Shane Broadway (1972–)

Shane Broadway was a member of the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1997 to 2002, serving as speaker of the House from 2001 to 2002. In addition, he was member of the Arkansas Senate from 2003 to 2010 and interim director of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education from 2011 to 2014. In 2014, Broadway was appointed vice president of governmental relations at Arkansas State University (ASU) in Jonesboro (Craighead County).

Shane Broadway was born at Saline Memorial Hospital in Benton (Saline County) on August 30, 1972, to Charles and Bertha Broadway of Bryant (Saline County). He is the youngest of six children. Broadway attended Bryant High School and was designated an American Legion Boys State Delegate in 1989. Broadway attended ASU from 1990 to 1994, earning a BA in political science, as well as receiving the R. E. Lee Wilson Award (the highest award given to a graduating senior) and the Distinguished Service Award. Broadway served on both the Dean’s Council and Faculty Athletic Committee and as vice president of the ASU Student Government Association from 1992 to 1994.

In September 1995, Broadway proposed to Debbie Tableriou of North Little Rock (Pulaski County) on the White House lawn. They married in March 1996 at the Arkansas State Capitol; they have no children. Debbie Broadway worked for Congressmen Bill Alexander, Ray Thornton, and Vic Snyder as well as Attorney General Mark Pryor.

From 1996 to 1997, Broadway worked for the Commercial Mail Service of Little Rock (Pulaski County). He left that position to become director of client development and services for the Insight Communications Board of Bryant. He served in that capacity from 1997 to 2010. In 1996, Broadway was elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives as a Democrat. In the House, Broadway focused on education, serving as a member of the House Education Committee and chairman of the Southern Legislative Conference Education Committee from 1997 to 2000. From 1999 to 2000, he served as chairman of the House Rules Committee. In 2001, Broadway was elected speaker of the House, becoming the youngest person in Arkansas history to hold the office. In 2002, Broadway was elected to the Arkansas Senate, where he continued to focus on education.

He served on the Senate Education Committee from 2003 to 2010 and the Higher Education Subcommittee from 2005 to 2010. In 2003, Broadway worked with the Department of Higher Education to create the Workforce Improvement Grant, which offers financial aid to students twenty-four years old and older without a baccalaureate degree. This was the nation’s first scholarship for non-traditional students. In 2004, Broadway chaired the Southern Legislative Conference. Broadway served as co-coordinator of Economic Development for the Saline County Economic Development Corporation.

Broadway was lead sponsor of the state’s first need-based scholarship, the Go Opportunities Grant in 2007. That same year, Governor Mike Beebe appointed Broadway to the Southern Regional Education Advisory Board. In 2009, Broadway coauthored legislation creating the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship. In 2010, Broadway ran for lieutenant governor but was defeated by Mark Darr.

In January 2011, Broadway left the Senate to serve as deputy director of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education. Governor Beebe then nominated Broadway to be director of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, but the state Republican Party objected, saying that Broadway lacked the qualifications required by law, and Broadway later withdrew himself from consideration. (Faced with similar criticism of Johnny Key, who was appointed by Governor Asa Hutchinson to lead the Arkansas Department of Education in 2015, state Republicans rewrote the statute in order to facilitate the nomination.) In February 2011, Governor Mike Beebe appointed Broadway to serve as interim director of the department, in which he played a key role on the governor’s cabinet. He was made director in October 2013.

In December 2014, ASU president Dr. Charles L. Welch appointed Broadway to be the university’s vice president for governmental relations. In 2021, Arkansas State University–Beebe instituted a public health scholarship named for Broadway.

For additional information:
“Senator Shane Broadway.” Arkansas State Legislature. (accessed October 13, 2017).

Sharp, Elizabeth. “Sen. Shane Broadway.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, January 7, 2008. Online at (accessed October 13, 2017).

Cody Lynn Berry
Benton, Arkansas


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