Henderson State University officially joins ASU system; board of trustees adds two members

by George Jared ([email protected]) 588 views 

Arkansas State University has officially added its second, four-year institution to its system and has expanded its Board of Trustees to seven members.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Monday (Feb. 1) signed Act 18 of the 93rd General Assembly of Arkansas, which officially makes Henderson State University in Arkadelphia the seventh institution of the Arkansas State University System. Hutchinson will appoint the two new board members.

The transition was previously approved by the Henderson Board of Trustees on Nov. 21, 2019, the ASU System Board of Trustees on Dec. 6, 2019, and the Higher Learning Commission on Nov. 5. Henderson, founded in 1890, will remain a separately accredited institution and becomes the second four-year institution in the ASU System.

“While we have previously welcomed Henderson as a member of the ASU System family and worked closely with the institution for a year and a half, we’re thrilled for this partnership to be finalized,” said Dr. Chuck Welch, president of the ASU System. “It’s been a long process, and we appreciate the rapid action of the General Assembly and Governor Hutchinson to bring it to a close. We’re grateful to have interim Chancellor Jim Borsig in place to lead Henderson through this transition and couldn’t be happier about this partner in the ASU System’s ongoing expansion.

“The growth of the ASU System has already delivered significant efficiencies, financial savings and services to our member institutions, and the addition of Henderson will further enhance these initiatives,” Welch added. “Our recent additions of information technology and strategic research expertise at the system level bring even more benefit as our institutions work together on challenges and opportunities in higher education.”

Henderson State University is the third higher education institution to join the system in five years. Mid-South Community College in West Memphis became Arkansas State University Mid-South in July 2015, and College of the Ouachitas in Malvern became Arkansas State University Three Rivers in January 2020.

Founded as a private institution, Henderson today offers more than 65 undergraduate and graduate programs. It became a public institution in 1929 and is the second oldest university in Arkansas under state control.

With the addition of Henderson, the Little Rock-based ASU System now serves 37,465 students annually on campuses in Arkansas and Queretaro, Mexico, and globally online with a total operating budget of $348 million.