Thursday, October 6, 2016

UCA prepares for presidential transition; a prosecutor might be a candidate

Posted By on Thu, Oct 6, 2016 at 11:03 AM

click to enlarge CODY HILAND: Name mentioned for UCA presidency.
  • CODY HILAND: Name mentioned for UCA presidency.
The University of Central Arkansas Board of Trustees meets Friday and the agenda includes a report from the presidential transition committee. President Tom Courtway has indicated he plans to step down as president July 1, or earlier if a successor is found.

A search firm is currently gathering expressions of interest in the job, with a deadline of Friday for submitting a notice of formal interest. Those would be forwarded to the Board of Trustees Oct. 13. Search firms are used by many agencies in the early going to allow secrecy for potential applicants who might not want to cause problems in their current jobs until they've seriously committed to seeking a new position.

I can report now one potential name that's being mentioned frequently for the position — Prosecuting Attorney Cody Hiland of Conway. He's a UCA graduate and not  a traditional prospect for a university leadership position. But he'd fit a political  template that can sometimes be valuable in Arkansas. He's friendly with Gov. Asa Hutchinson and, though prosecutors run in nonpartisan elections, he's a solid Republican with many ties in organized GOP circles. That's no harm these days in solid-red Arkansas.

Hiland has several friends on the seven-member UCA Board. Trustees Kay Hinkle, Bunny Adcock and Joe Whisenhunt, or members of their families, contributed almost $14,000 to his recent unsuccessful race for state Court of Appeals. He formed a relationship with Trustee Victor Green, when Green was a UCA liaison to state auditors when Hiland was investigating past issues in UCA administration. He is NOT tight with UCA faculty member Gilbert Baker, whose former Republican power broker status was damaged considerably by his involvement in a political contribution scandal, not to mention a recent DWI. Baker supported Hiland's opponent in the last race for prosecutor.

Hiland has no higher education experience, though he'd likely point to significant managerial and judgment responsibilities in managing a prosecutor's office.

The question would likely boil down to whether the UCA board comes up with a sterling choice from a traditional higher education track or decides that, against uncompelling choices, an adept political operator (who could hire a provost to manage many of the academic functions) might be preferable.

Some past UCA presidential choices from traditional backgrounds came to grief. Then there was Lu Hardin, who'd been both a university faculty members and a politician. That didn't turn out so well either.

More may become evident tomorrow.

Tags: , , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (9)

Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • The assault on Obamacare begins

    Donald Trump Friday night signed an executive order directing government to scale back Obamacare to the extent possible. Though the signing was mostly symbolic, it likely has implications for Arkansas.
    • Jan 21, 2017
  • Two dead in North Little Rock shooting

    two people were fatally wounded about 9 p.m. Friday in a home in the 1400 block of Division Street, North Little Rock.
    • Jan 21, 2017
  • 2nd Amendment meets the 1st in Fayetteville on campus carry

    They've had a forum in Fayetteville today on Rep. Charlie Collins' fervent desire to force more pistol-packing people onto the campus at the University of Arkansas (and every other college in Arkansas.) He got an earful from opponents.
    • Jan 20, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders to be deputy White House press secretary

    Donald Trump announced additional White House staff today, notably including Sarah Huckabee Sanders, deputy assistant to the president and principal deputy press secretary.
  • Legislation filed for $10 million school voucher program

    The legislation to vastly expand transfer of state tax dollars to private schools came before the school choice day event I mentioned earlier.
  • Pork and more

    Some notes on disparate topics before I take a vacation break.
  • Trumpeting

    When President-elect Trump announced he would, in a few days, force Congress to enact comprehensive health insurance for everyone, poor or rich, that would provide better and cheaper care than they've ever gotten, you had to wonder whether this guy is a miracle worker or a fool.
  • Putin and Trump

    Here's a thought exercise: What do you suppose would happen if Russian strongman Vladimir Putin decided to clarify remarks he reportedly made about Donald Trump during the election campaign?

Visit Arkansas

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

Jack Pearadin and Doug Nelsen found a 1.73-carat diamond after nearly a year of searching the park's field.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation