Arkansas State University has a final four in its quest to find a new chancellor for its Jonesboro campus. The ASU Chancellor Search Advisory Committee and ASU System President Dr. Charles L. Welch announced Friday (June 10) that four finalist candidates have accepted invitations to visit the campus in Jonesboro and formally interview for the position of chancellor. The candidates will vie for the position held by Chancellor Kelly Damphousse who will complete his term June 30, and then become the president at Texas State University.
The four finalists, listed in last name alphabetical order are Dr. Walter Kimbrough, president of Dillard University in New Orleans; Dr. Karen Petersen, dean of the Henry Kendall College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Tulsa; Dr. Todd Shields, dean of the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville; and Dr. Lance Tatum, senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, chief academic officer and provost at Troy University in Troy, Ala.
The invitations to formally interview on campus later this month come after recent meetings Welch conducted with the Chancellor Search Advisory Committee. The advisory committee, consisting of 22 members representing faculty, staff, students and community representatives, reviewed 44 applications for the position.
“We received a deep pool of quality applicants, and the four finalists are outstanding higher education administrators with impressive backgrounds in teaching and research who would each bring unique experiences to Arkansas State,” Welch said. “Our constituencies will have an opportunity to visit with them later this month, and we will welcome feedback.”
Each finalist will meet with the advisory committee, faculty, staff, students and community members during interview sessions. Individuals attending the interview sessions will have an opportunity to submit feedback regarding each candidate to the Chancellor Search Advisory Committee. Following the final interview, the advisory committee will meet to discuss the candidates and provide feedback to Welch.
Welch hopes to have a new chancellor named by July 1.
Kimbrough has been president of Dillard University in New Orleans since 2012 and announced last year that he would step down this month to pursue other opportunities. He served as president of Philander Smith College in Little Rock from 2004-2012 and was vice president for student affairs at Albany State University in Albany, Ga., from 2000-2004. He also served at Emory University, Georgia State University and Old Dominion University.
Petersen has served as dean of the Henry Kendall College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Tulsa since February 2021. She was previously dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, where she was also a professor of political science. Her publications include journal articles on interstate conflict, terrorism, the federal courts, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and pedagogical issues related to online learning.
Shields has served as dean of the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas since 2014. He was previously associate director of the J. William Fulbright Institute of International Relations, director of the Diane D. Blair Center of Southern Politics and Society, interim dean of the Clinton School of Public Service, and dean of the Graduate School and International Education. He led the creation of the School of Art in 2017 following an unprecedented $120 million gift from the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation and is guiding the construction of the Windgate Art and Design District in Fayetteville.
Tatum has served as senior vice chancellor for academic affairs and chief academic officer at Troy since 2019, where he is also a professor in the Sorrell College of Business and its school of hospitality, sport and tourism management. He previously served four years as vice chancellor for Troy’s campus in Montgomery, Ala., four years as vice chancellor for Troy’s Global Campus, and began his academic administrative career as dean of the College of Education at Troy.