ASU-Newport Chancellor to retire in December 2020


Arkansas State University-Newport’s Chancellor will retire at the end of 2020 after seven years of service.

ASU-Newport (ASUN) named Dr. Sandra Massey its second chancellor in September 2013. Since then, Dr. Massey has dedicated the past seven years of her career to supporting ASUN’s mission of providing an accessible, affordable, quality education that transforms the lives of students, enriches communities, and strengthens the regional economy, the school said in a release announcing her retirement.

Serving more than two-and-half decades in higher education, Massey is a decorated scholar and advocate for student success. She led ASUN to its highest enrollment ever in 2015 with 2,533 students. Furthermore, Massey supported the growth and extension of ASUN services to high school students through the IGNITE Academy and to the prison population with Second Chance Pell, the release said.

While supporting prison education, Massey also initiated the first on-campus prison classes allowing qualified individuals to learn skills in welding and diesel technology.

Massey also spearheaded ASUN’s mascot campaign in 2018. Her goal to give the ASUN community a unifying figure came to fruition with ASUN becoming the Aviators and the creation of the mascot character — Ace the Aviator.

ASU-Newport’s flagship campus is located on a former Army base. The Newport Army Air Field was once home to thousands of people as they lived and worked on the base in Jackson County. This homage to history and community is just one way Dr. Massey showed her community support across ASUN’s three campus locations.

Massey served on the Newport Economic Development Commission and the Arkansas Capital Corporation Group; served as a member of the Newport Rotary Club, Newport, Jonesboro and Marked Tree Chambers of Commerce, and Trumann Lions Club.

Under Massey’s leadership, the American Association of Community Colleges appointed her to its board in 2019 allowing her to highlight the successes and challenges of rural community colleges.

Before becoming chancellor, Massey served as ASUN’s vice chancellor for academic affairs. Prior to her tenure in Newport, she was campus provost at the Northeast Campus of Tulsa Community College, dean of student services at Tulsa Community College, and vice president of student affairs and enrollment management at Oklahoma State University-Okmulgee, where Massey also served as a mental health counselor.

“Dr. Massey has been an outstanding leader for ASU-Newport,” said Dr. Chuck Welch, president of the Arkansas State University System. “She led the institution to record enrollment and multiple educational and economic development initiatives that are making ASU-Newport communities stronger. She was consistently focused on student success, and her kind and gentle nature were great examples for us all. We’ll miss her on our ASU System executive team, but wish her the best in retirement spending more time with her family.”

A native of Jonesboro, Massey received her Bachelor of Science in psychology and her Master of Rehabilitation Counseling from Arkansas State University. Massey obtained her Doctor of Education in occupational and adult education from Oklahoma State University.

With her retirement, Dr. Massey and her husband, Ward, look forward to spending more time with family including their daughter, son, and five grandchildren, the release said.

The search for ASU-Newport’s third chancellor is already underway.

Image via ASU-Newport

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