Robinson Named UA Interim Chancellor

Officials will begin a nationwide search for a permanent chancellor soon.

headshot of University of Arkansas interim chancellor Charles Robinson
Photo courtesy of the University of Arkansas.

Charles Robinson will be interim chancellor of the University of Arkansas effective Aug. 16. UA System president Donald Bobbitt made the announcement in an email sent to the campus community this morning. 

“I’m honored to be selected to serve the University of Arkansas as interim chancellor and would like to thank Dr. Bobbitt for entrusting me with this important role,” Robinson said. “We have amazing students, faculty and staff, and it’s a privilege to continue working with them as we prepare for the upcoming fall semester, and advance many long-term initiatives in service of Arkansas.”

Robinson has served the university over the past year as provost and executive vice chancellor for academic and student affairs, and has more than 20 years of service to the U of A as a faculty member, vice provost and vice chancellor. In July 2020, Robinson and the University of South Carolina’s William Tate IV became the Southeastern Conference’s first African American interim and permanent provosts, respectively. 

Tate was named Louisiana State University’s president in May 2021 and when he took over the role in July, he became the SEC’s first Black president. Robinson is the first African American to take on the duties of chancellor at the U of A.

“Dr. Robinson has a unique skill set having led the university’s efforts in academics, student affairs and diversity affairs during his tenure,” Bobbitt said. “He has a strong connection not only with our students and faculty, but also with the university’s external constituencies. During a transition period, it is imperative to have a leader in place who has the trust and confidence of all stakeholder groups, and I am confident that Dr. Robinson has the background, personality and temperament to continue the exceptional progress the U of A has made over the past several years.” 

Former chancellor Joseph Steinmetz resigned abruptly June 18. Bill Kincaid, managing associate general counsel, was named acting chancellor June 21.

“I also want to take a moment to express my thanks to Bill Kincaid for his steady leadership as acting chancellor during the past two months,” Bobbitt said. “Bill is a critical member of our leadership team, and I am pleased to have him return to his role as senior associate general counsel for the campus.”

University officials will begin a national search for the next chancellor in the coming months. The first task is to form a representative search committee to assist in this process, which Bobbitt said he will begin work on in the weeks ahead.