South Arkansas College president Dr. Bentley Wallace was announced today as the next chancellor of Arkansas State University-Mountain Home, a position that he will assume on Aug. 1.
Wallace has been the president of SouthArk since February of 2020. His prior experience in higher education included positions in the Arkansas State system at ASU-Newport, in addition to administrative roles at the University of Arkansas-Pulaski Tech.
SouthArk Board of Trustees Chair Steve Cousins lauded Wallace’s work during his time at the college.
“Dr. Bentley Wallace holds an important place in the history of this college,” Cousins said. “He presided over very challenging times through the pandemic—a period that redefined how higher education served our students. He also expanded our technical education programs, including medium and heavy truck and forestry technology. He added new indoor and outdoor student activity space and started a student success fund to assist students close to graduation facing financial burdens that might otherwise derail their completion.
“He has a great heart for students and staff. It has been an absolute pleasure serving with Dr. Wallace and we are much better off for his leadership and contributions. We wish him only the best as he embarks on this new opportunity.”
Wallace said that departing El Dorado for the new position is bittersweet.
“I have been honored and humbled by the opportunity to serve students, faculty and staff at SouthArk,” he said. “Even through the pandemic, the college moved forward on many important initiatives, always focused on improving the lives of people in our region. Leaving El Dorado was not on our radar, but the chance to return to the ASU System, where my career in higher education began, was a powerful draw.
“I am forever grateful for having the good fortune to work alongside such dedicated and compassionate team members at SouthArk.”
A 12-member search committee—with members representing faculty, staff, students and the community—reviewed 47 applications for the chancellor position at ASU-Mountain Home before the ultimate decision was made.
In his remaining time at SouthArk, Wallace—SouthArk’s fifth president—and the college’s board of trustees will work determine short-term and long-term transition strategies.