The Arkansas State University System named Jeff Hankins as its vice president for strategic communications and economic development, System President Dr. Charles L. Welch announced.

Hankins, a 1987 graduate of Arkansas State University in Jonesboro and past president of the ASU Alumni Association, most recently was president and publisher of Arkansas Business Publishing Group.

“Adding Jeff Hankins to our leadership team is a tremendous coup for the ASU System,” Welch said. “Jeff is a widely respected businessman and journalist who has an exceptional understanding of the link between education and economic development. This hire further reinforces the ASU commitment to fostering collaboration among our campuses and those responsible for promoting economic development opportunities in our state.”

In the new position, Hankins will facilitate all communications and economic development activities for the ASU System and its campuses. Those responsibilities include developing an integrated, multimedia strategy for the system and serving as the system’s liaison to statewide business associations and economic development entities to facilitate activities with the campuses.

A native of Pine Bluff, Hankins spent 32 years in the publishing and communications industry in Arkansas. During his 19 years with Arkansas Business Publishing Group, he served as publisher of the weekly Arkansas Business and led strategic planning, startup and operations of the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal, Arkansas Next: A Guide to Life After High School and other publications.

He also guided the company into the Internet era with multiple website and social media initiatives including ArkansasBusiness.com, ArkansasSports360.com, InArkansas.com and FLEX360 website development.

Hankins and his wife, Dr. Carrie Hankins, reside in Little Rock and have two children, Luke and Sarah Kathryn.

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