The University of Arkansas System announced Monday (Aug. 9) that Charles Robinson, provost and executive vice chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs at the UA, will become interim chancellor for the state’s flagship university beginning Aug. 16.
Bill Kincaid has served as acting chancellor since former chancellor Joe Steinmetz resigned on June 18. Kincaid will move back into his role as senior managing associate general counsel.
UA System President Donald Bobbitt said over the next year a national search will take place to consider internal and external candidates for the permanent chancellor position, and he will form a representative search committee to assist in the search.
“Dr. Robinson has a unique skill set having led the university’s efforts in academics, student affairs and diversity affairs during his tenure,” Bobbitt said. “He has a strong connection not only with our students and faculty but also with the university’s external constituencies. During a transition period, it is imperative to have a leader in place who has the trust and confidence of all stakeholder groups, and I am confident that Dr. Robinson has the background, personality and temperament to work with everyone to drive the U of A forward through the coming year.”
Robinson leads the UA, its academic enterprise and the 25 departments comprising the Division of Student Affairs. He has served as provost since July 2020 and as vice chancellor of student affairs since 2015.
“I’m honored to be selected to serve the University of Arkansas as interim chancellor and would like to thank Dr. Bobbitt for entrusting me with this important role,” Robinson said. “We have amazing students, faculty and staff, and it’s a privilege to continue working with them as we prepare for the upcoming fall semester, and advance many long-term initiatives in service of Arkansas.”
Robinson started more than 20 years ago at the UA as an assistant professor of history. He served as chair of the African and African American Studies Program and vice provost for diversity before his existing role. While vice chancellor for student affairs, Robinson led a restructuring of the Division of Student Affairs and focused on student success initiatives. He also led university efforts regarding diversity recruitment and retention of students and faculty while developing new academic initiatives and development goals.
Under his leadership, the UA completed the $79 million Adohi Hall, the only U.S. residence hall to use cross-laminated timber. His research and teaching are focused on southern history and race relations, African American studies, and sexuality in history and Civil Rights. He has earned multiple teaching awards, including the Fulbright College Master Teacher Award, Arkansas Student Alumni Board Teacher of the Year and was inducted into the university’s Teaching Academy.
Robinson earned a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Houston, a master’s degree in history from Rice University and a doctorate in history from the University of Houston.
Bobbitt also thanked Kincaid “for his steady leadership as acting chancellor” over the past two months and welcomed his return to his former position as “a critical member of our leadership team.”