Henderson State president retiring | Arkansas Blog

Henderson State president retiring

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Henderson State University President Charles Dunn today announced in a letter to the HSU board of trustees that he will retire at the end of June 2008.

He said he plans to remain with the university as a professor of political science.

Providing you with over sixteen months notice may seem unusual; however, it has been twenty-one years since this university conducted a search for a president.  None of the current board members and few of the current faculty and staff were involved in that effort.  I am hopeful that by providing you with timely notice, you will be able to carefully study issues related to presidential search and succession and implement a selection process that will attract many excellent candidates for the presidency.  With the advice of the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, I have arranged that a consultant affiliated with the Association of Governing Boards advise the board on presidential search and succession.  I believe the assistance provided by the consultant, an experienced university president and professor, will be beneficial to you and will assist you in finding the best possible fit among the many candidates who will apply for the position.

Full text of the letter after the jump.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I very much appreciate the opportunity to serve as President of Henderson State University.  When I began my career in higher education nearly thirty-eight years ago, I could not have anticipated having the chance to serve this distinguished university as its president.  Now, it is time for me to look ahead to the things I wish to do in the final years of my career.  This letter is to inform you of my intention to retire from the presidency ofHenderson State University, effective June 30, 2008, and to serve as professor of political science for the remainder of my tenure here.

Providing you with over sixteen months notice may seem unusual; however, it has been twenty-one years since this university conducted a search for a president.  None of the current board members and few of the current faculty and staff were involved in that effort.  I am hopeful that by providing you with timely notice, you will be able to carefully study issues related to presidential search and succession and implement a selection process that will attract many excellent candidates for the presidency.  With the advice of the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, I have arranged that a consultant affiliated with the Association of Governing Boards advise the board on presidential search and succession.  I believe the assistance provided by the consultant, an experienced university president and professor, will be beneficial to you and will assist you in finding the best possible fit among the many candidates who will apply for the position.

Although there remains much to be done in my remaining time as president, I hope to have some time in the coming months to reflect on what we have accomplished at Henderson.  One conclusion is obvious to me:  I came to Henderson over two decades ago to help better define this institution.  I realize now that Henderson has instead largely defined me.

Our focus has been on developing and fulfilling our important mission as Arkansas’s public liberal arts university, as the School with a Heart, and as a university known for excellence, spirit, and tradition.  We have rebuilt the institution at a variety of levels.  Most visibly, we have constructed new buildings and revitalized others.  But we also have utilized wonderful learning/teaching technologies to extend our reach to students.  We’ve recruited and retained an outstanding faculty and staff that serve our students well.  Finally, we’ve recruited a wonderfully diverse, superior student body that provides life and spirit to this great institution.

I feel that most of my work here is done.  We have prepared a strong foundation on which others can build.  It is time now for me to pursue other dreams.  When Jane and I began this journey a short thirty-eight years ago, my goal was to teach young people as a professor of political science.  Teaching is my passion and that is the way I wish to complete my career.

My family and I love this place and its generous and loving people.  We love being a part of such a dynamic university.  Thank you so much for the great support you have always provided and for giving me the opportunity to serve as your president.  I wish you the greatest success in the future.

Sincerely,

Charles D. Dunn, Ph.D.

President

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