Arkansas Tech University elects Jim Smith board chairman

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 917 views 

Arkansas Tech University announced Thursday (Jan. 19) the election of Fayetteville attorney Jim Smith as chairman of the ATU Board of Trustees.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson appointed Smith to a five-year board term in January 2019. His term as chairman is for the 2023 calendar year.

According to a university news release, Smith is a Russellville native and a 1991 ATU honor graduate with a degree in accounting. The faculty selected Smith as the top student in the ATU School of Business in 1991, and he was a member of the 1988 Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference champion Wonder Boys baseball team.

Smith earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Arkansas School of Law in Fayetteville and a Master of Law degree in taxation from the New York University School of Law. He began his career working in corporate and tax law at Friday Eldredge & Clark for almost two decades before co-founding Smith Hurst in Northwest Arkansas in 2011.

Smith’s community service has included work on behalf of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce, the Fayetteville Community Foundation, the Arkansas Rice Depot, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Northwest Arkansas, the Northwest Arkansas Museum Foundation and the Northwest Arkansas Symphony.

A past president of the ATU Alumni Association, Smith was the first person inducted into the Arkansas Tech Hall of Distinction under the Outstanding Young Alumnus category when he received that honor in 2001.

Other Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees officers for 2023 are Len Cotton of Dardanelle, vice chairman, and Bill Clary of Conway, secretary. They are joined on the board by Michael Lamoureux of Russellville.

Gov. Sarah Sanders will appoint the fifth ATU Board of Trustees member for 2023. That appointee will succeed Stephanie Duffield of Russellville, who was board chairman in 2022.

In other business on Thursday, the ATU Board of Trustees approved:

  • Letters of notification from the ATU College of Business and Economic Development concerning the establishment of a Certificate of Proficiency in casino and gaming industry, a Technical Certificate in casino and gaming industry and Graduate Certificates in business administration, business data analytics and digital marketing at ATU
  • A letter of notification from the ATU College of Arts and Humanities concerning the deletion of ATU’s Master of Science degree in psychology
  • An easement to the City of Russellville for the ATU property located on Red Hill Lane that grants full easement rights for the purpose of installing, constructing, operating, inspecting, maintaining, repairing and/or removing a drainage system, sidewalk, road widening and for the use of said sidewalk
  • The terms and conditions of a voluntary employee retirement incentive that will be offered to eligible ATU faculty and staff
  • Updated bylaws for the ATU Athletics Hall of Fame
  • Adoption of an annual resolution authorizing expense reimbursement for board members per Act 1211 of 1995.