Arkansas State University Chancellor Kelly Damphousse is resigning to accept a position as president of Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas.
The move, announced Thursday, takes effect June 30. ASU System President Chuck Welch said no decisions had been made about an interim president or a search for Damphousse's replacement.
Damphousse, who has led ASU since 2017, said in a statement that the job in Texas is an opportunity for him and his wife Beth to be closer to friends and family. Their immediate family lives in the College Station area and their daughter lives in Austin. Damphousse earned his bachelor’s at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville and his master’s and Ph.D. at Texas A&M University.
"We have been blessed by a welcoming A-State and Jonesboro community, and we will never forget our time here," Damphousse said. "We will also forever be grateful for the leadership of the A-State Cabinet, our wonderful trustees, and especially President Chuck Welch, whose guidance, compassion, mentorship, faith, and good humor has sustained us both during our time at A-State."
Damphousse oversaw a period of growth at ASU that includes construction of the $58 million Red Wolf Convention Center and the $6.7 million Windgate Center for Three-Dimensional Arts. Under his leadership, the university in Jonesboro also resurrected its College of Engineering & Computer Science.
More recently, Damphousee helped secure the largest donation in ASU history, a $25 million gift from the Windgate Foundation to build and maintain the Windgate Hall of Art and Innovation. The project will anchor a planned Art & Innovation District at the university.
Damphousse is leaving ASU for a school with an enrollment nearly three times larger. Texas State University reported enrollment of more than 38,000 for the fall 2021 semester, with record freshman enrollment.
ASU reported enrollment of 13,771 for the same semester. Total enrollment was flat compared to the fall 2020 semester, but there were signs of health. The school saw more new students and transfer students, and international enrollment significantly rebounded from the pandemic. And ASU continued to lead the state with the most online-only students, with 4,679 total.
Damphousse was dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Oklahoma in Norman before he came to ASU. He replaced Tim Hudson, who resigned as chancellor after four years.
Welch said Damphousse has been a "trusted colleague and friend" who always made students and their success his top priority.
"Kelly leaves the university in a very strong position and well-poised for the future," Welch said. "His leadership during the past two years of the pandemic was exemplary. Financial positioning, fundraising efforts, exciting new facilities, and academic program growth have made A-State a better place because of Kelly’s leadership."