University of Arkansas chancellor search narrowed to two finalists

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 3,209 views 

Photo courtesy of the University of Arkansas.

The search for the next University of Arkansas chancellor is down to two candidates, but names of the two finalists are not being released, according to a statement issued Friday (Oct. 14) by the University of Arkansas System.

UA System President Dr. Donald Bobbitt announced Sept. 2 that four finalists for the top job at the state’s flagship university. The finalists were: Charles Robinson, Ph.D., interim chancellor, University of Arkansas; Jay Akridge, Ph.D., provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, Purdue University; Daniel Reed, Ph.D., presidential professor of computational science, University of Utah; and Cynthia Young, Ph.D., founding dean of the College of Sciences, Clemson University.

Published reports indicate the UA Board of Trustees could not decide between Reed and Robinson.

Robinson, the provost and executive vice chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs at the UA, has been interim chancellor since Aug. 16, 2021. Bill Kincaid had served as acting chancellor after former chancellor Joe Steinmetz resigned on June 18.

The finalists were selected with the help of a search committee chaired by Dr. Kim Needy, chair of the College of Engineering. The finalists participated in a public forum as a part of two-day visits to campus, including meetings with students, faculty, staff and university supporters.

But an executive session of the UA Board of Trustees convened Friday morning was unable to find consensus.

“Today the Board of Trustees continued an ongoing discussion about two very accomplished and qualified finalists for the position of Chancellor of the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville,” Bobbitt said in a statement issued Friday afternoon. “We appreciate the interest this process has generated both on campus and from the university’s broad constituencies across the state. A decision of this magnitude involving the future of the flagship campus of the UA System deserves as much continued discussion and deliberation as is necessary, and the Board and I are dedicated to taking our time to ensure we reach an outcome in this process that best serves the university’s continued success.”

The UA System note did not include info on when the Board might again convene to consider the two finalists.