Four finalists have been named in the chancellor search for the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith, and it appears they have some experience in being chancellor search finalists. Also, no local candidates made the short list.
Following are the four finalists announced by University of Arkansas System President Donald Bobbitt.
• Marilyn Wells, Ph.D.: provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs, Minnesota State University, Mankato
• Robert Marley, Ph.D.: provost and executive vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla
• Philip Way, Ph.D.: provost and vice president for Academic and Student Affairs, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania
• Terisa Riley, Ph.D.: senior vice president for Student Affairs and University Administration, Texas A&M University at Kingsville
Riley and Way were named finalists in the search for a new chancellor for Indiana University South Bend Feb. 1 and met with representatives on that campus that month. Riley was also named a finalist in the search for a chancellor at the University of Hawaii at Hilo in November 2018 and at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Mo., at the end of February.
In 2018, Way was named one of four candidates for the next president of the University of South Dakota. At the time, he was the interim president of Slippery Rock University but under State System rules was ineligible to apply for the position. He also was a finalist for the chancellor position at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in 2017.
Marley was named as one of five candidates for chancellor at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, N.M., in 2018. Also in 2018, he was a finalist for president at Idaho State University in Pocatello, Idaho. In 2017, he was one of four finalists for president of South Dakota School of Mines & Technology in Pierre, S.D. He was a finalist in the search for a president at Arkansas Tech University in 2015.
Wells does not appear to have been a finalist in any recent searches for university presidents or chancellors.
Of the four finalists, Way was the only one on the list of applicants released by the UA System when the chancellor search committee met Feb. 20. Neither UAFS Interim Chancellor Dr. Edward Serna nor Dr. Ron Darbeau, professor and dean of College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics at UAFS, both of whom applied for the chancellor position, were chosen as finalists in the search.
Greenwood/Asher & Associates Inc. a search firm based in Miramar Beach, Fla., is assisting in the chancellor search. The firm will be paid about $84,000 for their work on the finding a new chancellor.
According to the UAFS website, “Upon completion of the campus interviews and compilation of input from stakeholder groups, the search committee will provide information on the qualified candidates to Bobbitt for his consideration and deliberation by the Board of Trustees.”
The four finalists will all make formal visits to the UAFS campus in the coming weeks and participate in public forums. That schedule is:
• Wells, March 25;
• Marley, March 28;
• Way, April 1; and
• Riley, April 4.
All public forums will be held from 3:45 to 5 p.m. in the Reynolds Room at the Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center on the UAFS campus.
“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to present these four highly qualified individuals to the UAFS students, faculty, staff and to our trustees,” Bobbitt said in a media release on the cadidates. “I’m confident that all four finalists in this extremely talented group have the skills and experience to thrive as the next UAFS chancellor, and I believe that all four have an understanding and appreciation of the important role this university plays in that growing region and within our University system.”