Arkansas State University–Newport (ASU–Newport)

Arkansas State University–Newport (ASUN) is a comprehensive, two-year accredited college providing college transfer and career and technical education to students throughout northeast Arkansas. ASUN’s mission is to “provide integrity of programs and services; affordable life-long learning; and enhanced quality of life in the diverse community we serve.” It is part of the Arkansas State University System.

Funded by Act 227 of 1973, ASUN was originally named White River Vocational-Technical School and was established to provide technical training and educational opportunities to the residents of Jackson County and surrounding areas. In 1991, the legislature passed Act 1244, converting vocational-technical schools into two-year colleges. White River Vocational-Technical School therefore became White River Technical College. The following year, it became a satellite of Arkansas State University–Beebe and renamed ASU Beebe/Newport. In 1997, the campus was renamed again and became Arkansas State University–Newport; it gained stand-alone status in 2002. Stand-alone status was contingent upon three things: the creation of the position of chancellor as chief executive officer (filled in 2001 by the hiring of Dr. Larry Williams), a separate budget appropriation (passed in Legislative Act 297 in 2001), and accreditation by the North Central Association (NCA) of the Higher Learning Commission (granted in April 2002).

Named by Community College Week magazine as one of the top ten fastest-growing public two-year colleges in 2005, ASUN has observed tremendous growth in both facilities and enrollment. Under Williams’s tenure, the institution grew from approximately a forty-acre campus to just over 130 acres. In addition, facilities were dramatically expanded. In 2004, ground was broken on a Student Community Center, which houses the offices of student affairs, business offices, admissions, a bookstore, food service, and several community conference and meeting rooms. Several new programs were developed in 2004, including a partnership between ASUN and the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas to offer a high-voltage-lineman technology program, as well as the creation of a consortium with six other colleges to provide a registered-nursing program. By 2005, the institution continued expansion with the addition of classroom facilities on the truck-driving ranges and the addition of a grant-funded program in career pathways. In addition, a major expansion of Samuel Moore Walton Hall began with a renaming of the library to the Harryette M. Hodges and Kaneaster Hodges Sr. Library, along with the addition of the Doyle and Josephine Raye Rogers Conference and Reading Room. By 2008, ASUN had added the state-of-the-art Transportation Technology Center, which houses commercial driver training, diesel mechanics, and the business departments.

In the fall of 2006, ASUN received continued accreditation from the NCA/Higher Learning Commission and underwent further expansion when ASUN assumed operational oversight for the technical centers in both Jonesboro (Craighead County) and Marked Tree (Poinsett County).

As of 2015, ASUN had a student population of 2,623. It currently offers approximately thirty associate degrees (AA, AAS), technical certificates, and certificates of proficiency in a variety of fields. Degrees are offered in both online and traditional formats. These include the only Associate of Applied Science program in high-voltage-linemen technology in the state, in addition to degrees in other specialized areas such as medical surgical technology, truck driving, and diesel mechanics.

Dr. Sandra Massey became the school’s second chancellor in 2013 after Williams’s retirement.

For additional information:
Arkansas State University–Newport. (accessed June 15, 2023).

Arkansas State University–Newport. Annual Report 2008. Arkansas State University–Newport Library, Newport, Arkansas.

Arkansas State University–Newport. “Self Study Report Submitted to the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, 2006.” Arkansas State University–Newport Library, Newport, Arkansas.

Joseph Campbell
Arkansas State University–Newport


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