The University of Arkansas at Fort Smith provost, one of four vice chancellors at the university, said Monday (Feb. 7) she will retire at the end of the 2022 fiscal year. Dr. Georgia Hale, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, has been with UAFS for 18 years.
“I want you to be among the first to know of my decision to retire from the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith, effective June 30, 2022. The progress I have witnessed and friendships I have developed during my 18 years at UAFS make this a bitter-sweet moment. However, now is the right time,” Hale said in a campus-wide announcement.
Hale came to UAFS in 2004 as the associate dean of the newly created College of Business to help prepare the faculty and staff for their initial Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business accreditation. The College of Business, now the College of Business & Industry, still holds the accreditation. Hale served as interim dean of the College of Business, dean of the College of Applied Science and Technology and finally as provost and vice-chancellor.
“The greatest blessing and impact of my 18-year career at UAFS has been the relationships formed with faculty, staff and students along the way,” said Hale. “I look forward to watching the university through different lenses – cheerleader and supporter – as it progresses to new heights.”
UAFS will use the Academic Career and Executive Search (ACES) firm to conduct a national search for the next provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. The specialized search firm offers networks, knowledge, and an understanding of higher education and recruitment, using skilled researchers, analysts, and internal recruiters to ensure every search reaches the most diverse candidate pool and runs on schedule, company information says.
UAFS Chancellor Dr. Terisa Riley will appoint a search committee to select candidates for on-campus interviews. Members of the campus community, including faculty, staff, and students, will have the opportunity to provide feedback on each of the candidates, and Riley will consider input from all groups in selecting the best-qualified individual to serve as the university’s next academic executive, a news release said.
Riley said she expects the hiring process to be complete before June 30, the end of the fiscal year. Hale had agreed to continue serving the university until an acceptable candidate has been selected.
“Dr. Hale has been a critical member of our senior leadership team since my arrival as chancellor, and I will always be grateful for her support as I learned about higher education in the state and became acclimated to the university,” Riley said.
Riley said that during Hale’s career, she invested her time and talent to ensure that students reached their educational and career goals.
“She has mentored many students and colleagues during her time at UAFS and has interviewed each faculty member hired since she became provost. Many people in our region owe a portion of their successes to her advice, guidance, and support,” Riley said.