LITTLE ROCK — A University of Oklahoma college dean will become the next chancellor of Arkansas State University, ASU System President Chuck Welch said Wednesday.
Kelly Damphousse, who has served as dean or interim dean of OU’s College of Arts and Sciences since 2013, will start at ASU on July 1. His annual salary will be $360,000.
Former ASU Chancellor Tim Hudson resigned in August after an audit found that he appeared to have used his position to seek special privileges for family members. Hudson also was paid $360,000 a year.
Doug Whitlock is currently serving as interim chancellor.
In a new conference in Jonesboro that was streamed live on the Internet, Welch said the Chancellor Search Advisory Committee reviewed more than 50 applications and unanimously voted Friday to recommend Damphousse for the job after interviewing the top three finalists.
Welch said the qualities Damphousse will bring to the job include administrative experience, strong communication skills, a research background and an understanding of the importance of teaching.
“I think the fact that Dr. Damphousse has still been teaching 700 students a semester would suggest that he definitely maintains that love of teaching,” he said.
Welch also said Damphousse is student-oriented and knows how to raise money.
“And he has done that in a way that had never before been seen in the college at the University of Oklahoma,” Welch said of Damphousse, who has led efforts that raised $30 million in private contributions to OU’s College of Arts and Science.
Damphousse said he was excited to take the job. He said state funding for higher education has been diminishing, so universities must be proactive, not just reactive.
“We can’t expect that resources from the state will start increasing over time,” Damphousse said. “We’ve got to take care of our own business. That’s one of the things that intrigued me about this position. They said right up front, ‘We’re looking for someone who’s innovative.’”
A native of Canada and a former prison guard, Damphousse has a doctorate in sociology and a master’s degree in sociology from Texas A&M University. He has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Sam Houston State University and an associate degree in law enforcement from Lethbridge College.
He has served as OU’s faculty athletics representative to the Big 12 Conference and NCAA since 2012. He and his wife, Beth, serve as faculty-in-residence in an OU residence hall. Students voted him “Best OU Professor” in 2015.
Hudson stepped down as chancellor after an audit found that he apparently tried to use his position to seek scholarship preference for his daughter at colleges she was considering attending.
The audit also cited a lack of organization in ASU’s study abroad program and questioned the propriety of Hudson’s wife, Deidra “Dee Dee” Hudson, running the program; of Hudson’s connections, which he did not disclose to the university, to a company that received money from the program; and of his receipt of free overseas trips.