Posted 11/19/2012 10:41 am
Updated 2 years ago
The Arkansas State University System on Monday named Jeff Hankins vice president for strategic communications and economic development.
System President Charles L. Welch announced the hire. Hankins, a 1987 graduate of Arkansas State University in Jonesboro and past president of the ASU Alumni Association, most recently was president and publisher of Arkansas Business Publishing Group of Little Rock.
"Adding Jeff Hankins to our leadership team is a tremendous coup for the ASU System," Welch said in a news release. "Jeff is a widely respected businessman and journalist who has an exceptional understanding of the link between education and economic development.
"This hire further reinforces the ASU commitment to fostering collaboration among our campuses and those responsible for promoting economic development opportunities in our state."
The position, which is based in Little Rock, is new. According to Welch, the job will pay $170,000 annually with the usual benefits afforded to all ASU employees. Monday is Hankins' first day as an employee.
Welch also said his new hire will be ratified by the Board of Trustees at its next meeting.
ASU said Hankins will facilitate all communications and economic development activities for the ASU System and its campuses. Responsibilities include "developing an integrated, multimedia strategy for the system and serving as the system's liaison to statewide business associations and economic development entities to facilitate activities with the campuses."
"Being able to share my passion for and experience in communications, business and higher education with Arkansas State University is an amazing opportunity," Hankins said in a news release. "The ASU campuses are doing extraordinary work in educating students and preparing them for the workplace. I look forward to working with Dr. Welch, the chancellors and their teams to make sure all of our constituencies are aware of what we are doing — and can do — to make Arkansas an even better place to learn, live and work."
A Pine Bluff native, Hankins spent 32 years in the publishing and communications industry in Arkansas.
During his 19 years with Arkansas Business Publishing Group, he was publisher of the statewide weekly newspaper Arkansas Business and led strategic planning, startup and operations of the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal, Arkansas Next: A Guide to Life After High School and other publications.
Hankins also made regular appearances on KTHV-TV, Channel 11; KATV-TV, Channel 7; and AETN’s "Arkansas Week" public affairs program. From 2003-2009, Hankins was co-founder and chief executive officer of Herald Haven Media LLC, which publishes the monthly Jonesboro Occasions magazine.