The Arkansas State University System, based in Little Rock, serves 23,000 students throughout Arkansas with a total operating budget of $258 million.
The ASU System includes Arkansas State University, a four-year research institution in Jonesboro with an instructional site in Paragould and degree centers in Beebe, Mountain Home, Blytheville, Forrest City, and West Memphis. Its two-year college institutions include ASU-Beebe, with additional campuses in Heber Springs and Searcy and an instructional site at Little Rock Air Force Base; ASU-Newport, with additional campuses in Jonesboro and Marked Tree; ASU-Mountain Home; and ASU Mid-South.
Dr. Charles L. Welch serves as president of the ASU System at its administrative offices in Little Rock. The chancellors are Dr. Lynita Cooksey, Interim Chancellor at Arkansas State, Dr. Karla Fisher at ASU-Beebe, Dr. Sandra Massey at ASU-Newport; Dr. Robin Myers at ASU-Mountain Home and Dr. Debra West at ASU Mid-South. A five-member Board of Trustees appointed by the governor governs the system.
The ASU System provides a wide range of degree and certificate programs, serves as a leading voice on state higher education issues, and supports significant programs for the state and region, including economic development initiatives, the Arkansas Biosciences Institute, and Arkansas heritage sites.
The mission of the ASU System is to contribute to the educational, cultural, and economic advancement of Arkansas by providing quality general undergraduate education and specialized programs leading to certificate, associate, baccalaureate, masters, professional, and doctoral degrees; by encouraging the pursuit of research, scholarly inquiry, and creative activity; and by bringing these intellectual resources together to develop the economy of the state and the education of its citizens throughout their lives.
In 2006, the ASU System Office was created to facilitate future growth and enhanced services to the system institutions. The Board of Trustees named university president Dr. Les Wyatt as the first system president and Robert L. Potts as the first chancellor of the Jonesboro campus. The office was relocated from Jonesboro to Little Rock in 2011.
Arkansas State University in Jonesboro was established in 1909 as Arkansas State College. ASU-Beebe was established in 1927 as Junior Agricultural School of Central Arkansas and became part of ASU in 1955. ASU-Newport was founded as White River Vocational-Technical School in 1976 and became part of ASU-Beebe in 1992, but in 2002 the campus combined with Delta Technical Institute at Marked Tree to become a standalone institution. ASU-Mountain Home campus was established in 1995. Mid-South Community College in West Memphis became a member of the system in 2015 and changed its name to ASU Mid-South.