Board Will Hire Search Firm To Replace UA Chancellor

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM)- The Board of Trustees for the UA System plans to hire an executive search firm to replace Chancellor G. David Gearhart. He announced his retirement on Monday (Jan. 12).

Gearhart has been Chancellor since July 2008. Prior to that, he was the vice chancellor for about a decade.

His last day is July 31st.

Nate Hinkel, UA System interim director of communications, said Board President Don Bobbit will involve others in the process.

The first step will be to organize meetings with faculty, staff and possibly some students, Hinkel said.

"We have worked with several different firms on projects in the past, and we won't know who is interested in helping with this endeavor until they respond to our request for proposals," Hinkel said.

Laura Jacobs, associate vice chancellor of University Relations, said it's different for every search.

"I would think that when they get to the point in the process where they would narrow the pool to two or three finalists, that would probably be the time when those people might come to campus, make some public presentation, meet a lot of people, and certainly spend time getting to know different  stake holders around the state of Arkansas and the campus community," Jacobs said.

Jacobs said the next Chancellor has to be the right fit for the university and the state of Arkansas.

"President Bobbitt has said that we would like to proceed deliberately and aggressively in his search and so we will wait to see they type of candidates and the type of interest that emerges for this position,” Jacobs said.
There isn't a definite timeline to hire the next UA Chancellor.

"It's important to note that Dr. Bobbitt and the UA Board of Trustees are more interested in taking the time to find the right person than rushing to fill the position," Hinkel said. "Dr. Gearhart has assembled a strong team during his time at U of A, and if it comes down to it, an interim will be appointed to lead the campus if the search is still ongoing."

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