Arkansas Native Appointed New ASU-Newport Chancellor

Former Philander Smith College president returns to the Natural State fo leadership position.

Arkansas State University System President Charles L. Welch yesterday announced the selection of Johnny M. Moore as the next chancellor of ASU-Newport.

ASU-Newport Chancellor Johnny Moore

Established as a stand-alone, two-year college in 2001, ASU-Newport enrolls more than 2,000 students each fall, according to a press release. Arkansas has more than 50 higher education institutions and when Moore takes over as chancellor Feb. 8, 2021, he will be one of five African American men leading one of them.

“I am honored and humbled to be selected by Dr. Welch to take on this very important role for the university and the communities it serves,” Moore says. “ASU-Newport is a very strong and vibrant institution and will play a key role in the revitalization and growth in Northeast Arkansas. I am excited about returning home and becoming a part of this transformative work.”

A native of Old Washington, Ark., Moore was president and CEO of his alma mater Philander Smith College in Little Rock from 2012-2014. During his tenure, the college constructed a new, debt-free Campus Student Center and secured nearly $10 million toward new program initiatives and student scholarships.

Moore returns to Arkansas after spending the last four years as president of Pierpont Community & Technical College in Fairmont, W.Va. The college annually serves more than 5,000 students at campuses and centers in five locations with nearly 200 employees and a budget of $26 million. 

Pierpont was one of only six community colleges selected nationwide as a pilot college for the National Science Foundation’s Project Vision, which launched in May. The initiative helps colleges discover and match innovative ideas with NSF funding opportunities, according to Project Vision’s website.

The institution secured a nearly 300 percent increase in private donations to nearly $5 million, increased student retention by 15 percentage points and decreased student loan default rates by 15 percentage points during Moore’s four-year tenure.

“We are very pleased to bring Dr. Moore’s executive leadership experience as a sitting community college president to both ASU-Newport and the ASU System,” ASU System President Charles Welch says. “He’s a math scholar with a long track record of innovative educational initiatives, focus on student success, community service, and effective fundraising. I hear he also has some serious basketball skills. He will be a tremendous asset not only to ASU-Newport, but in all the communities it serves.”

The ASU-Newport Chancellor Search Advisory Committee reviewed more than 50 applications for the position and interviewed two candidates to succeed Sandra Massey, who will retire at the end of the year after seven years of service.

“I commend the committee for its exceptional counsel and assistance during the process,” Welch says. “I’m also very appreciative of Dr. Massey’s service. She has overseen significant growth of the ASU-Newport campuses and has been a pleasure to work with. I know Dr. Moore will continue to build on her leadership success.”

The ASU System, based in Little Rock, serves almost 34,000 students annually on campuses in Arkansas and Querétaro, Mexico, and globally online with a total operating budget of $280 million. Henderson State University, a four-year institution in Arkadelphia, is expected to join the system in January 2021.