by Max Brantley
University of Arkansas President Alan Sugg announced today that he will recommend Prosecuting Attorney Chris Thomason of Hope to be next chancellor of the UA Community College at Hope. He would succeed Charles Welch, who is leaving June 30 to become president of Henderson State University.
LITTLE ROCK – University of Arkansas System President B. Alan Sugg will recommend S. Christopher Thomason as the next chancellor of the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope, it was announced today.
Sugg will recommend Thomason, who currently serves as prosecuting attorney for Arkansas’s 8th North Judicial District, to the UA Board of Trustees at its meeting at the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute on Petit Jean Mountain on June 6. If approved by the board, Thomason would succeed Charles Welch, who is stepping down June 30 to become president of Henderson State University.
Thomason, 35, was elected prosecuting attorney for the 8th North Judicial District in 2007 after serving three years in the Arkansas House of Representatives where he represented District 3, encompassing all of Hempstead County and part of southern Nevada County. He also served as deputy prosecuting attorney for the 8th North Judicial District from 1999-2002.
At UACCH, Thomason has served as an adjunct professor of political science and spent two years as a member board of directors of the college’s private foundation.
“Chris Thomason is a highly respected attorney and public servant throughout the Southwest Arkansas region, and I am thrilled to recommend him to be the next chancellor at UACCH,” Sugg said. “With his distinguished career as a prosecutor, legislator and community leader, Chris possesses outstanding leadership skills to serve the students, faculty and staff of UACCH and continue to build on the wonderful success of the college.”
Sugg designated a Chancellor Search Committee made up of representatives from the UACCH campus and Hope community to help conduct a national search and provide input in the recommendation process. During the past three months, the committee reviewed more than 60 applicants before narrowing the search to two finalists.
“We are grateful for the tremendous interest in this position,” Sugg said. “We had a very strong group of applicants and the search committee did a fine job working through this process. While this was a difficult decision, I’m confident that Chris Thomason is the right person to lead the college into the future.”
If approved by the board of trustees, Thomason would begin as chancellor August 1, 2008. Jerald Barber, vice chancellor for finance at UACCH, would serve as interim chancellor for the month of July.
A member of the Arkansas Bar Association since 1998, Thomason earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law in 1998 after earning a degree in Criminal Justice from UALR in 1995.
“I’m sincerely honored by the confidence President Sugg and the Board of Visitors have in me,” Thomason said. “If the trustees feel I’m right for the job, I will serve this campus with the best of my ability.”
Thomason is a native of Hope where he lives with his wife, Penny Gayle Thomason, and son, Allen Christopher Thomason.