The fifth president in Arkansas State University’s history, Dr. Ross Pritchard, has died, according to the school. A cause of death for the 95-year-old was not released. Pritchard was appointed ASU’s president in 1975 and served in that role until 1978.
In Voices from State: An Oral History of Arkansas State University, Pritchard was remembered for aggressive recruiting and creating opportunities for black students, faculty and administrators. He was remembered for developing more avenues for faculty input into institutional decision making and for bringing “some refreshing informality” to the institution. He served until he became chancellor of the University of Denver.
Pritchard joined the Navy out of high school, served in World War II, and then completed bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Arkansas and his Ph.D. at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
After teaching and chairing international studies at Southwestern (now Rhodes) in Memphis, he was recruited for the Peace Corps by President John F. Kennedy. The last in his series of administrative Peace Corps assignments was regional director for East Asia and the Pacific.
After managing an international company’s interest in Iran, he returned to the U.S. and higher education to become president of Hood College in Maryland in 1972 prior to moving to Jonesboro.