NEOSHO, Mo. — Crowder College President Jennifer Methvin will soon leave her position in order to be the next chancellor of Arkansas State University-Beebe.
The announcement was made Friday in a statement by the Arkansas institution. Methvin will officially depart Crowder at the end of the semester and join ASU in the summer, according to the statement.
“This was a very tough decision,” Methvin told the Globe on Saturday. “But this will be an opportunity to go home and be more near my family.”
Methvin began her higher education career as an adjunct instructor at Arkansas State University-Beebe and spent more than 20 years working for various community colleges in Arkansas. From 1999 to 2005, Methvin served as division chair of arts and sciences at the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville. She then became vice chancellor for academics at University of Arkansas Community College at Hope prior to her arrival in Neosho.
Charles Welch, president of the Arkansas State University System, said in a statement that Methvin’s experience with community colleges makes her an ideal choice for the position of chancellor.
“I appreciate her willingness to return to Arkansas and lead the state’s third-largest two-year institution,” he said.
Methvin, who has spent the past four years as Crowder College president, said she’s proud of the work the college has accomplished during her tenure, including improving retention rates and attracting more people to the college.
“It’s been very rewarding work, and I think that that work will continue on,” she said.
She also said that returning to the institution where her career started is “special” and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Members of the Crowder board of trustees said they’re sad to see her go, but they also said they understand her decision to move closer to her family.
“We sincerely hate losing Dr. Methvin,” said Andy Wood, president of the board, on Saturday. “She’ll be very hard to replace, but at the same time, we’re very happy for her.”
Wood said the board hasn’t had a chance to meet to discuss the process for hiring a new president. He anticipates that within the next couple of weeks, the board will search for an interim president.
The board will likely advertise the position of president and solicit applications sometime in the fall, Wood said. The board may set up a committee of faculty and community members to help with the process of reviewing applications and selecting finalists.
Arkansas State University-Beebe has an average enrollment of more than 4,500 students and is a separate two-year institution of the ASU System, with additional campuses in Heber Springs, Searcy and the Little Rock Air Force Base. The university offers associate degrees, certificates and noncredit training for business and industry.