ASU Names Doug Whitlock Interim Chancellor

ASU Names Doug Whitlock Interim Chancellor
Doug Whitlock (Arkansas State University)

Arkansas State University System President Chuck Welch on Thursday named Doug Whitlock, president emeritus of Eastern Kentucky University, as interim chancellor of Arkansas State University effective Sept. 12.

The university said Whitlock, 73, "has 45 years of higher education experience in administrative and teaching roles at Eastern Kentucky in Richmond and retired in 2013 after serving six years as president.

More: View Whitlock's employment contract with ASU here (PDF).

"Doug has all the experience and character traits that I was hoping to find when I began this search," Welch said in a news release. "His academic and administrative background comes from an institution very comparable to Arkansas State. I spoke to faculty, staff and regents at Eastern Kentucky who praised his work in shared governance, his commitment to collaboration and consensus building, and described him as very approachable." 

Whitlock will earn a salary of about $240,000 (his salary of $305,000 will be prorated over the term of the employment agreement, which runs from Sept. 12 to June 30). He'll reside in the university-owned chancellor's home at 1503 E. Nettleton in Jonesboro and have use of an ASU-owned vehicle for business purposes.

The move comes after the previous chancellor, Tim Hudson, resigned Aug. 2 after an internal audit found problems in A-State's study abroad program, headed by Hudson's wife, Deidra Hudson. Another audit, released after Hudson left, noted possible violations of state law concerning Hudson's efforts to get financial assistance for a family member.

Lynita Cooksey, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs and research, has been acting chancellor since Hudson's departure.

According to ASU, Eastern Kentucky has an enrollment of about 16,500 students and an annual operating budget of more than $350 million. The university "expanded doctoral programs, online programs, and international studies during Whitlock’s tenure," the university said.

Welch said Eastern Kentucky and A-State have similarities "that will enable Whitlock to address both growth opportunities and challenges."

Welch said Whitlock will not be a candidate for the permanent chancellor position. He said a national search will be conducted in spring. Whitlock's contract allows for more interim time if necessary, the university said.

"I am honored and very excited about the opportunity to serve Arkansas State University as its interim chancellor," Whitlock said in a news release. "I have had other opportunities to serve in interim roles, but this is the first that has truly appealed to me. Arkansas State University has an excellent reputation and is similar, in many respects, to Eastern Kentucky University where I spent my career."

ASU plans to formally introduce Whitlock on his first day of work later this month.