by Max Brantley
The University of Arkansas Board of Trustees took no action on Friday toward getting a new president, after the current president, B. Alan Sugg, told the Board he hadn’t decided when he wanted to step down.
The Board and Sugg met in executive session after a regular meeting at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Sugg said the Board asked if he’d made a decision about when he’d retire. He's been president 19 years and is nearing his 71st birthday. His UA contract expires in a little more than a year. He said he hadn’t, and that was about all of the discussion. Outgoing Board chairman Jim Lindsey said after the session that a hunt for a new president would begin only after Sugg makes a decision.
The Times has been reporting this week, based on reports from multiple trustees, that Lindsey had been working on a plan to pre-empt a search process and get the Board to name his farm manager, Stanley Reed of Marianna, as the next UA president. Reed is a graduate of the UA and its law school and outgoing president of the Arkansas Farm Bureau, not a plus with some. At least four trustees objected to choosing a president without a national search and the publicity apparently scotched plans for any pre-emptive move at today's meeting.
During the executive session, Dr. Tim Hunt of Paragould was elected the new chairman, succeeding Lindsey, whose term expires in March. John Ed Anthony of Hot Springs was named vice chairman, Jane Rogers of Little Rock was named secretary, and Dr. Carl Johnson of Little Rock was named assistant secretary.
-- Doug Smith