UCA President Houston Davis has appointed College of Business Dean Michael Hargis to serve as interim provost, effective
Hargis will follow former Provost Steve Runge, who will be returning to the Department of Natural Sciences to teach and research microbiology.
Hargis will remain as dean while serving as interim provost.
Davis announced the leadership transition in an email sent to faculty and staff on June 15.
“The timing is right,” Davis said. “The university is experiencing a cycle of change. This is an opportunity to step back and consider what we want the University of Central Arkansas to look like seven, eight or nine years from now.”
The Office of Academic Affairs will continue work on student success initiatives and retention while collaborating with university deans while Hargis serves as interim, Davis said.
“These are probably the most dire decisions I will make during my time at UCA,” Davis said. “We will be part of developing UCA into the world-class university it has the potential to be.”
A focus on interdisciplinary studies is also a priority, Davis said.
The national search for a permanent provost begins immediately, as the process can take eight to nine months.
Ideally, the provost will be announced and begin working next June or July, Davis said.