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: , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

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

Readers also liked…

  • From Dallas, creative thinking about the Interstate 30 project

    An urban planner in Dallas says freeways are not always the answer. Incorporating some creativity already being used in Dallas and looking at the Interstate 30 project from a broader perspective, here are ideas that Arkansas highway planners have not considered. But should.
    • Nov 6, 2015
  • City Board votes to table homeless feeding ordinance for 8 weeks, study with commission

    The Little Rock Board of Directors voted tonight to table for eight weeks an ordinance that homeless advocates say would severely limit the ability of charities to feed homeless people in city parks. Before the ordinance was punted, Vice Mayor Kathy Webb proposed a nine-member commission to study the issue and make recommendations to the board.
    • May 16, 2017
  • 'How to decimate a city' — a big freeway

    Reporting from around the U.S. continues to illustrate the folly of the Arkansas highway department and construction boosters like the chamber of commerce and Vice Mayor Lance Hines in advocating ever wider freeways through the heart of Little Rock. Syracuse, N.Y., is looking for a better way in a debate remarkably similar to the debate about widening Interstate 30 in Little Rock.
    • Nov 20, 2015

Most Shared

  • Conspiracy theorists

    Back in 2000, I interviewed Rev. Jerry Falwell on camera in connection with a documentary film of "The Hunting of the President," which Joe Conason and I wrote.
  • The health of a hospital

    The Medicaid expansion helped Baxter County Regional Medical Center survive and thrive, but a federal repeal bill threatens to imperil it and its patients.
  • Virgil, quick come see

    There goes the Robert E. Lee. But the sentiment that built the monument? It's far from gone.
  • Real reform

    Arkansas voters, once perversely skeptical of complicated ballot issues like constitutional amendments, have become almost comical Pollyannas, ratifying the most shocking laws.
  • That modern mercantile: The bARn

    The bARn Mercantile — "the general store for the not so general," its slogan says — will open in the space formerly occupied by Ten Thousand Villages at 301A President Clinton Ave.

Visit Arkansas

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Underutilized waterway is a hidden gem in urban Little Rock

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

Slideshows

 

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