Henderson State University Chancellor Chuck Ambrose has announced plans to step aside, effective Sept. 15. A search process will begin soon.
Ambrose joined Henderson as chancellor in November 2021 and led a restructure of the academic program into four learning communities while also realigning the mission and resources of the university to focus on student success and learning outcomes.
Under Ambrose’s leadership, Henderson improved from seven days of cash on hand in 2019 to 50 days of cash on hand in 2022 during implementation of a modified cash budget.
“Henderson faced our challenges head on by restructuring the university to provide a more sustainable model focused on student success,” Ambrose wrote in a letter released to the campus on Monday.
“During the past two years, we have confronted our financial and structural challenges, utilized transparent data to inform decision-making, and focused on access and affordability for students while reallocating resources to offer degrees that best align to community and future workforce needs.”
In a letter sent to Henderson faculty and staff on Monday, Ambrose wrote:
"The progress we made together restored the financial integrity of the university and has provided a sustainable platform for the future of Henderson." These gains have included:
- One of the largest cost containment initiatives in the shortest amount of time for a public comprehensive four-year university.
- Improvement in net position from $21,013,662 in FY21 to $31,946,526 in FY22 Improved from 7 days of cash on hand in 2019 to 50 days of cash on hand in 2022—all while aligning staffing to our enrollment, reducing payables by over $5 million dollars or 80 percent, and demonstrating the fiscal integrity required by state and accrediting standards.
- Increase in the number of students who both completed their Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and gained access to the federal financial aid they were eligible to receive.
- Creation of the Students First Initiative with the design of the Reddie Student Success Center and Reddie Outreach Center along with the tools and leadership required to build enrollment, increase completion rates, and enhance the overall value of a Henderson degree.
“I am grateful for Dr. Ambrose’s leadership and the work by everyone on campus during the past two years to position Henderson for success now and into the future,” Dr. Chuck Welch, president of the Arkansas State University System, said. “We have great leadership on campus as we move toward the beginning of the fall semester and look forward to welcoming students in a few weeks.”
“The search process will begin soon as we work with Dr. Ambrose and the Henderson leadership team during this transition period.”
Click here to view Dr. Ambrose's letter to Henderson State faculty and staff.