Southern Arkansas University

Southern Arkansas University


Southern Arkansas University seeks a visionary President with the professional background and the personal strengths to continue the growth and achievements of the University System in this era of change and opportunity in higher education.

The Southern Arkansas University System is comprised of two independent campuses: Southern Arkansas University, a regional comprehensive university, and SAU-Tech, a comprehensive two-year institution. The System President serves as chief operating officer of the Southern Arkansas University campus in Magnolia, and the SAU-Tech Chancellor reports to the President.

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About SAU

Southern Arkansas University is a comprehensive regional public university located in Magnolia, Arkansas. Established in 1909, SAU offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs across various disciplines including business, education, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and the arts.

With a commitment to excellence in teaching, research, and service, SAU provides students with transformative educational experiences that prepare them for success in a diverse and rapidly changing world.

About the Position

Position Description

  • Doctoral degree from an accredited university
  • Minimum of five years of experience in senior leadership within higher education, demonstrating a track record of innovation and excellence.
  • Demonstrated record of teaching excellence and scholarly activity.
  • Experience with accrediting agencies.
  • Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills, with the ability to advocate for the vision and mission of SAU to various stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated success in raising funds, managing university finances, and enhancing institutional profiles.Proven ability to work effectively within the political landscape, advocating for the university’s interests.
  • Strong commitment to academic freedom, institutional integrity, and the role of SAU in serving as a regional comprehensive university system.
  • Provide visionary leadership and general management to SAU’s campuses.
  • Promote academic excellence, scholarly activity, and innovation across all disciplines.
  • Oversee responsible financial management, ensuring sustainable growth and resource allocation.
  • Provide vision and leadership for University Advancement initiatives, including an upcoming comprehensive institutional advancement campaign.
  • Strengthen international partnerships and collaborations, enhancing SAU’s global footprint.
  • Forge and nurture bipartisan relationships with local, state, and national government leaders, advancing SAU’s agenda and securing support for its mission.
  • Engage intentionally with the community, building partnerships that enrich the University and its surrounding region.
  • Lead strategic planning initiatives, positioning SAU for future success.
  • Lead efforts to recruit students, enhance the student experience, and promote student success.
  • Provide direct supervision to the SAU-Tech Chancellor, physical plant, and intercollegiate athletics (SAU is a member of the NCAA Division II and the Great American Conference).
  • Encourage data-informed, transparent decision-making processes across administrative and academic units.
  • Be highly visible and approachable, fostering an environment of shared governance and open dialogue across all University stakeholders.
  • A visionary and thoughtful leader with ambitious goals for SAU.
  • Demonstrates personal integrity and promotes a culture of trust through shared governance, transparency, and ethical decision-making.
  • A champion for academic freedom, community engagement, and student success.
  • An excellent communicator who will be able to rally support and foster pride within and beyond the University community.
  • Values the tapestry of experiences, perspectives, and cultures arising from a campus community that is multi-ethnic, international, and richly varied.
  • Dedicated to fostering a sense of family and belonging, ensuring SAU remains a nurturing environment for students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
  • All SAU faculty and staff demonstrate a commitment to inclusion and diversity of the University community and excellence in interpersonal behaviors and effective collaboration with colleagues. Joining the SAU family requires a commitment to our culture of Continuous Quality Improvement

Application Process

Application packet must include the following:

  • Detailed cover letter addressing the duties and qualifications
  • Current curriculum vitae
  • Complete contact information (names, addresses, e-mail addresses, and telephone numbers) of five references (These references will not be contacted without the applicant’s consent). Non-listed references may be contacted at the final stages of the search after consent is received from the candidate.

For best consideration, submit application materials to by April 1, 2024. The search continues until the position is filled. If there are any technical difficulties with submission call the SAU IT helpdesk at 870-235-4083.

All applications are public information under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act. Inquiries about the position may be made to:

Roger Giles, Vice President for Administration

Search Process Timeline

Subsequent updates will be published here as they are made available to the public.

Search Committee

Monty Harrington

Chair of Search Committee

Dr. Donna Allen

Vice President for Student Affairs

Shawana Reed

Vice President for Finance

Dr. Jennifer Rowsam

Dean, Dempsey College of Liberal and Performing Arts

Dr. Robin Sronce

Dean, Rankin College of Business

Dr. Abraham Tucker

SAU Faculty Senate President

Margarita Norment

SAU Staff Senate President

Dr. Mahbub Ahmed

Associate Professor, Chair of Engineering & Physics Department

Dr. Neelie Dobbins

Professor of Education, Chair of Teacher Education Department

Sarah Jennings

Associate Vice President for Enrollment Services

Cledis Stuart

Associate Dean of Multiculturalism and Diversity

Steve Browning

Director of Athletics

Bailey Cole

Student Government Association President

Dr. Valerie Wilson

SAU Tech Vice Chancellor for Academics/CAO

Jennifer Pierce

Chair of Foundation Board

Ledly Jennings

Chair of Alumni Association Board

Nominations & Comments

Southern Arkansas University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. All Rights Reserved.
100 E. University, Magnolia, Arkansas 71753-5000 Telephone: (870) 235-4000
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