Henderson State University turns to alum to be interim chancellor

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 721 views 

Henderson State University in Arkadelphia has named Bob Fisher interim chancellor. Fisher is an Arkadelphia native and HSU alum who most recently spent 21 years as president of Belmont (Tenn.) University until retiring in May 2021.

HSU is part of the Arkansas State University System. Chuck Welch, president of the ASU System, shared the details of Fisher’s appointment Wednesday (Aug. 16) in a news release.

Effective Sept. 15, Fisher will succeed Chuck Ambrose, who announced July 31 that he would resign after two years at the helm.

“Dr. Fisher is a perfect fit for this time of transition, and I’m extremely grateful that he agreed to serve his alma mater in this temporary capacity,” Welch said. “He’s an example of a Henderson graduate who has truly excelled throughout his career in higher education and in service to his communities. His longstanding connections to and familiarity with Henderson and Arkadelphia are exactly what we need at this time. I know the entire Reddie community will embrace his return to the campus.”

Fisher is a former dean of HSU’s School of Business and is president emeritus at Belmont.

“I could not be more excited to be able to reconnect with Henderson in a leadership role,” Fisher said. “Looking back, I can see that my four years at Henderson was one of the greatest gifts that I have ever received.  Those teachers, administrators and staff that I encountered transformed my view of who I am and what I could accomplish with my life. I’ve spent my entire career trying to give that gift to the students that I have served.

“What an amazing privilege it is to be able to return at this pivotal time and give my best effort to create that same transformational experience for Henderson students and to help prepare the way for Henderson’s next leader.”

Prior to joining Belmont, Fisher spent four years as vice president for academic affairs at Arkansas State University, where he led faculty and deans to develop the university’s first doctor of philosophy program. He was business dean at Henderson for 10 years after spending 12 years on the business faculty at the University of Central Arkansas.

A search process for a new chancellor will begin soon. According to a report at arkadelphian.com, Henderson State had 2,536 students last fall and 2,219 students this past spring.