ASU Chancellor Dr. Kelly Damphousse leaving to become Texas State University president

by George Jared ([email protected]) 1,526 views 

Arkansas State University Chancellor Dr. Kelly Damphousse snaps a selfie with Nathaniel Charles Todd during May commencement.

Arkansas State University Chancellor Dr. Kelly Damphousse has resigned effective at the end of his current term on June 30. Damphousse has been with ASU since 2017.

Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas announced Thursday (March 31) that Damphousse has been named as the sole finalist to replace the retiring Dr. Denise Trauth as president on July 1.

ASU System President Chuck Welch said he would meet with university constituency groups to determine next steps. No decisions have been made regarding a possible interim appointment or a search process.

Damphousse was part of a leadership team with the university that guided unprecedented system growth and navigated the tumultuous COVID-19 pandemic and its after-effects on higher education.

“When I came to A-State five years ago, I pledged to do everything that I could to help the members of our faculty and staff reach their full potential, to ensure barriers to success were removed for our current and future students, and make our former students and friends proud of their university. That was the essence of the idea behind Every Red Wolf Counts,” Damphousse said. “As Beth and I take this opportunity to be closer to her mother, our family, and friends, we pray that our A-State family understands our decision to return home, and knows that we gave our university and adopted hometown everything we had during our time here.”

A native of Canada, Damphousse completed his bachelor’s degree at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, then earned his master’s and Ph.D. at Texas A&M University. The Damphousses met and married in Bryan, Texas, where Beth grew up and her immediate family lives today. The Damphousses’ oldest daughter, Kayleigh, lives in Austin.

“We have been blessed by a welcoming A-State and Jonesboro community, and we will never forget our time here,” Damphousse said. “We will also forever be grateful for the leadership of the A-State Cabinet, our wonderful trustees, and especially President Chuck Welch, whose guidance, compassion, mentorship, faith, and good humour has sustained us both during our time at A-State.”

Damphousse became the third permanently appointed chancellor of Arkansas State on July 1, 2017. He is the 13th chief executive of the institution since it was founded in 1909.

In December, Damphousse was appointed to the NCAA Board of Governors, which is the primary governing body of the organization. He also serves as president of the Sun Belt Conference.

“This is certainly a bittersweet moment as we hate to lose the Damphousse family at A-State,” said Welch. “But we are also proud of them for this new opportunity and the ability to live closer to family. Kelly has been a trusted colleague and friend, and I always knew that his top priority was our students and their success.

“Kelly leaves the university in a very strong position and well-poised for the future,” Welch added. “His leadership during the past two years of the pandemic was exemplary. Financial positioning, fund-raising efforts, exciting new facilities, and academic program growth have made A-State a better place because of Kelly’s leadership.”

Damphousse was hired as the permanent replacement for Tim Hudson who resigned under fire in August 2016. Controversy erupted after it was learned during an internal audit that Hudson tried to hire his wife, Dr. Deidra Hudson, as the school’s full-time studies abroad director. The appointment would have been a violation of state law.