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Presidential Search

Dr. Rick Massengale named 5th North Arkansas College President

Rick Massengale at deskAfter a lengthy executive session, Northark Trustees returned to regular session and voted unanimously to hire Dr. Rick Massengale, Northark’s VP for Academic and Student Affairs as the College’s fifth president. The Board launched a search last May after Dr. Randy Esters resigned to return home to Louisiana.

Three finalists were interviewed over the last week: Dr. Ted Lewis, provost and vice president of Academic and Student Affairs, Bluefield State College in West Virginia, Dr. Rick Massengale, Northark vice president for academics and student affairs; and Dr. Jeff Jochems, COVID-19 Lead Case Manager at Ozarks Technical Community College, Springfield, MO.

Before coming to Harrison, Massengale served Arkansas Tech University in Russellville as associate vice president for sponsored programs and university initiatives and as a professor of computer and information science. He attended the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville, earning his Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from Arkansas Tech, Fort Smith. He attended other institutions to earn master’s degrees until earning his Doctor of Philosophy in applied science from the University of Arkansas, Little Rock.

Don’t expect to see sweeping changes occur at Northark when Dr. Massengale begins his new role. “My goal is to continue the positive momentum Northark has going,” Dr. Massengale commented. “I love this College and the Northark family. My focus is to continue supporting our students, faculty and staff, and the communities we serve. I am honored to have the opportunity to lead Northark in this capacity.” His leadership style and approachable nature endeared Dr. Massengale to many who have come to know him since he arrived on campus in 2019.

Dr. Massengale will be paid a salary of $160K with an additional $18K housing allowance. He was issued a two-year contract with his first day of work as President to be on August 2, 2021.

“This is a decision that the Board has not taken lightly,” commented Board Chair Scott Miller. “I appreciate this Board and the love they have for the College. The value of the work they did, along with Bill Lovell who served as Search Committee Chair coupled with Search Advisory Committee Liaison R. G. Earnest and Human Resources Director Kris Greening and many others resulted in three very qualified final candidates. I thank the other two candidates for their interest in Northark. We also want to extend the Board’s gratitude to the faculty, staff, students, and community members who provided input we considered when making this decision. The Board is excited about the future of Northark.”

Timeline

July 13 — Dr. Rick Massengale selected as Northark's 5th President

July 6 — Candidate forums begin

June 29 — Three finalists selected

  • Ted Lewis, Provost and Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs, Bluefield State College, Bluefield, WV
  • Rick Massengale, Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, North Arkansas College, Harrison, AR
  • Jeff Jochems, COVID-19 Lead Case Manager, Ozarks Technical Community College, Springfield, MO

June 23, 2021 — Two candidates have withdrawn from consideration.  Tanjula Petty withdrew her application. Mark Walker did not answer our request for an interview.

June 21, 2021 — First-round candidates announced

The candidates are:

  • Cynthia Griffith, Vice President of Instruction, Alvin Community College, Alvin, TX
  • Jeff Jochems, COVID-19 Lead Case Manager, Ozarks Technical Community College, Springfield, MO
  • Ted Lewis, Provost and Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs, Bluefield State College, Bluefield, WV
  • Rick Massengale, Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, North Arkansas College, Harrison, AR
  • Scott McCay, Dean of Arts and Sciences, University of Texas Permian Basin, Odessa, TX
  • Tanjula Petty, Associate Provost for Student Success and Special Initiatives, Alabama State University, Montgomery, AL
  • Randy Smith, Director Program Development/Advisor to Chief, Seminole Nation of Oklahoma
  • Mark Walker, Senior Executive, Utah System of Technical College/Utah State University, Logan, UT

May 31, 2021 — Application deadline  

April 20, 2021 — Don Sugg appointed as Interim President

April 14, 2021 — Presidential Search begins