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Dr. Robin Myers Selected as Interim President for Arkansas State University System

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) — The Arkansas State University System Board of Trustees voted on Friday to select Dr. Robin Myers, chancellor emeritus at ASU-Mountain Home, to serve as interim system president effective January 15. ASU said in a press release that the move comes ahead of its upcoming search for a successor to ASU System President Chuck Welch.

Welch announced on November 14 that he would resign as system president after nearly 13 years, effective January 15. In his announcement, Welch said he planned to move to Washington, D.C. and become president and chief executive officer of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

Myers, who retired in July after 11 years as chancellor of ASU-Mountain Home, will not be a candidate for the permanent position, ASU said. Trustee Price Gardner of Little Rock, who is serving as chair of the Board of Trustees search process, said the search is expected to begin in January with a target hiring by May.

“We will be reviewing search firm options in the next two weeks,” Gardner said. “It’s an attractive position, and we expect to have a quality pool of candidates. We’re not looking for someone to make significant changes or overhaul things. We have one of the strongest system staffs and group of chancellors in the country. We’re hiring from a position of strength and don’t want to lose momentum.”

Gardner said that the search firm will be paid with private funds through a contract with the ASU System Foundation but that the board will comply with the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act in every way and be transparent in the process. He added that a recent survey of system stakeholders to identify qualities sought in the next president generated 471 responses.

Welch, attending his final board meeting, said “the move is bittersweet, but we’re excited about the opportunities the new role will provide to be able to continue to influence higher education.”

He praised the work of the ASU System team of chancellors and encouraged them to “don’t stop what you’re doing and continue to take risks” for the benefit of the institutions and students.

Welch said it had been “the honor of my life” to work in the ASU System and expressed gratitude for the successes, including record enrollments, higher retention and graduation rates, growing infrastructure, adding three institutions to the system and saving Henderson State University from the brink of closure. He also noted the hiring of the system’s first female chancellor and first black chancellor during his tenure.

“Every board member I have worked with has loved this system and been incredibly supportive of me,” Welch said.

Trustees each spoke about Welch’s leadership, personality, and success during his tenure. Board Chair Jerry Morgan of Jonesboro said, “What he’s leaving is a place in a lot better position than when he got here.”

Myers became chancellor of ASU-Mountain Home on July 16, 2012. His leadership provided the impetus for development of many new technical programs on the campus. He also oversaw a rebranding initiative that included a new logo and mascot, the Trailblazer owl, and guided the campus through the pandemic challenges. His commitment to community partnerships led to creation of a disc golf course, a walking and biking trail and a community holiday festival.

Source: Abc7 On Your Side