Chuck Ambrose Stepping Down as Henderson State Chancellor

Chuck Ambrose Stepping Down as Henderson State Chancellor
When Charles Ambrose became chancellor in 2021, Henderson was deep in debt and had “no cash,” he said. (Jason Burt)

Henderson State University announced that Chancellor Chuck Ambrose, who led the school through one of the largest and quickest cost-containment programs ever in American higher education, plans to resign effective Sept. 15.

The university in Arkadelphia said a search for his replacement will begin soon. 

Ambrose joined Henderson as chancellor in November 2021 and led a restructure of its academic program and a major staff reduction. The moves helped keep university afloat and realigned its mission and resources.

Under his leadership, Henderson improved from seven days of cash on hand in 2019 to 50 days of cash on hand in 2022 during implementation of a modified cash budget, the university said in a news release.

“Henderson faced our challenges head on by restructuring the university to provide a more sustainable model focused on student success,” Ambrose wrote in a letter released to the campus last week. “During the past two years, we have confronted our financial and structural challenges, utilized transparent data to inform decision-making, and focused on access and affordability for students while reallocating resources to offer degrees that best align to community and future workforce needs.”

The university's net position has improved from $21 million in fiscal 2021 to $31.9 million in fiscal 2022. It reduced payables by more than $5 million dollars, or 80%.

In statement, Arkansas State University System President Chuck Welch said he was grateful for Ambrose’s leadership over the past two years.

"We have great leadership on campus as we move toward the beginning of the fall semester and look forward to welcoming students in a few weeks," Welch said. 

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