News Article

Gov. Sanders Appoints Gary Harpole, Christy Clark to ASU System Board of Trustees


LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders has appointed Gary Harpole of Jonesboro and Christy Clark of Little Rock to the Arkansas State University System Board of Trustees.

Harpole was appointed to a seven-year term – as specified by Act 18 of 2021 as part of the board’s expansion to seven members – that will expire in January 2030. Clark, the immediate past board chair who was appointed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson in 2018, succeeds past board chair Niel Crowson, who resigned from a second term that expires in January 2025 after eight years of service. 

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Gary Harpole, ASU System Board of Trustees

ASU System President Chuck Welch said he welcomed Harpole to the board and was also grateful for the governor’s reappointment of Clark.

“Mr. Harpole brings a variety of business and government experiences to our board,” Welch said. “We look forward to the insight and knowledge he will bring to further develop and expand System initiatives. Trustee Clark has been an important member of our board on multiple fronts, and we’re pleased she wants to continue serving the ASU System.

“I’m grateful to Niel Crowson for his service during the past eight years,” Welch added. “He has helped oversee many significant projects and growth in the ASU System, and we’ve implemented several financial management initiatives at his recommendation that will serve the system well for years to come.”


Christy Clark, ASU System Board of Trustees

Harpole is a managing partner and director of development at Halsey Thrasher Harpole Real Estate Group in Jonesboro, serving markets in Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama.

“The Arkansas State University System is a pillar of higher education in the State of Arkansas,” Harpole said. “With campuses strategically located across our state as well as the campus in Mexico, the ASU System is uniquely positioned to help lead the educational, cultural and economic advances in Arkansas that are a part of their mission and Governor Sarah Sanders’ agenda.  I want to thank Governor Sanders for her confidence in me, and I look forward to working with the leadership of the ASU System.”

Prior to becoming a partner in the real estate agency, Harpole was director of operations for the City of Jonesboro and chief of staff in the mayor’s office. He has a long history of community service and leading quality of life projects in Jonesboro.

In 1992 at age 26, he was elected to serve on the Jonesboro City Council, He served two terms on the council, the last of which he also served as vice mayor.  While on the council, he co-chaired the city’s Metropolitan Area Traffic Authority and chaired the city’s Parks and Industrial Committees. He later served on the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission and co-chaired Jonesboro’s 20-year Vision 2030 Master Planning Committee. 

Harpole is a member of the Advisory Board of the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine on the campus of Arkansas State in Jonesboro, the Jonesboro Exchange Club and First Baptist Church of Jonesboro. He is a former member of the A-State Chancellor’s Task Force on Safety, past president of the Jonesboro Jaycees and a former member of the Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. He is a graduate of the Delta Regional Authority Delta Leadership Institute.

Clark, a 1992 graduate of Arkansas State University, is controller of Clark Contractors LLC of Little Rock. She earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting at Arkansas State and is an inactive Certified Public Accountant.

Her professional memberships include the Arkansas Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. She is a founding member of the A-State Women’s Leadership Center, a 1924 Sustaining Life Member of the ASU Alumni Association, a member of Chi Omega, and a member of the board of directors for Home for Healing and Arkansas Sheriffs' Youth Ranches. In addition, she is a life member of the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Auxiliary, a life member of the CHI St. Vincent Auxiliary and a member of the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute Auxiliary.

Clark and her husband, William, were co-chairs of the Baptist Health Bolo Bash for 2021 in conjunction with her chairing the Partnerships for Life capital campaign to raise funds to renovate the Baptist Breast Center. 

The Clarks received the 2018 Arkansas JDRF Imagine Gala Living & Giving Award on behalf of Clark Contractors, and she received the 2022 Arkansas Children's Award from Arkansas Sheriffs' Youth Ranches.

The ASU System, based in Little Rock, serves nearly 38,000 students annually through on-site and online options. Member institutions include Arkansas State University in Jonesboro with an additional campus in Queretaro, Mexico; ASU-Beebe, with additional campuses in Heber Springs and Searcy and an instructional site at the Little Rock Air Force Base; ASU-Mountain Home; ASU-Newport, with additional campuses in Jonesboro and Marked Tree; ASU Mid-South in West Memphis; ASU Three Rivers in Malvern; and Henderson State University in Arkadelphia. For more information about the ASU System, visit or follow on Twitter @ASUSystem.

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