ASU System Trustees Appoint Former Chancellor Robin Myers as Interim President

DECEMBER 13, 2023

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LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas State University System Board of Trustees today voted to name Dr. Robin Myers, chancellor emeritus at ASU-Mountain Home, to serve as interim system president effective Jan. 15.


The move comes ahead of the upcoming search for a successor to ASU System President Chuck Welch. Welch announced Nov. 14 that he would resign as system president after nearly 13 years effective Jan. 15 to move to Washington, D.C., and become president and chief executive officer of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.


Myers, who retired in July after 11 years as chancellor of ASU-Mountain Home, will not be a candidate for the permanent position.


Trustee Price Gardner of Little Rock, who is serving as chair of the Board of Trustees search process, said the search is expected to begin in January with a target hiring by May.


"We will be reviewing search firm options in the next two weeks," Gardner said. "It's an attractive position, and we expect to have a quality pool of candidates. We're not looking for someone to make significant changes or overhaul things. We have one of the strongest system staffs and group of chancellors in the country. We're hiring from a position of strength and don't want to lose momentum."


He said the search firm will be paid with private funds through a contract with the ASU System Foundation but that the board will comply with the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act in every way and be transparent in the process. He added that a recent survey of system stakeholders to identify qualities sought in the next president generated 471 responses.


Welch, attending his final regular board meeting, said "the move is bittersweet, but we're excited about the opportunities the new role will provide to be able to continue to influence higher education."


He praised the work of the system team of chancellors and encouraged them to "don't stop what you're doing and continue to take risks" for the benefit of the institutions and students.


Welch said it had been "the honor of my life" to work in the ASU System and expressed gratitude for the successes, including record enrollments, higher retention and graduation rates, growing infrastructure, adding three institutions to the system and saving Henderson State University from the brink of closure. He also noted the hiring of the system's first female chancellor and first Black chancellor during his tenure.


"Every board member I have worked with has loved this system and been incredibly supportive of me," said Welch, adding that candidates for president will be attracted by a strong, personable board.


Trustees each spoke about Welch's leadership, personality style and success during his tenure. Morgan said, "What he's leaving is a place in a lot better position than when he got here."


Myers became chancellor of ASU-Mountain Home on July 16, 2012. His innovative leadership provided the impetus for development of many new technical programs on the campus. He also oversaw a rebranding initiative that included a new logo and mascot, the Trailblazer owl, and guided the campus through the pandemic challenges. His commitment to community partnerships led to creation of a disc golf course, a walking and biking trail and a community holiday festival.


Board Chair Jerry Morgan of Jonesboro said the trustees chose Myers because of his familiarity with the system and its leadership, as well as his understanding of the system priorities.



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