ASU System board of trustees approves initial search plans for presidential search

Charles "Chuck" Welch

The Arkansas State University System board of trustees took steps Wednesday to begin the process of finding a new president of the second-largest public college and university system in the state.

Trustees are looking to find a replacement for President Chuck Welch. Welch announced Tuesday that he would resign after 12 years as president of the system to become president and chief executive officer of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, effective Jan. 15, 2024.

Welch was named the second president of the ASU System in November 2010 and officially began the position in April 2011.

The board:

• Accepted Welch's Nov. 10 resignation letter and waived his contract's 120-day resignation notice requirement.

• Will serve as its own search committee.

• Selected Trustee Price Gardner of Little Rock as chair of that committee.

• Asked Welch to help develop a new job description, seek help from constituencies regarding the job description, and present recommendations for a national search firm at the Dec. 8 regular board meeting. 

The board anticipates selecting a search firm, paid for by private funds, at the December meeting.

Welch said the board serving as its own search committee is a "viable option consistent with similar searches for a system head." He added that use of a search firm would assist the board with logistics of the process.

The position likely will not be advertised until after Jan. 1, Welch added.