Shane Broadway lands state job | Arkansas Blog

Shane Broadway lands state job



Gov. Mike Beebe's help couldn't get Sen. Shane Broadway elected lieutenant governor, but he ends up with a much more lucrative job and I doubt Beebe was a bad reference. He does have a college degree. In addiition to serving in the legislature for the last dozen years or so, he's also had a job as, well, that's never been exactly clear.

He's been named deputy director of the state Higher Education Department. He'll be paid $129,309 annually. That's a bit better than lt. gov., who I think makes in the $40s. The previous deputy director, Stanley Williams, retired Oct. 15, a department spokesman said.

Release follows (Jim Purcell, director of the department, called the appointment a "great choice." Sounds like somebody else appointed him, doesn't it? Is it customary for people to applaud their own choices? But I'm assured Purcell made the appointment to the non-classified position):

Shane Broadway of Bryant has been appointed deputy director of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education and began his duties with ADHE Monday. He served in the state legislature from 1997-2010, first as a representative and later as a senator and was instrumental in bringing about legislation that has significantly impacted both primary and secondary education in Arkansas.

“Shane’s appointment is a great choice,” said Jim Purcell, Ed.d, ADHE director. “He has always been a strong supporter of education at all levels and sponsored much of the legislation created for higher education in recent years, including the GO! Opportunities Grant and the Workforce Improvement Grant — the first in the nation established for non-traditional students. He was a co-sponsor of the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery in 2009, which has gone on to provide funding this fall for nearly 35,000 Arkansans for post-secondary education.”

An Arkansas State University alumnus, Broadway served three terms as a representative for Saline County and two terms in the senate for parts of Saline and Pulaski counties. He was elected Speaker of the House — the youngest in state history — by his colleagues in 2001.

While serving in the General Assembly, Broadway was at the forefront of the legislature’s push to continue improving Arkansas’s educational system, serving on the joint education committee every term except when he was speaker of the house. Creating economic development opportunities to bring jobs to the state was another focus of Broadway’s efforts, both as a legislator and as a businessman. Prior to his appointment, he served as director of client development for InSight Communications and as a consultant with Saline County Economic Development Corporation.

Broadway previously served as chairman of the 15-state Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) — which fosters intergovernmental cooperation among member states — and as chairman of the SLC’s Education Committee. Gov. Mike Beebe appointed Broadway to the advisory board of the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) in 2007.

Broadway has been quoted as saying, “The world would be a better place if everyone valued education as the key to moving our state and nation forward. Arkansas must stay on track and increase the number of degree-holders in the state and those with valuable workforce credentials to compete for jobs in the new economy.”

His primary duties will include supervising divisions within the agency and day-to-day oversight of the agency, representing ADHE for the SREB and other national initiatives as required, and serving as a legislative liaison for the agency.

Purcell said, “Shane comes to ADHE at an important time as we seek to restructure higher education in Arkansas so that we can increase the number of graduates necessary to support Arkansas’s expanding economy.

“Shane’s interest in economic development aligns quite well with Governor Beebe’s assertion that success in higher education is critical to economic development,” Purcell concluded, “and he’s always been able to work in a bi-partisan manner to move Arkansas forward.”

The ADHE is responsible for carrying out the policy directives of the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board (AHECB), approving and reviewing college and university academic programs and developing funding recommendations for the state’s 11 public universities and 22 public two-year colleges as well as several other post-secondary entities.

In addition, the agency distributes approximately $170 million annually from state revenues and lottery funds intended to ease the financial burden of students seeking an education beyond high school. For more information, visit

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