by Max Brantley
As previously indicated, Alan Sugg will retire as president of the University of Arkansas System June 30, 2011.
The UA Board will now begin in earnest to look for a successor. No word yet if some Board sentiment to elevate UA Chancellor David Gearhart remains in the works. The Board meets Friday in Fort Smith.
LITTLE ROCK – University of Arkansas System President B. Alan Sugg announced today that he will retire on June 30, 2011.
Sugg has served for 20 years as president of the UA System, which includes over 60,000 students and 18,000 employees among its 17 campuses and units.
“I have loved every minute serving as system president over the past 20 years,” Sugg said. “I’m proud of the work of our faculty, staff and administrators to help improve our state and the lives of its citizens through higher education. I’m thankful for having had the chance to work with many outstanding chancellors, and I’m grateful to our trustees and the citizens of Arkansas for giving me this opportunity. While I will be sad to leave next summer, I will always remember the wonderful experiences I have had in this position.
“I have great confidence that the board of trustees will select the right person to serve as the next system president. Because we have strong leadership among our trustees and chancellors, along with an outstanding governor who is very supportive of higher education, I believe the UA system presidency will be a highly sought-after responsibility.”
Sugg has overseen expansion of the system to include five community colleges and UA-Fort Smith. The system also added the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, the Criminal Justice Institute, the Clinton School of Public Service and the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and Arts during his tenure.
UA Board of Trustees Chairman John Ed Anthony said the board will have a “difficult task” in finding a successor to Sugg.
“Alan Sugg is a true statesman and ambassador for our state and university,” Anthony said. “He has worked tirelessly and humbly to advance the cause of the University of Arkansas System and the missions of our many campuses and units. I know I speak for trustees both present and past in thanking Alan for his outstanding leadership.”
After serving as president of Texas A&M Corpus Christi for 11 years, Sugg returned to his home state as president of the UA System in 1990.
He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the UA in the 1960s and received his doctoral degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1971.
He first enrolled at the UA in 1956 on scholarship as a pole vaulter for the Razorback track and field team. After college, he served three years as a captain in the U.S. Army stationed in Germany.
Born in Helena in 1938, Sugg and his wife Jeannie of West Helena have two daughters and two grandchildren, all residing in Houston, Texas.
In 2004, the board of trustees created an endowment for the University of Arkansas System and named it in Sugg’s honor.
The UA System includes:
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
University of Arkansas at Monticello
University of Arkansas at Fort Smith
University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville
University of Arkansas Community College at Hope
University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton
Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas
Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas
Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts
University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service
Division of Agriculture
Criminal Justice Institute
Arkansas Archeological Survey
Winthrop Rockefeller Institute