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Calvin White Named Next Provost of A-State

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Arkansas State University in Jonesboro announced that historian Calvin White is joining the school as executive vice chancellor and provost.

White’s appointment takes effect July 1, pending confirmation by the ASU System Board of Trustees.

White is currently the associate dean of humanities at the University of Arkansas Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. He joined the U of A in 2007 and has served in campus leadership roles including program director and department chair, as well as on strategic projects focused on budget preparation and oversight, assessment and accreditation.

“In higher education as a whole, the road ahead will be demanding and Arkansas State, with the selection of White as our next provost, is better positioned to meet these challenges head-on,” Chancellor Todd Shields said in a news release.

The previous provost, Alan Utter, stepped down at the end of the fall semester to return to a faculty position. Len Frey, the university’s executive vice chancellor for finance and administration and chief operating officer, has been serving as interim provost.

During his time at the U of A, White served as a fellow in the SEC Academic Leadership Program and earned several teaching, advising and service awards, including the Fulbright Master Teacher Award, and the Dr. John and Mrs. Lois Imhoff Award for Outstanding Teaching and Student Mentorship. He also was inducted into the U of A’s Teaching Academy and served as a Gilder-Lehrman Fellow at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, New York.

White, a Stuttgart native, completed his Ph.D. in history at the University of Mississippi after earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from the University of Central Arkansas.

His research focuses on the history of the American South. White’s research on the African American experience, particularly in the Arkansas and Mississippi Delta region, has led to multiple publications. His first book, “The Rise to Respectability: Race, Religion, and the Church of God in Christ,” was released in October 2012.

His most recent book, a biography of Oscar Stanton De Priest, is under contract with Palgrave Macmillan of London. De Priest was the first African American elected to the U.S. Congress in the 20th century.

I welcome, with great enthusiasm, this opportunity to work with the excellent faculty, staff, students and community of Arkansas State,” White said in the release. “I look forward to the exciting challenge ahead, and to continuing to facilitate the expansion and enhancement of A-State’s thriving research, academic programs and overall vital intellectual campus life.”

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