Hendrix College Names SMU Dean William Tsutsui New President

William M. Tsutsui, dean of the Dedman College of Humanities & Sciences at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, has been named president of Hendrix College in Conway. He will take office in June.

Tsutsui succeeds J. Timothy Cloyd, who resigned in February. Cloyd had served as president of Hendrix since 2001.

"On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we are extremely pleased and excited to welcome Dr. Tsutsui as the 11th president of Hendrix College," said Hendrix alumnus David Knight, chair of the Hendrix College Board of Trustees and co-chair of the search committee. "We are very fortunate to have such an accomplished academician and administrator to lead Hendrix into an exciting new era."

Before joining SMU, Tsutsui was associate dean for international studies in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Kansas, where he was a history professor and director of the Kansas Consortium for Teaching About Asia in KU's Center for East Asian Studies.

A Texas native, Tsutsui received a doctorate in history at Princeton University in 1995 and a Master of Arts in history there in 1990. He received a Master of Letters in modern Japanese history from Oxford University's Corpus Christi College in 1988 and graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian studies in 1985.

"I am deeply honored for the opportunity to serve as president of Hendrix," Tsutsui said in a statement released by the college. "Today, despite the challenges faced by all liberal arts colleges, Hendrix holds an enviable position. Your Hendrix Odyssey has clearly energized the campus and provided focus, identity, and national profile in a crowded academic marketplace," he said, referring to the Hendrix program requiring Hendrix students to complete "Odyssey" experiences in six categories.

"I firmly believe that Hendrix is well prepared for the challenges ahead and I look forward to working with the trustees, faculty, staff, and students to make a real contribution to Hendrix’s future."

Hendrix, a private liberal arts college affiliated with the United Methodist Church, has about 1,400 students. It is consistently regarded as one of the best small colleges in the U.S.

Tsutsui’s wife, Marjorie Swann, received a doctorate in 17th century British literature from Oxford University's Corpus Christi College and will join the Hendrix faculty in the English department.

W. Ellis Arnold, executive vice president, general counsel and dean of advancement, will continue to serve as acting president until Tsutsui takes office.

On Friday, the college released this video announcing Tsutsui's hire: