Henderson announces Office of Academic Success leadership appointments


From left: TaLisha Givan, Celya Taylor, Nathan Campbell, Shannon Clardy, Lacy Klinger, and Charlotte White-Wright.

With the exigency process ongoing and the need to begin preparations for the anticipated implementation of those recommendations, Henderson State University announces the administrative leadership team for academic and student success. The three current academic divisions—Ellis College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, and Teachers College—will merge into one, the Office of Academic Success, as part of academic program restructuring. These changes are effective July 1.

The Office of Academic Success will include four academic programs: Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Applied Professional Science and Technology; Health, Education, and Social Sustainability; and Arts and Humanities.

The structure and composition of these programs will be determined once the Arkansas State University System Board of Trustees votes on the recommendations made by the Financial Exigency Committee and Chancellor Chuck Ambrose. This is anticipated to occur in May.

Givan named Chief Learning Officer and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

TaLisha Givan will be promoted to Chief Learning Officer and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Givan replaces Jim Hunt, Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, whose contract assignment through The Registry ends on June 30.

“We want to thank Jim for his service to Henderson during his time as interim provost. Jim’s expertise and engagement have been important as the university has transitioned to more permanent leadership to Reimagine Henderson,” Chuck Ambrose, Chancellor of Henderson State University, said.

The Chief Learning Officer will lead the re-engineering of instruction and build academic programs that meet the 21st century durable skills required for community-based competencies; lead enrollment management; build and maintain positive and productive relationships among senior administration, faculty, and staff; maintain and ensure a high degree of student success and satisfaction measured by college completion and learning outcomes; and encourage collaborative alliances across public education to build seamless pathways to credentials.

Givan earned a bachelor of science in education from Henderson as well as master of education and doctor of education degrees—both with an education administration emphasis—from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She has more than 20 years of experience in education, which includes more than a decade with Conway Public Schools and almost 11 years with Henderson, serving as Department Chair for Curriculum and Instruction and Director of Teacher Education Admissions and Clinical Experiences.

“We look forward to TaLisha’s leadership to redefine student success and develop creative initiatives for learning. Her experience in public schools and as a faculty leader at Henderson will be indispensable as we reimagine college to work for all students,” Ambrose said.

Taylor named Dean of Faculty and Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Celya Taylor will be promoted to Dean of Faculty and Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. She currently serves as Dean of Teachers College. In her new role, Taylor will provide leadership, vision, and oversight for the four academic programs within the Office of Academic Success.

Taylor earned a bachelor of science in business education from Grambling State University, a master of business administration from the University of South Alabama and a doctor of education from the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

She has more than 30 years of experience in education, which includes 21 years with Henderson—serving as Dean of Teachers College, Associate Dean, Department Chair for Curriculum and Instruction, Coordinator of the Master of Arts in Teaching Program and Director of the M.H. Russell Center for Economic Education.

“Celya brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this role that will focus our efforts on teaching and learning, and we are grateful for the leadership that she will provide as we build a college that works for all students,” Ambrose said.

Campbell, Clardy, Klinger and White-Wright appointed Academic Program Directors

Nathan Campbell has been appointed Academic Program Director for Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Campbell earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from Henderson State University and a doctorate from Mississippi State University. He has more than 16 years of experience in higher education, including the last 14 years at Henderson, where he is currently associate dean of the School of Business.

Shannon Clardy has been appointed Academic Program Director for Applied Professional Science and Technology. Clardy earned a bachelor of music in oboe performance and a bachelor of science in physics from Southern Methodist University. She earned a Ph.D. in Applied Science from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and has taught at Henderson for the last 14 years, where she is currently associate dean of Ellis College of Arts and Sciences.

Lacy Klinger has been appointed Academic Program Director for Arts and Humanities. In addition to her current role as director of theatre at Henderson, Klinger has previously served as theatre program coordinator and associate professor of theatre at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia. She earned a Master of Fine Arts in acting from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and has worked in New York City as an actor, educator, and choreographer.

Charlotte White-Wright has been appointed Academic Program Director for Health, Education, and Social Sustainability. White-Wright earned a bachelor’s degree in business economics from the University of Louisville, Master of Arts in Teaching from Rockford College, and doctorate in special education from Regent University. She is currently the interim associate dean of Teachers College, chair of advanced instructional studies and special education, and has been at Henderson since 2011.

Academic Program Directors are responsible for day-to-day management and activities—including designing and implementing academic program development; creating new seamless learning pathways in partnerships across public education; obtaining and managing program accreditation; interdisciplinary based curriculum development, program assessment, class scheduling, budget planning, student advising and recruitment.

“These Reddies bring institutional knowledge and an incredible enthusiasm to reimagine academic and student success at Henderson State University,” Ambrose said.