Dr. Paul B. Beran, chancellor of the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith, will leave the university to assume the role of executive director and chief executive officer of the South Dakota Higher Education Board of Regents. His last day at UAFS is Aug. 31.
University of Arkansas System President Dr. Donald R. Bobbitt will name a search committee to aid the campus and community in finding a new chancellor to propose to the Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas.
Beran became the UAFS chancellor in July 2006. During his time at UAFS, Beran led the growth and transition of UAFS from a locally-recognized undergraduate institution to a master’s degree-granting regional university. Highlights of his tenure include an expansion of bachelor’s degree programs, a renovation and expansion of Boreham Library, the university’s move to NCAA Division II athletics, the construction of Windgate Art & Design and the Recreation and Wellness Center, and the graduation of thousands of students over the last twelve years.
In his new role, with oversight from the South Dakota Higher Education Board of Regents, Beran will oversee six higher education institutions in the state of South Dakota, including the flagship and regional state universities, as well as the South Dakota School for the Deaf and the South Dakota School for the Blind. Additionally, he will work with all arms of state government, including the governor and state and federal legislators and the state superintendent in charge of public schools and technical two-year schools.
Beran will also serve as the advocate for higher education across the state; serve as the ombudsman for cooperation and development with business, industry, and agriculture; and work with the university presidents to grow retention and degree attainment and expand research and the corresponding entrepreneurial opportunities that will stimulate economic growth in the state of South Dakota.
“Having the chance to grow UAFS into a premier regional institution has been one of the most rewarding endeavors of my career,” Beran said. “I am enormously thankful for this community, the employees of this university, Dr. Bobbitt and the University of Arkansas System Board of Trustees for this amazing opportunity.”
“Janice and I have come to love Arkansas, and we hate to leave all our friends and colleagues behind,” Beran added. “But because of the opportunities afforded me by the University of Arkansas System, I have the opportunity to continue to make a difference in higher education in a new place and at a new level.”
Dr. Bobbitt, the UA System president, said Dr. and Mrs. Beran will be missed.
“Our Fort Smith campus has made tremendous strides both in the depth and quality of their programs under the leadership of Dr. Beran,” Bobbitt said. “I want to thank Dr. Beran for his commitment and hard work toward making UAFS an attractive, state-of-the-art educational option for Arkansans, and an important contributor to the UA System’s institutional portfolio. I wish him much success in this new professional challenge as we look to find someone to continue building upon the strong foundation Dr. Beran has put in place.”