Acting chancellor says she is humbled by position

Acting chancellor says she is humbled by position
Dr. Lynita Cooksey (Source: Arkansas State University)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Lynita Cooksey took over as acting Arkansas State chancellor Wednesday morning.

Dr. Tim Hudson resigned from his position as chancellor Tuesday morning and University President Dr. Charles Welch accepted the resignation Tuesday evening.

Cooksey told Region 8 News she is excited to help the university by stepping into the position.

"A lot of thinking through what the next few days are going to be like and the main thing is making sure the campus continues to move forward and that is really what I have thought most about today," Cooksey said.

Hudson's resignation comes after two internal audits into study abroad trips with the university.

Hudson's wife Dee Dee Hudson was the part-time director of the study abroad program.

Cooksey said Wednesday she is steering the university forward because there is a lot to get ready for including the largest summer commencement for the university coming up in a few days.

Cooksey said right after the summer commencement the university will be getting ready for the fall semester for students and faculty.

"We have some new faculty coming in with wonderful credentials, we have a freshman class coming in with again some of the highest credentials that we have had in the history of the university. Enrollment looks like it is moving right along in a positive direction and so it is business as usual here at Arkansas State," Cooksey said.

Cooksey said the university is moving forward and students should know the main priority is their education.

"We are moving forward just as we always have been. We are an institution that is more than 100 years old and our job is to educate leaders and enhance intellectual growth and enrich lives, that is what we are all about and we will continue to do that for our students," Cooksey said.

She said enrollment for the fall semester is positive and everyone should look forward to the next semester.

"They are the reason we are here and I don't think students will notice any change, we will continue to offer the quality of education and services that they expect," Cooksey said.

Cooksey is the first female acting chancellor for the university.

She told Region 8 while being the first woman in this position is humbling, she is focusing on the job.

"Rather you are male or female, the mission is still the same. We come in and we move the university forward in the direction it is moving so I really haven't worried so much or thought about so much the gender but rather the job ahead of me," Cooksey said.

Overall Cooksey said she is excited to lead the university.

"I can truly say that my blood runs A-State red, I am a Jonesboro resident I grew up here and I have had the opportunity to be mentored by some wonderful faculty on this campus and received two degrees here and I am very, very proud of my institution, so this is a very humbling experience for me to have the opportunity to oversee the university in the days ahead," Cooksey said.

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