Arkansas State University
fax (870) 972-3693
Links to News Releases
KASU Local News
Public activities at ASU
ASU System President Les Wyatt to
step down; Chancellor Robert L. Potts to serve as interim System
May 7, 2010
Dr. Les Wyatt, president of the Arkansas State University System, today
announced his plans to step down from that position at the end of June,
of Trustees subsequently moved to appoint ASU-Jonesboro Chancellor
Robert L. Potts to serve as interim system president, effective July 1.
Florine Tousant Milligan of Forrest City, chair of the Board of
Trustees, made the announcement following an executive session of the
Trustees at the conclusion of their meeting today.
Also, Dr. Dan Howard, executive vice chancellor and provost, will become
interim chancellor at ASU-Jonesboro, based on Dr. Potts’s recommendation
to the Board.
The interim positions will be filled with permanent appointments after
appropriate search processes. Details concerning the transition will be
announced as they are developed, according to Mrs. Milligan.
Dr. Wyatt made his plans public at the Board’s quarterly meeting on the
Jonesboro campus, where he became president in 1995. Among his many
accomplishments, Wyatt led the process of organizing the six ASU
campuses into a system organizational structure and then served as the
system’s first president.
In recognition of his 15 years of leadership, the Board of Trustees
unanimously adopted a resolution designating Wyatt as “President
Emeritus” and citing his exemplary performance that has resulted in a
vibrant and growing system of campuses and institutional sites with more
than 20,000 students.
Wyatt commented, “I am very grateful for the involvement I have had with
ASU over the past 15 years, and I deeply appreciate the Trustees’
support.” He has told individual Board members that he is looking
forward to pursuing some personal interests after he leaves the
Chancellor Potts has previous experience as chief executive of a state
system of campuses,
having served as chancellor of the North Dakota University System before
to ASU-Jonesboro. Earlier in his career, he served as president of the
University of North Alabama and as general counsel for the University of
Mrs. Milligan said that the Board looks forward to working with Dr.
Potts as he continues to guide the ASU System as it matures and develops
in the communities and the wide region served by the campuses at
Jonesboro, Beebe, Mountain Home, Newport, Searcy and Heber Springs,
along with instructional sites at Paragould, Marked Tree and Little Rock
Air Force Base and degree centers in additional communities.
“We have been very impressed with the many successes and vigorous growth
that have occurred at ASU-Jonesboro under the leadership of Robert L.
Potts,” Mrs. Milligan said. “We believe he is the right person to serve
as interim System President at this time.”
Under Potts’s leadership as chancellor at ASU-Jonesboro, enrollment has
grown 23 percent, annual fundraising has set new records, globalization
initiatives have been extremely effective, annual research funding has
grown significantly, and the campus shared governance system has
Chancellor Potts responded to the Board’s decision by acknowledging the
work that has been accomplished and the work that lies ahead.
“From its inception, the Arkansas State University System has benefitted
tremendously from the leadership of Dr. Les Wyatt,” Potts said. “We
want to continue building Arkansas State University’s capability to
provide high quality higher education opportunities to our students,
world-class research and outstanding public service, and we can do that
by empowering the campuses to continue their expansion and quests for
excellence. I am humbled by the Board’s confidence, and I look forward
to working with the trustees to achieve their vision for the
university. I also look forward to working collaboratively with and as
an advocate for all of the campuses in the ASU System.”
Dr. Howard, who will serve as interim chancellor, came to ASU-Jonesboro
in January of 2008. Two of his most significant accomplishments, in
addition to his vigorous advocacy for the academic and research mission,
have been the development of the international program, which now
enrolls approximately 800 students from 65 countries, and spearheading
the establishment of online graduate education degree programs in which
more than 1,500 students in more than 20 states participate.
Dr. Howard also has indicated that he intends to appoint Dr. Glen Jones
as interim executive vice chancellor and provost, and to leave vacant
for the time being Dr. Jones’s position as senior associate vice
chancellor for Academic Affairs and Research.
Mrs. Milligan added, “The Board of Trustees is very appreciative to
Chancellor Potts, Dr. Howard and Dr. Jones for their willingness to step
in and serve the ASU System and the Jonesboro campus in their respective
interim capacities. We are confident that they will continue building
on the tradition of excellence for which ASU is known.”
# # #