Dr. Rankin earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas, an M.B.A. from Louisiana Tech University, and a Ph.D. in Finance from the University of Mississippi. Dr. Rankin also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.
Dr. David Rankin retired as President of SAU on June 30, 2015 and named President Emeritus. He served SAU for 46 years, and the past 13 as president. He also served as the dean of College of Business and Professor of Finance and Economics.
In 2002, he set forth with his ambitious “Blue and Gold Vision,” SAU’s first capital campaign. He has almost completed that vision with numerous campus capital projects, totaling more than $100 million, the most recent project, the $4.4 million SAU Story Arena and Farmers Bank Reception Center. With the addition of the Governor Ben and Lucile Laney farm and the 400 acre Ted Monroe farm the University was more than doubled in size to a total of 1892 acres.
Rankin facilitated growth for SAU’s quality academic programs. Many cutting-edge programs have been added to SAU’s comprehensive list of degrees, including the recent engineering program, the computer game and animation design program, wildlife and marine biology, and digital cinema production.
Rankin has served as the Economic Advisor to Arkansas Governors since 1976 and currently is Chairman of the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors. In addition, the Americanism Educational League Award for excellence in teaching Free Enterprise Economics was awarded to Rankin multiple times.
He is a George Washington Honor Medal recipient from the Freedoms Foundation for Excellence in Economic Education. He served as Chair of then Governor Mike Huckabee’s Summit on Economic Development in 1998. He currently serves as Chair of the Golden Triangle Economic Development Council, as a member of the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Council of Economic Education. Rankin has also served on the NCAA Division II National Presidents’ Council and the NCAA Long-Range Planning Task Force.
He is the author of “What Every American Needs to Know About Economics” released in 2018.
He is married to Toni and they have three children: Curtice, Beth Anne, and John.