With the impending departure of South Arkansas College president Dr. Bentley Wallace, the South Arkansas College Board of Trustees has named current vice president for academic affairs Dr. Stephanie Tully-Dartez as the institution’s president on an interim basis until Wallace’s permanent successor is selected.
The decision was made in a special called meeting by the board on Wednesday afternoon.
Tully-Dartez has been employed at the college since 2009 in a multitude of different roles. She has held her academic affairs position since 2021, but recently also wore the hat of vice president for student services on an interim basis for 10 months during the search for a person to hold that position permanently.
Prior to that, she was at different times the associate vice president for institutional planning and academic support, the associate vice president for planning and career education, the associate vice president for workforce and career education, the chief institutional effectiveness and advancement officer and the director of institutional research and effectiveness.
The wide range of experiences that Tully-Dartez has had during her time at SouthArk made her a natural pick, according to Wallace.
“I was very happy to learn that the Board of Trustees chose Dr. Tully-Dartez,” said Wallace, who is leaving SouthArk next month to take over as chancellor at Arkansas State University-Mountain Home. “Her long tenure at the college, excellent leadership skills and passion for student success make her the perfect fit to lead the institution during this time of transition.”
Tully-Dartez has a doctor’s degree in biomedical engineering and a master’s degree in molecular science and nanotechnology, both from Louisiana Tech University; and a bachelor’s degree in physics from the College of Charleston (South Carolina). She has held committee memberships and performed volunteer service in a variety of capacities both at the college and in the El Dorado community.
“I’m honored to have been appointed by the board to lead our team at South Arkansas College as we search for a new president,” she said. “We have made tremendous progress under Dr. Wallace’s term and we will continue our bold initiatives and innovations in the coming year.”
No timeline has been set for the hiring of SouthArk’s next president, who will be the college’s sixth in its 31-year history.