Mid-South Community College, ASU Merger Approved

Mid-South Community College, ASU Merger Approved

Mid-South Community College will become Arkansas State University Mid-South on July 1 under a merger agreement approved and executed Friday.

The Mid-South Board of Trustees and Arkansas State University Board of Trustees approved resolutions authorizing the merger, according to a news release from ASU.

ASU System President Charles Welch and MSCC President Glen Fenter signed the agreement and transition plan.

"We are thrilled to partner with the Arkansas State University System," Mary Toney, chair of the MSCC Board, said in the news release. "ASU and Mid-South share many common goals for higher education and workforce development in the Delta. Working together, I'm confident Mid-South will continue to build on the foundation established by Dr. Fenter and his team."

The merger is contingent upon accreditation approval by the Board of Trustees of the Higher Learning Commission, a Commission of the North Central Association. MSCC and the ASU System will work together on that process during the next few months, Welch said.

"This is a historic day for the ASU System and Mid-South," Welch said in a news release. "Dr. Fenter and his team have made Mid-South a vital workforce training and education connection between students and employers with very progressive ideas. Those efforts are consistent with our systems goals to enhance educational opportunities and contribute to economic development in the Delta region and throughout the state."

Fenter became the first president of the college in 1992. He will continue as president until July 1, after which he'll become president emeritus. Fenter will also become CEO of the Greater Memphis Alliance for a Competitive Workforce.

"I'm very proud of what we have accomplished at Mid-South in our service to the Delta, and I'm just as excited about the opportunities ahead with the support of the ASU System," Fenter said. "Our board agrees that this move will help us efficiently increase and improve the delivery of higher education and workforce training in the eastern Arkansas Delta region, while also allowing us to continue a great deal of autonomy."

MSCC has 2,000 students in Crittenden County and the surrounding area. It was established as a vocational-technical school, becoming a comprehensive community college in 1992.

The ASU System has 20,800 students throughout Arkansas and includes Arkansas State University in Jonesboro; ASU-Beebe, with additional campuses in Heber Springs and Searcy; ASU-Newport, with additional campuses in Jonesboro and Marked Tree; ASU-Mountain Home; and instructional sites in Paragould and at the Little Rock Air Force Base.

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