Greenwood/Asher & Associates, Inc. Leading Search for New UAFS Chancellor

FORT SMITH, AK, December 13, 2018 – A search committee for the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith met for the first time on Wednesday to discuss its plan to help find a chancellor.

Margaret Tanner, associate provost for academic affairs at the Fort Smith campus and search committee chair, said the members discussed the process and the expected timeline.

“We hope to be able to advertise the job before we break for the holidays,” Tanner said. “I will be working with some members of the search committee to finalize the documents.”

The search firm of Greenwood/Asher & Associates, Inc. — which is based in Miramar Beach, Fla. — is assisting in an effort to find the next leader at the UAFS, UA System President Donald Bobbitt has said.

The search committee and search firm will help Bobbitt, who will ultimately make a recommendation to the University of Arkansas board. The trustees historically approve the UA System president’s choice.

The executive search firm will be paid about $84,000, with the money for their services coming from the The University of Arkansas-Fort Smith Foundation, Inc., UA System spokesman Nate Hinkel has said. The search firm will also be paid an additional fee for indirect expenses, Hinkel said.

The executive search firm is the same one the UA System used to recruit Joe Steinmetz as chancellor for the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, and Andrew Rogerson as chancellor for the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Bobbitt will rely on the work of the executive search firm and search committee, and then he will recommend a candidate to the University of Arkansas board. The trustees historically accept the system president’s choice.

Tanner said the advisory panel that she leads hasn’t finalized anything yet, but it wants a chancellor who is highly qualified and will be able to communicate and cultivate relationships while moving the university forward academically.

“We need someone who can help articulate our needs,” Tanners said.

The university is seeking a replacement for Paul Beran, who left on Aug. 31 to take a job as executive director and chief executive officer of the South Dakota Higher Education Board of Regents. Beran arrived in Fort Smith in 2006 from Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva, 14 miles south of the Kansas border. He served as president of the 2,200-student university in Oklahoma from 2001-2006.

Bobbitt appointed Edward Serna, chief of staff and vice chancellor for strategic initiatives at the Fort Smith campus, as interim chancellor.

Tanner said the search will be open to all applicants.

“I hope we have a diverse applicant pool,” Tanner said. “We aren’t focused on a certain region or person and I am sure the search firm will help us with this as well.”

The school, which originally opened in 1928 with an enrollment of 34 students, has 6,569 this semester, according to the latest figures available from the Arkansas Department of Higher Education.

About Greenwood/Asher & Associates, Inc.

Established in 2004, Greenwood/Asher & Associates has earned the reputation of trusted partner for executive search, consulting and training with higher education and nonprofit organizations. Our highly capable consultants have completed over 2,000 searches with an average repeat client rate of 97%. Our references speak to the effectiveness of our branded search and consulting processes enhanced by our personalized and customized 24/7 customer service approach.

For more information about Greenwood Asher & Associates, Inc. please visit

Rachel Childs
Executive Search Consultant

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