing from Oregon Health and Science University in 1966; an M.P.H. in health administration and planning from University of California, Berkeley, in 1972; and a Ph.D. in educational policy and management from the University of Oregon in 1992.

Dr. Forbes was married to the late Richard Bryan Forbes, Ph.D., former department head of biology at Portland State University, and has two children.