Kenneth R. Erfft

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Transcribed and updated from a 1979 biography.

 

Kenneth R. Erfft was a financial and business consultant to Boards of Trustees and college and university administrators. Until 1978, he served as the president of the former University Center in Virginia, a consortium of 23 senior colleges and universities. He was previously vice president and treasurer of Duquesne University. A nationally recognized authority on university administration, Dr. Erfft has also served as vice president and treasurer of Rutgers, the State University, vice president of the Thomas Jefferson Medical College and Medical Center; Comptroller and treasurer of The Pennsylvania State University, Business Manager of Furman University and as a university professor.

After graduating from Marquette High School, Erfft attended Northern Michigan University and received his B.A. degree in 1932. He was a member of the Theta Omicron Rho fraternity.

He began his teaching career in Ironwood (MI) High School before moving to Petersburg, Virginia. There he continued to teach, and was later appointed as Clerk of the School Board and Business Manager for the Petersburg City School System. He attended the University of Virginia, and received his M.A. in 1936. He subsequently attended Northwestern University and Maclean in Chicago from which he received his Ph.D. degree.

During World War II, he was commissioned and served in the Navy, retiring in the rank of Commander. He was recalled to active duty and served again during the Korean War.

In June 1961, Erfft was the commencement speaker for NMU’s graduation ceremony, where he was also given a doctor of laws degree at the event. He subsequently received a doctor of commercial science degree from the University of Richmond and a doctor of literature degree from Maclean College.

In 1978, H. R. H. Prince Ferdinand de Bourbon, Duke of Castro, and Grand Master of the Ancient Constantinian Military order of St. George conferred the rank of Knight of Grace of the Order onto Erfft, inducting him into the oldest royal order in Europe.

Erfft was President of the Eastern Association of College and University Business Officers, served the Middle States and North Central Associations as a regular member of their accrediting teams and on American Council Committees. He was a member of the committee which compiled Volumes 1 and 2 of College and University Business Administration, and a member of the editorial committee which prepared the Revised Edition. Throughout his career in higher education, he taught a Basic Principles course at the annual Short Course for college and university business officers at the University of Nebraska in Omaha. More than 4,000 administrators took his course.

Outside of higher education, Erfft was chairman of the Board of Directors of the Afuture Fund, an investment mutual fund, and four other Philadelphia-based companies. He is also on numerous other boards of directors.

Erfft is listed in the 1974-75 edition of Who’s Who in America, Royal Blue Book and additional similar references. He also held a long list of professional memberships, honors, published articles and consultant credits from dozens of universities around the country.

He married Nancy Fontaine Creath in 1940—she passed away in 1977. Erfft took a step back after her death and moved to Richmond, Virginia to serve on the Board of Associates of the University of Richmond and as treasurer of the Richmond Hathaway Association. In 1982, he became chairman of Education Development Center Management, Inc..

Erfft passed away September 10, 2003 at the age of 94 after a long, travel-filled retirement, which took him across the country, and to England over 20 times.
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