ASU Chancellor Todd Shields needs to construct upon success
Dr. Todd Shields’ daughter, Savvy, competed in a sequence of magnificence pageants throughout her youth culminating together with her win as Miss Arkansas in 2016. She traveled the state and one place that stood out to her was Jonesboro, her father mentioned.
Savvy validated her statewide win when she was named Miss America in 2017, and Shields informed Speak Enterprise & Politics that ever since he’s fondly solely generally known as “Savvy’s father.”
Defend’s now has one other well-known title in Northeast Arkansas — chancellor at Arkansas State College’s Jonesboro campus. He beforehand served because the dean of the College of Arkansas’ Fulbright Faculty of Arts and Sciences since 2014. He’s slated to make $450,000 yearly, ASU President Chuck Welch mentioned when Shields was employed in July. Shields changed former Chancellor Kelly Damphousse, who left to take the president’s job at Texas State College.
“The financials at Arkansas State College look actually good,” he mentioned. “We’re in actually good condition in that regard.”
A significant shock for him was that A-State’s enrollment within the fall of 2022 was up. Many colleges had declines in enrollment, a development anticipated to worsen as the last decade progresses. The varsity had 14,109 college students enrolled. It’s the primary time A-State has handed the 14,000 stage for the reason that fall of 2018. Final fall, A-State reported 13,752 college students.
“One of many causes I inform folks about why I got here to Arkansas State is the group of people who find themselves right here on campus and in Northeast Arkansas,” Shields mentioned. “I’m very happy with the progress they made this yr, and I’m looking forward to continued enchancment in years to come back.”
After three years of enrollment decline, the upturn for fall 2022 is highlighted by development in first-year college students on campus, and a rise of greater than 100 college students residing in campus housing. A-State additionally noticed a 5% development within the variety of first-time worldwide college students, a 3% improve in college students at Campus Queretaro in Mexico, and a greater than 10% rise in on-line college students.
The autumn 2022 enrollment is probably the most in 5 years, and simply 35 college students in need of the all-time mark of 14,144 in fall 2017. This yr’s headcount now ranks because the second-highest enrollment at A-State historical past, exceeding the 14,085 in fall 2016 and 14,058 in fall 2018. One other indicator of enrollment turnaround was A-State having its second-best first-to-second yr fall retention fee with 77.6%.
“Greater than as soon as I’ve had somebody inform me that the ‘campus appears busy once more’ or ‘occasions are greater,’ and it provides as much as making A-State a fantastic place to be,” Shields added. “I need this college to be the place the place all Arkansans really feel welcome, and I do know our enrollment administration staff has a plan to take this enchancment and proceed to develop.”
These in greater training know of the looming “cliff” in the case of pupil enrollment. The Nice Recession started in 2008, and one side-effect was folks had fewer kids for a number of years. This drop in inhabitants will start to affect schools and universities beginning in 2025.
“The variety of 18-year-olds attending college will drop dramatically,” Shields mentioned.
To fight this downside, Shields mentioned a purpose in his first yr on the job will probably be to create a complete plan to lure and retain college students, and practice them to work for firms and organizations within the area. Conventional fashions of upper training should change, he mentioned. Extra “non-traditional” college students will search greater training alternatives. An emphasis for many years was to coach college students to get to graduate college, and that may change for a lot of, he mentioned.
On-line applications proceed to develop and that development will develop within the coming years. On-line courses take up much less time and are simpler to schedule for individuals who have jobs or household schedules to take care of, he mentioned.
Employers could have hassle with staffing within the coming years, and a part of the college’s strategic plan will probably be to supply levels that assist employees get jobs with native and regional firms.
“The large purpose within the subsequent 5 years is to create a strategic plan of how we’re going to practice college students to be a part of your workforce,” Shields not too long ago informed a gaggle of NEA enterprise leaders.
The brand new chancellor introduced administration expertise to A-State. Shields’ educational administrative expertise spans from division chair to analysis facilities and from deanships of particular person schools to divisions touching all corners of the college. His two most up-to-date educational appointments, dean of the Graduate College and Worldwide Schooling (GSIE) and dean of the Fulbright Faculty of Arts and Sciences, are key elements of his background.
The Fulbright Faculty is the biggest school at UA, and consists of a few of the establishment’s hallmark applications. Managing $80 million on the whole price range funds plus a analysis price range of roughly $18 million, Shields oversaw greater than 650 full-time college and instructors and greater than 700 instructing and analysis assistants because the Fulbright dean.
One among Shields’ contributions to UA was the creation of a College of Artwork throughout the school, bolstered by important endowment items to fund development of a brand new campus house that serves as a partnership with town of Fayetteville. A $120 million reward from the Walton Household Charitable Help Basis established the College of Artwork. That was adopted by $70 million in help from the Windgate Basis for the 154,600-square-foot Windgate Studio + Design Middle to anchor a brand new artwork district redevelopment south of the campus core on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. He additionally was a part of an effort to safe $90 million in software program and gear items to applications within the Fulbright Faculty.
Shields was concerned within the creation of the Diane D. Blair Middle of Southern Politics and Society, serving because the founding director of the interdisciplinary analysis middle. Constructing upon his earlier expertise because the affiliate director of the Fulbright Institute of Worldwide Relations, the Blair Middle turned a longtime useful resource for programing, curriculum, analysis and polling for the state and area. Shields adopted his time as division chair and Blair Middle director with a yr because the affiliate dean of the President William Jefferson Clinton College of Public Service in Little Rock.
He started his educational profession as an assistant professor in political science at Arkansas in 1994 and was promoted to affiliate professor in 1999. He joined the Fulbright Institute as its affiliate director in 2000, and in 2005 turned a full professor in political science. For seven years, he additionally concurrently chaired the political science division at UA.
Concurrent along with his time on the Clinton College, Shields was first appointed interim dean in 2010-11, then everlasting dean of GSIE the next educational yr. Together with the graduate college, he additionally supervised worldwide college students and research overseas and sponsored applications on the UA campus.
He’s the co-author of three books associated to electoral politics. Shields and Angie Maxwell mixed for the 2019 “The Lengthy Southern Technique: How Chasing White Voters within the South Modified American Politics.” His 2008 e book with Sunshine Hillygus titled “The Persuadable Voter: Wedge Points in Presidential Campaigns,” gained the 2009 Robert E. Lane Award for one of the best e book in political psychology. His first e book, “Cash Issues: Marketing campaign Finance Reform and Congressional Elections,” was written with Robert Goidel and Don Gross.
He was additionally an editor on six different books, printed greater than 40 articles and made greater than 50 displays in his analysis space of voters and election methods.