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Chancellor Potts accepts Mascot Committee's recommendation for change

July 25, 2007 -- Dr. Robert L. Potts, chancellor of Arkansas State University-Jonesboro,
today announced that he is accepting the recommendation from the Mascot Review Committee, and he is appointing a Mascot Selection Steering Committee to guide the next steps in the process.

He also detailed his charge to the new committee, which will recommend for adoption "a new mascot and associated imagery" to the ASU Board of Trustees, through the president of the ASU System.

Here is the complete text of the memo from Dr. Potts:



To: Arkansas State University-Jonesboro Alumni, Faculty,
      Friends, Staff and Students

From: Robert L. Potts

Date: July 25, 2007

Re: New Mascot

I have carefully reviewed the July 16, 2007, letter from Jim Pickens, Chair of the Mascot Review Committee, along with the documents enclosed with the letter titled, "A Process for the Selection of a New Mascot for Arkansas State University," "A Resolution" adopted June 18, 2007, and "Key Points for the Selection of a New Mascot." Collectively, these items represent the unanimous recommendation of the Mascot Review Committee, which I appointed on April 23, 2007, that the University respectfully retire the names "Indian" and "Indian Family" together with all Native American imagery connected with the University's intercollegiate athletic program and engage in a broad-based process to select a new mascot with related imagery. I commend and thank the Mascot Review Committee for engaging in a thorough and open process that resulted in this cogent recommendation.

I hereby accept this recommendation, subject to final approval of the President and Board of Trustees of the ASU System, at the conclusion of the process that will be used to select a new mascot and related imagery.

I have received, formally and informally, a number of recommendations of how the process to select a new mascot should proceed from this point forward. Furthermore, as is evidenced by the letters to the editor, media contests, e-mails, and other communications I personally have received, opinions vary widely as to the appropriate mascot name. I believe that a broad-based group should be assembled to solicit and winnow suggestions from all ASU constituencies and the public, but that a small steering committee will be needed to guide the process from its start to its conclusion.

Accordingly, today I am appointing the following individuals to the Mascot Selection Steering Committee: Dick Freer, Glen Jones, Dean Lee, Jim Pickens, Morgan Pippin, Charles Rasberry, Beth Smith, Millie Ward, and Cari White. I will also serve as an ex-officio member of the Steering Committee.

The Steering Committee is requested to do the following:

• Appoint and organize a broad-based committee representing all ASU-Jonesboro constituencies and the public to solicit and evaluate new mascot names and advise the steering committee on other matters referred by the Steering Committee to the broad-based group;

• Establish steps for retiring the existing mascot and imagery;

• Establish a firm timeline for the process;

• Develop criteria to be used in selecting a new mascot;

• Develop a web-based and hard-copy repository of suggested new mascot names; and

Retain a sports marketing firm for advice as appropriate.

Based on input from the broad-based committee, and advice from the sports marketing firm, the Mascot Selection Steering Committee shall recommend for adoption a new mascot and associated imagery to the ASU Board of Trustees through the President of the ASU System.


# # #

Additional notes about the Mascot Selection Committee members:

Dick Freer is associate professor of social work.
Glen Jones is interim vice chancellor for academic affairs and research.
Dean Lee is director of intercollegiate athletics.
Jim Pickens is trustee emeritus and chaired the Mascot Review Committee.
Morgan Pippin is president of the Student Government Association.
Charles Rasberry is emeritus professor of radio-television.
Beth Smith is director of alumni relations.
Millie Ward is president of Stone Ward, based in Little Rock.
Cari White is chief operating officer of the Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Robert L. Potts is chancellor of ASU-Jonesboro.


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