FORT SMITH – Shadow Robinson has been named the next Provost and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs for Arkansas-Fort Smith University, the university announced Monday.
Robinson serves as dean of the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences at the University of Tennessee at Martin.
Chancellor Teresa Riley announced Robinson’s appointment with effect from 1 July. He will take over from Georgia Hale, who in February announced her plans to retire on June 30 after becoming provost of the university in 2014.
Robinson, 46, called his appointment a “unique opportunity in higher education,” given the university’s mission to serve its field. He specifically noted the university’s focus on the economic and social mobility of its students as well as being committed to the economic development of the region.
“When I think about the future of American higher education, I really think that this is precisely the role that our regional public universities have to play, that we are dedicated to improving the lives of our students, But we’re also in a very deep, symbiotic relationship with our community, and UAFS keeps it alive,” Robinson said.
Rachel Putman, the university’s associate director for strategic communications, said Robinson’s salary would be $210,000 a year.
Riley said in a news release that Robinson will add value to the university through its data-informed approach to academic matters, combined with an innovative and forward-looking way of doing business.
“He is an incredibly well-rounded individual with a passion for educating students and investing in the successes of faculty and staff,” she said.
Robinson has been dean at UT-Martin since 2018 according to the news release. He provides academic, administrative, and financial leadership to more than 100 faculty and staff with an annual budget of over $6 million.
According to the release, Robinson’s tenure includes major initiatives such as the design and construction of the new Latimer Engineering and Science Building, a $65 million, 120,000-square-foot laboratory and classroom facility. Robinson also oversaw programming, visioning, and fundraising for the Tennessee Entrepreneurial Science and Technology Hub, an $18 million facility focused on meeting the needs of the workforce and economic development in West Tennessee.
Robinson said he would be involved in the UAFS planning process during the coming academic year.
According to Robinson, preparing the academic plans, which will be structured over several years, will involve obtaining input from the university’s senior leadership team and academic leadership, as well as from the campus and Fort Smith communities.
“In the process that I envision, I see how many different voices I am hearing and sharing my voice about how UAFS can support the community, how the community can support us, we students How can we support them in their aspirations as they move forward. To make students alumni and then leaders in their careers and make sure all those voices are a part of it,” Robinson said.
Robinson said he would also serve as a “point person” for the university for its re-accreditation process with the Higher Education Commission, a regional accrediting organization, in the 2024-25 academic year.
Robinson’s career also included time in positions at Lexington Community College and Eastern Kentucky University before becoming a faculty member at Southern Indiana University in Evansville, India, in 2003, according to the news release. He also worked at Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss.
Robinson was one of five finalists for the provost position who visited the university campus earlier this month.
The other four finalists were:
• Jordan Barkley, Senior Associate Provost and Associate Vice President for Academic Administration in the Department of Academic Affairs at Tarleton State University in Stephensville, Texas.
• Johnson C. in Charlotte, NC. Vijaya Gompa, Dean and Professor of the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics at Smith University
• Chad Hargrave, Associate Provost and Chief Research Officer, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas.
• Scott McKay, Dean of Arts and Sciences at the University of Texas Permian Basin in Odessa, Texas.
Ken Warden, the university’s associate vice chancellor for compliance and legislative affairs, who also chaired the search, said in the news release that the committee worked diligently to ensure that all university constituents had the opportunity to engage with the five finalists. .