New chancellor meets faculty, speaks about goals for the year

(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: Kelly Damphousse on Twitter)
(Source: Kelly Damphousse on Twitter)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - After two weeks on the job, Arkansas State University's new chancellor is settling in nicely.

Friday, Arkansas State held a reception to allow faculty and staff to meet Dr. Kelly Damphousse and his wife Beth.

A line of people waited as Damphousse greeted everyone with a smile and handshake.

Damphousse spoke to Region 8 news one-on-one and said he has several goals for the next year, one is to spread the word about A-State.

"I didn't know much about A-State before I got here, and I'm afraid people don't know much about A-State," Damphousse said. "I'm hoping people can see what we are doing here and all the great things going on."

If you are on social media, you may have already noticed Damphousse exploring the campus and Jonesboro community.

"Every morning when I go for my walk and I tweet something, I'm always trying to highlight something special about A-State," Damphousse said.

Damphousse said the first thing on his list is to begin meeting as many people as possible.

"I'm really trying to figure out what our identity and what people think they want us to be," Damphousse said. "My impression is that we can't do anything just because I want to do it. We can only do things that the faculty and staff want to do."

Something Damphousse is passionate about is recruitment and retention for the university and said they've already started reaching out to students before the fall semester begins.

"We are doing a real hard effort to contacting all the students who haven't enrolled yet to find out what's going on with them and if there is a problem we can solve to get them connected to the right person," Damphousse said.

He said it won't be long until recruitment begins for next year's freshman class.

"What I want all the Arkansas high school seniors, rising seniors, to know is that they have a place in Northeast Arkansas to come," Damphousse said. "Especially the students who are here in the Northeast Arkansas area and the upper delta."

Don't expect A-State's new chancellor to be stuck in the office.

Damphousse said he and his wife are very passionate about student life and being on campus.

"I will be out there," Damphousse said. "I will be eating in the cafeteria. My wife and I will be on campus as much as possible either in Greek life or in other areas of student life to make sure everyone knows who we are. We want them to know they have a voice here."

If you are lucky, you may even spot a popular member of the family while they are out and about.

Damphousse said MapleLeif, their dog, has already started exploring and finding her favorite spots on campus.

"Right now, it's down by the pond area down by the alumni center," Damphousse said. "There are some Canadian geese there and so she's Canadian. She loves chasing those geese. They don't like her too much though."

From her twitter account, MapleLeif already seems to love the Red Wolves decked out in her very own jersey.

Damphousse said they can't wait to spend more time in Jonesboro and are thankful for all the warm welcomes they've received.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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