(Dr. Edward Serna) (Photo Courtesy of the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith)
University of Arkansas System President, Dr. Donald R. Bobbitt announced, on August 16th, 2018, Dr. Edward A. Serna will be appointed as the Interim Chancellor for the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, effective September 1st, 2018. Dr. Serna currently serves as the Chief of Staff and Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives. In a quote, Dr. Bobbitt said, “After talking with people on campus and within the community and reflecting on my experiences with him, it was clear that Dr. Serna has the institutional knowledge and skill set to help lead the campus during this time of transition,” Bobbitt said. “Drs. Serna and Beran have worked closely together on a vision for UAFS for many years and I’m confident that the institution is in more than capable hands to continue those initiatives.” Dr. Bobbitt has also said, in a news release by the University of Arkansas System, that the University of Arkansas System will work closely with Dr. Serna and the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith to launch a national search for the next permanent chancellor. According to Dr. Bobbitt, he will be appointing a search committee consisting of campus and community representatives very soon. The committee will identify the characteristics the University and the community will be looking for and find the right person that fits into those criteria. Dr. Bobbitt went on to say, “UAFS is a vital institution in the UA System and an important anchor for the City of Fort Smith, and the region.” Dr. Bobbitt will be making a visit to the area very soon. Dr. Serna will be replacing Dr. Paul Beran, who has been with the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith since 2006 and has been a vital piece in the furtherment of the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith from a community college to a comprehensive regional university. Dr. Beran will continue his duties up until August 31st, 2018. On September 1st, 2018, Dr. Beran will be assuming his new role as the Executive Director and CEO of the South Dakota Higher Education Board of Regents. As Alumni of the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, Lara and Ryan wish Dr. Beran the best of luck in his upcoming adventure and can’t wait to see what he does for the higher education system in South Dakota. They would also like to congratulate Dr. Serna on his appointment and wish him the best of luck in leading a great institution. Dr. Serna has our full support and we can’t wait to see what he does in his time as Interim Chancellor.