Chuck Welch, who has been president of the Arkansas State University System for more than a decade, will step down in January to become the president and chief executive officer of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.
"I love the ASU System and the team we've put together, and I'm proud of our accomplishments, but this is a terrific opportunity with an organization I believe in, and I'm excited to promote the likes of AASCU member institutions like Arkansas State University and Henderson State University with this national higher education platform,” the native of Jonesboro said in a news release Tuesday from the ASU System. "America's regional public colleges and universities are on the front lines of transforming public higher education, driving civic engagement and contributing to thriving local communities.”
The ASU System board of trustees will meet via Zoom at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday to discuss replacing Welch.
During his tenure, Welch oversaw the merger of Mid-South Community College in West Memphis (now Arkansas State University Mid-South); the opening of New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University; opening of a $100 million privately funded A-State campus in Queretaro, Mexico; the merger of College of the Ouachitas in Malvern (now Arkansas State University Three Rivers); and the merger of Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, among other accomplishments, according to the ASU System. Additionally, the ASU System office was relocated to Little Rock and expanded to enhance its statewide exposure.
Welch was named the second president of the ASU System in November 2010 and officially began the position in April 2011, according to the ASU System. His tenure will officially conclude Jan. 15, 2024, and he’ll move to Washington, D.C., where the organization is based.
Welch has experience with the AASCU, serving as chair of its board of directors from 2019-2021, according to the ASU System. The AASCU is a higher education association of 350 public colleges, universities and systems.