Maria Markham Recommended as New Director of Department of Higher Education


The Arkansas Department of Higher Education director search committee will recommend Maria Markham as the new director of the ADHE, the department announced Wednesday.

The search committee met July 26 and interviewed three candidates for the ADHE director position: Markham, vice chancellor for academic services at Cossatot Community College; MacGregor Stephenson, former deputy chief of staff to former Texas Gov. Rick Perry; and John Townsend, associate vice chancellor of workforce development for Tennessee’s board of regents.

The search committee will recommend Markham for the position at the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board meeting on Friday, July 29.

In June, Markham was named as one of Arkansas Business’ 40 Under 40. At 35, she has worked in higher education almost her entire adult life. Markham has been at Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas for about 10 years.

“Higher education was just where my heart was,” Markham said in her 40 Under 40 interview.

The ADHE selected the three finalists at a meeting on July 18 after accepting the resignation of former Director Brett Powell in May. His tenure ends July 29 and he will begin a position as vice president for finance and administration at Henderson State University on Aug. 1.