Terisa Riley

One week before incoming Texas A&M University-Kingsville President Mark Hussey is set to be inaugurated, the university will now be seeking to fill another top position.

Current TAMUK Vice President of Student Affairs and University Administration Terisa Riley was named the sole candidate as the next chancellor at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith Tuesday.

The announcement was made by University of Arkansas System President Donald Bobbitt, who will recommend Riley to the board of trustees. 

“While the pool of finalists was extremely strong, with all of the candidates being highly qualified and making a great impression during their on-campus visits and interviews, Dr. Riley rose to the top with the clear vision and palpable energy needed to help continue the strategic growth and upward trajectory of UAFS,” Bobbitt said in a press release. “I couldn’t be any more confident in the work that our search committee, search firm and all of the various other constituents contributed during this process to help identify the next chancellor at UAFS. I am extremely excited about Dr. Riley’s arrival and the future of the university.”

Riley has served in a variety of student affairs and administrative roles at TAMUK since 2007. She is expected to begin her new role as chancellor July 1.

“I am thrilled and humbled to be recommended as the next chancellor for the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith,” Riley said. “My interactions with faculty, staff, students and members of the Fort Smith community reinforced my belief that UAFS is preparing students to work and compete globally, and that empowering students to reach their academic goals continues to be the focus of campus decision-making. UAFS has a rich and unique history as an economic advancement engine for the Fort Smith region, and I look forward to playing my part to help shape the success of the institution, the community and our students, faculty and staff for years to come.”

Riley’s last day at TAMUK will be June 14. In addition to her role at the university, Riley has served in a number of community organizations, and is the immediate past president of the Kingsville Chamber of Commerce.

“Though I’ve only worked with Dr. Riley a few months, her impact on the university and community is clear. She has been instrumental in forging a strong town-gown relationship and has been our linkage between the university and the City of Kingsville, including serving as president for the Kingsville Chamber of Commerce,” Hussey said in a prepared statement. “The opportunity to serve as chancellor at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith will allow Dr. Riley to continue to pursue her passion for higher education and I wish her all the best.”

The recommendation is subject to approval by the Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas at a future meeting. Trustees participated in interviews with four finalists in late March-early April.

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