by Max Brantley
Bill Stovall, the Democratic House speaker who remained House chief
of staff operations officer under Republican Speaker Davy Carter (to the unhappiness of some Republicans), is heading to a lobby job.
He'll become the head of the Arkansas Association of Two-Year Colleges in October, succeeding Ed Franklin, who'll retire at the end of the year.
Canny and tough, that's Stovall.
News release follows.
Chris Thomason, Chairman of the Presidents and Chancellors Division of the Arkansas Association of Two-Year Colleges, announced today that former House Speaker and state representative Bill Stovall has been named Executive Director of the Arkansas Association of Two-Year Colleges. Stovall will become the second executive of the association, assuming leadership October 1, 2013, succeeding Dr. Ed Franklin upon his retirement January 2, 2014.
"We’ve worked with Bill Stovall for more than a decade and have always been impressed with his enormous understanding of the state budget and attention to detail on all legislative matters,” said Thomason, Chancellor of the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope. “Bill brings a commitment to our organization and community colleges on a variety of levels. Under his leadership, our growing responsibility to build a quality workforce for Arkansas will be in good hands.”
A native of Heber Springs, Stovall served on the Cleburne County Quorum Court for eight years before being elected to the House of Representatives in 2001. He served as Speaker of the House from 2005-2006. Since his retirement due to term limits, Stovall has remained employed by the House in various roles, including Chief of Staff and Chief Operations Officer. He is well known for his vast knowledge of the state budget and his mastery of the legislative process, as well as his ability to work with members of all political parties.
Stovall received an Associate of Arts Degree from Pulaski Technical College, a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and a master’s degree in liberal arts from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.
In accepting the role, Stovall said, “I look forward to serving the mission of Arkansas’ community colleges. As the changing job market demands more post-secondary degrees and certificates, we have an ambitious agenda in Arkansas.”
Stovall went on to say, “During Dr. Franklin’s tenure, access and affordability became the mission for Arkansas’ two-year colleges, as well as for students who see two-year colleges as the gateway to higher education. Working with our 22-member colleges, it’s my hope we continue to raise the bar and imagine a new future where every Arkansan understands the life opportunities found at their local community college.”
Dr. Ed Franklin has served as President and CEO of the Arkansas Association of Two-Year Colleges (AATYC) since 1996. Under his leadership, AATYC has successfully collaborated with two-year colleges, business/industry leaders, state agencies, and other organizations to develop regional and sector partnerships as well as implement student success initiatives.