University of Arkansas System President Dr. Donald Bobbitt has named longtime Division of Agriculture executive Chuck Culver as interim vice president of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.
Dr. Mark Cochran, vice president for agriculture since 2011, is slated to retire Thursday. Culver, assistant vice president and director of external relations at UADA, will begin his role as interim vice president on Oct. 1.
“Dr. Cochran has been a driving force in advancing agriculture in Arkansas for more than a decade, and his leadership will be missed,” Bobbitt said. “The Board of Trustees and I now have the difficult task of trying to replace Dr. Cochran with someone who shares both his technical expertise, as well as his love for this state and its agricultural communities. I know Mr. Culver possesses the experience and institutional knowledge to lead the division in the interim, and we appreciate his willingness to take on this role.”
Culver earned a bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University, as well as a juris doctorate and a Master of Laws in agricultural law from the University of Arkansas. He joined the UADA in 1990. Culver has previously served as counsel for agriculture and rural development for the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and as a legislative assistant for agriculture in the office of U.S. Sen. Dale Bumpers, D-Ark.
“I greatly appreciate this opportunity from Dr. Bobbitt to fill in as interim vice president following the retirement of Mark Cochran,” Culver said. “I’ve worked for the Division of Agriculture for half of its existence and understand and value the breadth and depth of its mission. We are fortunate to have a strong administrative team in place, and I’ll be working closely with them and relying on their strengths to keep the division and its mission moving forward until someone is appointed to fill the vice president’s position.”
Bobbitt said he will continue visiting with internal and external stakeholders across the UA System and among the state’s agricultural community as he begins a national search to identify the next leader of the division.