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UA Chancellor Search Down to 4 Candidates

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The search for the University of Arkansas’ next chancellor is down to the final four candidates, the UA System announced Friday.

The finalists will each visit the campus in Fayetteville for two days of meetings with students, faculty, staff and university stakeholders. As part of their visit, each candidate will participate in a public forum that will also be live streamed.

The final candidates and their schedule public forums are:

  • Charles F. Robinson, interim chancellor, University of Arkansas (Sept. 12)
  • Jay T. Akridge, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, Purdue University (Sept. 14)
  • Daniel A. Reed, presidential professor of computational science, University of Utah (Sept. 16)
  • Cynthia Y. Young, founding dean of the College of Sciences, Clemson University (Sept. 19)

Robinson was named interim chancellor shortly after since Joe Steinmetz resigned in June 2021. Steinmetz had served as chancellor since January 2016 and earned a base salary of $464,000 per year.

The candidates to succeed Steinmetz were chosen after a national search. System President Donald Bobbitt said the “quality and diversity of our four finalists show that the U of A is very well regarded on the national stage.”

Robinson has served in numerous roles at the U of A over the past 23 years, beginning as an assistant professor of history in 1999 and including director of the African and African American Studies Program, vice provost for diversity, vice chancellor for student affairs, and as provost and executive vice chancellor for academic and student affairs.

He holds a bachelor’s in history from the University of Houston, a master’s in history from Rice University, and a doctorate in history from the University of Houston.

Akridge leads the Purdue’s academic enterprises, with a total budget of approximately $1.8 billion, student enrollment of more than 50,000, 2,700 faculty members and 8,000 staff. As provost, he has led the university’s enrollment growth initiative, and expanded undergraduate enrollment from 31,000 in 2017 to near 38,000 in 2022.

He holds a bachelor’s in agriculture and business administration from Murray State University, and a master’s and doctorate in agriculture economics at Purdue.

Reed is the presidential professor in computational science at the University of Utah, where he previously served as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. He helped launch the For Utah scholarship, which diversified the student body and broadened access for first generation students and spearheaded the 1U4U cross-campus research initiative.

Reed is also the former corporate vice president for technology policy and extreme computing for Microsoft. He holds a bachelor’s in computer science at Missouri University of Science and Technology and a master’s and Ph.D. in computer science at Purdue University.

Young is the founding dean of Clemson University’s new College of Sciences where she has led the effort to create the college’s strategic roadmap, SCIForward, and worked to increase student success and elevate Clemson’s status as an R1 institution. Previously, Young spent 20 years at the University of Central Florida where she served in several leadership roles, including as vice provost for faculty excellence and UCF Global, associate dean for the College of Sciences and cofounder of the UCF EXCEL student retention program.

She holds a bachelor’s in education from the University of North Carolina, a master’s in mathematical science from UCF and a master’s in electrical engineering and Ph.D. in applied mathematics at the University of Washington.

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