Chancellor Dr. Kelly Damphousse is Resigning
This is from a letter that was released from Dr. Kelly Damphousse:
Dear Red Wolves:
I wanted you to be among the first to hear that I will be stepping down as Chancellor at Arkansas State University, effective June 30, 2022. Today, I will be announced as the sole finalist to become the 10th president at Texas State University, located in San Marcos, Texas. If that decision is ratified by the Texas State University System Board of Regents, I will start my duties there on July 1, 2022.
As many of you know, my wife grew up in central Texas (and we later met while attending Sam Houston State University). Both of our daughters were born in College Station while I attended graduate school at Texas A&M University, and our college buddies from way back then still live there. Beth’s mother, her sister, and our oldest daughter all live near San Marcos. Without getting into the intimate details, it has become increasingly obvious over the past few months that we have reached a time in our life when we need to move closer to Beth’s family. This new position at Texas State provides us with that opportunity.
When I came to A-State five years ago, I pledged to do everything that I could to help the members of our faculty and staff reach their full potential, to ensure barriers to success were eliminated for our current and future students, and to make our former students and friends of the university proud of A-State. That was the essence of the idea behind “Every Red Wolf Counts.” I also promised our campus that I would lead by embracing the values of diligence, integrity, respect for others, inclusive excellence, shared governance, and transparency. I will allow others to determine the extent to which our teams accomplished those things. But as Beth and I take this opportunity to be closer to our family, we pray that our A-State family understands our decision to return home, and knows that we gave our university and adopted hometown everything we had during our time here.
I would be remiss if I did not take this opportunity to thank the current and former ASU System Board of Trustees under whom I had the privilege to serve. We will also forever be grateful for the leadership of ASU System President Chuck Welch, whose guidance, compassion, mentorship, faith, and good humour has sustained us both during our time at A-State. His ASU System leadership team has provided wise counsel and wonderful insight to me these past five years. Likewise, we have all been blessed by tremendous campus leadership during my five years here (including my Cabinet, the Executive Council, the Emergency Operations Center, the Chancellor’s Completion Commission, the Staff and Faculty Senates, and the Student Government Association). No chancellor could ever be more proud than I have been to watch our campus grow together these past five years - especially through the development of our Discover 2025 strategic plan and our determination to not just survive the global pandemic, but to thrive through it.
Finally, Beth and I have enjoyed every second of getting to know the people who represent our campus community, Jonesboro, and all of northeast Arkansas. While we are grateful for the opportunity to be closer to Beth’s mom and so many of our family and friends, it is impossible for us to explain how difficult it is to leave a place (and its people) that we love so much. But we also know that no one person (or couple) is bigger than the university, and we are comforted by the fact that President Welch and our campus leadership team will continue to move us forward. We will never forget our time here, and we will cherish these final three months that we will get to spend with our Arkansas family. We will forever be Red Wolves.
This from Dr. Chuck Welch, President of the ASU System:
I’m sure you have learned by now that Chancellor Kelly Damphousse has been named the sole finalist in the presidential search at Texas State University. This is certainly a bittersweet moment as we hate to lose the Damphousse family at Arkansas State, but we are also proud of them for this new opportunity and the ability to live closer to family.
Kelly has been a trusted colleague and friend, and I always knew that his top priority was our students and their success. Kelly leaves the university in a very strong position and well-poised for the future. His leadership during the past two years of the pandemic was exemplary. Financial positioning, fund-raising efforts, exciting new facilities, and academic program growth have made A-State a better place because of Dr. Kelly Damphousse.
Kelly’s last day on campus will be May 31. Prior to that time, I will meet with the leadership of campus constituency groups to determine our next steps. No decisions have been made about a possible interim appointment or how a search process might look. Those decisions will be made after consultation with all the appropriate campus shared governance groups. I will certainly communicate with you as we make decisions about how to proceed.
Kelly and Beth have poured their hearts and souls into this university for the past five years, and we will forever be stronger because of their efforts. They leave lasting legacies all over A-State, and I am grateful to them for their many contributions. I hope you will join me in thanking the Damphousse family and wishing them well.