JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Arkansas State University welcomed its new chancellor at a news conference Wednesday.
Dr. Kelly Damphousse comes to Jonesboro from the University of Oklahoma where he served as the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
He is also a native of Canada.
Dr. Charles Welch, A-State System President, introduced Damphousse and welcome him with a Red Wolf jersey.
Damphousse spoke to A-State faculty, staff, and supporters at the Fowler Center on his history in higher education and where he hopes to take the university.
He said it's a tough time to be in higher education.
"Our faculty, our staff, our students have fewer and fewer resources coming from the state so universities have to be innovative and they have to be perceptive and by perceptive, I mean we've got to be able to look around the corner at what is coming," Damphousse said.
He feels Arkansas State is already being innovative with its new medical school, convention center, and Mexico campus, but he plans to bring even more projects to campus.
"The only way we get there is together," Damphousse said. "I can't lead without people coming with me. We share responsibility for the future of our university."
Someone who has helped lead Damphousse to where he is now is his wife Beth.
They've been together for 31 years and lived on campus at Oklahoma State University.
"She's been a great role model for me and a great leader for me, and I appreciate that," Damphousse said. "I know in due time you all will be saying to yourself, we don't know about this Kelly guy, but we are sure glad Beth came here."
Damphousse said they enjoy everything about student life, and Beth said they plan to bring that enthusiasm to A-State.
"We are involved in every aspect of student life, student world, being involved with alumni, and getting to meet people, making and building those relationships are high on our priority list," Beth said. "We do it together."
Damphousse said one of his goals as chancellor is to focus on graduation retention.
As for the other university in the state, Damphousse said he has many colleagues there and has great respect for the University of Arkansas chancellor and the work he did at Ohio State University, but Damphousse said he has a competitive spirit.
"If I can emulate some of the things that he did there in the things that I do here I'd be really pleased to do that, but we are going to beat them in every way we can," Damphousse.
Damphousse has a lengthy resume including being named Public Servant of the Year by the Oklahoma chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.
He will officially join Arkansas State University on July 1.
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