Arkansas State University has one last four in its quest to find a new rector for its Jonesboro campus. The ASU Chancellor Search Advisory Board and Dr. Charles L. Welch, President of the ASU System, announced on Friday (June 10) that four finalist candidates had accepted invitations to visit the Jonesboro campus and formally interview for the position of rector. Candidates will run for Chancellor Kelly Damphousse, who ends 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, 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, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Academic Director General and Provost of Troy University, Allah.
Invitations for a formal interview on campus this month come after Welch’s last meeting with the Chancellor’s Search Advisory Board. The advisory board, which consisted of 22 members representing faculty, staff, students, and community representatives, reviewed 44 applications.
“We’ve received a deep set of quality applicants, and the four finalists are excellent administrators of higher education with tremendous backgrounds in teaching and research, each of whom would bring unique experiences to Arkansas State,” Welch said. “Our districts will have the opportunity to visit with them this month, and we will welcome feedback.”
Each finalist will meet with the advisory board, faculty, staff, students, and community members for interview sessions. People attending the interview sessions will have the opportunity to submit their opinions on each candidate to the Chancellor’s Search Advisory Committee. Following the final interview, an advisory committee will meet to discuss the candidates and provide feedback to Welch.
Welch expects to have a new chancellor by July 1st.
Kimbrough has been president of Dillard University in New Orleans since 2012 and announced last year that he would leave this month to look for other opportunities. From 2004-2012 he was president of Philander Smith College in Little Rock and from 2000-2004 he was vice president for student affairs at Albany State University in Albany. He also attended Emory University, Georgia State University and Old Dominion University.
Petersen has been the dean of Henry Kendall College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Tulsa since February 2021. He previously served as dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, where he was also a professor of political science. . His publications include journal articles on inter-state conflict, terrorism, federal courts, the Foreign Intelligence Protection Act, and pedagogical issues related to online learning.
Shields has been the dean of J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas since 2014. He was previously Associate Director of the J. William Fulbright Institute of International Relations, Director of the Diane D. Blair Center of the Southern Center. Politics and Society, Acting Dean of the Clinton School of Public Service and Dean of Graduate School and International Education. The Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation, which led the creation of the School of Art in 2017, is behind an unprecedented $ 120 million gift and is leading the construction of the Windgate Art and Design District in Fayetteville.
Tatum has been Troy’s Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Academic Director since 2019, where he also teaches at Sorrell College of Business and its School of Hospitality, Sports and Tourism Management. He previously served for four years as vice-chancellor of Troy’s campus in Montgomery, Ala., For four years as vice-chancellor of Troy’s Global Campus, and began his academic career as dean of Trojan University of Education.