University of Arkansas chancellor’s search narrowed to two finalists

The search for the next University of Arkansas chancellor has been narrowed to two candidates, but the names of the two finalists are not being released, according to a statement released Friday, Oct. 14, by the University of Arkansas system.

UA System President Dr. Donald Bobbitt announced on Sept. 2 four finalists for the top job at the state’s flagship university. The finalists were: Charles Robinson, Ph.D., Acting 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 Computer Science, University of Utah; and Cynthia Young, Ph.D., founding dean of the Clemson University College of Science.

Published reports indicate that the AU board could not decide between Reed and Robinson.

Robinson, provost and executive vice chancellor for academic and student affairs at UA, has served as acting chancellor since August 16, 2021. Bill Kincaid had served as acting chancellor following the resignation of former chancellor Joe Steinmetz on June 18.

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

But an AU executive council session convened on Friday morning could not find a consensus.

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

The UA system memo did not include information on when the board might meet again to consider the two finalists.

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