Arkansas State University Vice-Chancellor and Provost Dr. Lynita Cooksey will retire following the 2018-19 university year.
Cooksey told her staff and informed ASU-Jonesboro Chancellor Dr. Kelly Damphousse about her decision on Friday (May 4), according to the school. Cooksey said she announced her retirement early to give the university adequate time to find a replacement.
“Serving Arkansas State in various capacities over the years, most recently as provost, has been a point of great professional pride,” Cooksey said. “I’ve enjoyed working with administrative leadership and faculty throughout the university. I look forward to working with Chancellor Damphousse during this final year and the transition process, in the best interests of the institution.”
Cooksey was appointed vice chancellor and interim provost in mid-2012, followed by a permanent appointment a few months later. The selection process for the new provost will include involvement from academic constituencies and organizations across campus, including faculty and administrative leadership, according to the school. A timetable for finding a replacement was not released.
“There are few administrators who have been as devoted to Arkansas State as Lynita Cooksey,” Damphousse said. “She worked tirelessly over the past years on our successful accreditation process with the Higher Learning Commission, and was instrumental to implementing several important changes in our academic procedures that have placed in good standing with HLC. I look forward to working with her during the upcoming year as we begin the transition to a new provost, and I greatly appreciate that she will be here to lend her knowledge of the institution to me and our faculty during the upcoming selection process.”
After joining the ASU faculty in 1993, Cooksey taught for several years in the department of biological sciences before serving as chair and associate chair. She was appointed associate dean of the college of arts and sciences, then she was promoted to associate vice chancellor of academic services in 2000.
Her other appointments include dean of university college, now undergraduate studies, where she was highly involved in starting the First-Year Experience program. She has coordinated and provided direction for the institutional self-studies and responses in the ongoing accreditation review process with The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Cooksey earned her doctoral degree in entomology at Oklahoma State University and bachelor’s and master’s degrees from ASU. She is a graduate of Jonesboro High School and is married to Dr. Larry Hilburn.