News Article

AASCU Re-Elects ASU System President Welch as Chair of National Board of Directors


WASHINGTON — Dr. Charles L. Welch, president of the Arkansas State University System, today was re-elected chair of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ (AASCU) Board of Directors during the association’s virtual Annual Meeting.

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association of nearly 400 public colleges, universities and systems whose members share a learning and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development. 

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Dr. Charles L. Welch, ASU System President

and Chair of AASCU Board of Directors

Welch has been president of the ASU System since April 2011. Major initiatives under his leadership include the opening of a $100 million privately funded Arkansas State campus in Queretaro, Mexico; the mergers of ASU Mid-South in West Memphis and ASU Three Rivers in Malvern; the pending merger of Henderson State University; and relocating the ASU System office to Little Rock to enhance its statewide exposure and position in higher education leadership. He also serves as co-chair of the executive council of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education.

“It is my honor and privilege to continue to serve as chair of the AASCU Board of Directors at such a challenging time in public higher education,” Welch said. “The promise of America is inextricably linked to AASCU institutions and the students we serve. Our organization has played an important role representing and informing member institutions in Washington during the pandemic. I am committed to supporting AASCU’s strong public policy efforts and the transformative work of our AASCU institutions. I look forward to advancing these critical efforts.”

A native of Jonesboro, Ark., Welch was a first-generation college student and the first member of either side of his extended family to receive a graduate degree. Prior to leading the ASU System, Welch served as president of Henderson State University and chancellor of the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope.

Welch graduated from AASCU’s New Presidents Academy in 2008, is a member of AASCU’s Rural Coalition, and served as a key presenter during AASCU’s 2018 Spring Symposium on Strategic Planning. He has served on AASCU’s board since 2016.

Also at AASCU’s Annual Meeting, Cynthia Teniente-Matson, president of Texas A&M University-San Antonio, was appointed chair-elect of the board. She will serve as chair in 2022. The following presidents and chancellors will serve on the AASCU Board of Directors in 2020: 

Past Chair: Javier Cevallos, president, Framingham State University (Mass.)

Newly Elected Directors: Heidi M. Anderson, president, University of Maryland Eastern Shore; Emily Cutrer, president, Texas A&M University-Texarkana; Ronald S. Rochon, president, University of Southern Indiana; and Ashish Vaidya, president, Northern Kentucky University.

Continuing terms as members of AASCU’s board: Virginia Arthur, president, Metropolitan State University (Minn.); Steve M. Dorman, president, Georgia College & State University; Kristin Esterberg, president, State University of New York at Potsdam; Richard Helldobler, president, William Paterson University (N.J.); Brian O. Hemphill, president, Radford University (Va.); John Jasinski, president, Northwest Missouri State University; Timothy Mottet, president, Colorado State University-Pueblo; Brian Noland, president, East Tennessee State University; Eduardo M. Ochoa, president, California State University, Monterey Bay; Linda Schott, president, Southern Oregon University; and Rodney D. Smith, president and CEO, University of The Bahamas.

Media Inquiries

Media inquiries and interview requests or requests for documents subject to the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act should be sent to Jeff Hankins, Vice President of Strategic Communications, at

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