University of Arkansas names Charles Robinson to serve as the university’s first Black chancellor

Charles Robinson was named Wednesday as the chancellor for the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, the first Black person to lead the flagship campus.

The university’s board of trustees voted unanimously to appoint Robinson, who has served as the nearly 31,000-student school’s interim chancellor since August 2021. Robinson has been appointed to a three-year term.

“He now has the opportunity to cast a broader vision for advancing the university as a leading public research university in the region and raising its status on the national stage,” University System President Donald Bobbitt said in a statement. “He has a unique ability to inspire others and to relate to the many different constituencies across the university, and I look forward to working with him to help make his tenure as Chancellor a success.”

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Robinson, who has served at the university for 23 years, was most recently its provost and executive vice chancellor for academic and student affairs.

Charles Robinson, right, is congratulated by associates after being hired as the chancellor of the University of Arkansas during a reception at the university’s administration building on Nov. 16, 2022, in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
(Andy Shupe/The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP)

“I’m looking forward to serving our campus in its entirety and greatly appreciate the support and confidence shown in me to be a good steward of the land-grant mission,” Robinson said.

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The university’s previous chancellor abruptly resigned last year, citing the challenge of leading the school in “today’s polarized society.”