Ben Johnson Named Interim Provost at SAU


Ben Johnson Named Interim Provost at SAU
Ben Johnson

Southern Arkansas University has named Ben Johnson its interim provost and vice president for academic affairs for the 2015-16 academic year, the school announced Friday.

SAU President David Rankin made the announcement to campus on Thursday.

"Dr. Johnson is the Ragsdale Professor of Arkansas Studies and the current SAU Honor Professor," Rankin said in an email to SAU employees. "As a well-recognized historian, author and teacher, and former Dean of the College of Liberal and Performing Arts, Dr. Johnson will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to this position."

The appointment will be effective Aug. 1 and will continue until June 30, 2016. A national search will commence in the fall, with a beginning date of July 1, 2016, according to an SAU news release.

Johnson will replace Trey Berry, who was selected to replace the retiring David Rankin as SAU president. Rankin's retirement is effective June 30.

Johnson, who has written three books on Arkansas history, earned his Ph.D. in history from the University of Arkansas and has taught in higher education for more than 34 years. He served as Dean of the College of Liberal and Performing Arts at SAU from 2007 to 2011 and was promoted to professor of history in 2010. In 2013, he was selected to receive the state’s first endowed professorship for Arkansas studies, according to the news release.