Arkansas State University cuts the Chancellor’s search to four

Arkansas State University has the last four in its quest to find a new chancellor for its Jonesboro campus. The ASU Chancellor’s Research Advisory Committee and ASU System President Dr. Charles L. Welch announced Friday (June 10) that four shortlisted candidates have accepted an invitation to visit the Jonesboro campus and a formal interview for the position of chancellor. Candidates will compete for the position held by Chancellor Kelly Damphousse who will complete his term on June 30 and then become president of Texas State University.

The four finalists, listed in alphabetical order of surnames, are Dr. Walter Kimbrough, president of Dillard University in New Orleans; Dr. Karen Petersen, dean of Henry Kendall College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Tulsa; Dr. Todd Shields, dean of Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville; and Dr. Lance Tatum, Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Academic Director and Provost at Troy University in Troy, Ala.

Invitations to a formal on-campus interview later this month come following Welch’s recent meetings with the Chancellor Search Advisory Committee. The advisory board, made up of 22 members representing faculty, staff, students and community representatives, reviewed 44 applications for the position.

“We have received a large pool of quality candidates and the four finalists are outstanding higher education administrators with impressive backgrounds in teaching and research, each of which would bring unique experiences to the state of Arkansas,” Welch said. “Our constituencies will have the opportunity to visit with them later this month and we will welcome the feedback.”

Each finalist will meet with the advisory board, faculty, staff, students and community members during interview sessions. Individuals attending interview sessions will have the opportunity to submit feedback on each candidate to the Chancellor’s Research Advisory Committee. After the final interview, the advisory board will meet to discuss the candidates and provide feedback to Welch.

Welch hopes to have a new chancellor appointed by 1 July.

Kimbrough has been president of Dillard University in New Orleans since 2012 and last year announced that he would step down this month to pursue other opportunities. He was president of Philander Smith College in Little Rock from 2004 to 2012 and was vice president of student affairs at Albany State University in Albany, Georgia from 2000 to 2004. He also served at Emory University, Georgia State University and Old Dominion University.

Petersen has been dean of Henry Kendall College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Tulsa since February 2021. She previously served as dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, where she was also a professor of political science. Her publications include newspaper articles on interstate conflicts, terrorism, federal courts, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and pedagogical issues related to online learning.

Shields has served as dean of J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas since 2014. Previously he was associate director of the J. William Fulbright Institute of International Relations, director of the Diane D. Blair Center of Southern Politics and company, acting dean of the Clinton School of Public Service and dean of the Graduate School and International Education. He led the creation of the School of Art in 2017 following an unprecedented $ 120 million gift from the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation and is leading the construction of the Windgate Art and Design District in Fayetteville.

Tatum has been Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Academic Director of Troy since 2019, where he is also a professor at Sorrell College of Business and its hospitality, sports and tourism management school. He previously served four years as Vice Chancellor for Troy Campus in Montgomery, Ala., Four years as Vice Chancellor for Troy Global Campus, and began his academic administrative career as Dean of the College of Education in Troy.

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