WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (Jan. 9, 20015) -- Mid-South Community College will become Arkansas State University Mid-South on July 1 under a merger agreement approved and executed Friday.
The Mid-South Board of Trustees and Arkansas State University Board of Trustees approved resolutions authorizing the merger. ASU System President Charles L. Welch and MSCC President Glen Fenter signed the agreement and transition plan.
"We are thrilled to partner with the Arkansas State University System," said Mary Toney, chair of the MSCC Board. "ASU and Mid-South share many common goals for higher education and workforce development in the Delta. Working together, I'm confident Mid-South will continue to build on the foundation established by Dr. Fenter and his team."
Charles Luter, chair of the ASU Board, said Mid-South has been a national model for community colleges and workforce training and will be a welcome addition to a progressive, growing system.
"Dr. Fenter has been a visionary, and has built a fine institution," Luter said. "We have tremendous respect for this institution and appreciate the trust its board has placed in us to help continue and escalate its mission."
"This is a historic day for the ASU System and Mid-South," Welch said. "Dr. Fenter and his team have made Mid-South a vital workforce training and education connection between students and employers with very progressive ideas. Those efforts are consistent with our system's goals to enhance educational opportunities and contribute to economic development in the Delta region and throughout the state."
Fenter, who became the first president of the college in 1992 and will continue as president until July 1, said he looks forward to ensuring a smooth transition. He will become president emeritus of ASU Mid-South on July 1, when he becomes CEO of the Greater Memphis Alliance for a Competitive Workforce.
"I'm very proud of what we have accomplished at Mid-South in our service to the Delta, and I'm just as excited about the opportunities ahead with the support of the ASU System," Fenter said. "Our board agrees that this move will help us efficiently increase and improve the delivery of higher education and workforce training in the eastern Arkansas Delta region, while also allowing us to continue a great deal of autonomy."
The merger is contingent upon accreditation approval by the Board of Trustees of the Higher Learning Commission, a Commission of the North Central Association. MSCC and the ASU System will work together on that process during the next few months, Welch said.
MSCC serves 2,000 students in Crittenden County and the surrounding area of the Delta. Originally established as a vocational-technical school, Mid-South Community College became a comprehensive community college in 1992.
The ASU System serves 20,800 students throughout Arkansas and includes Arkansas State University, a four-year research institution in Jonesboro; ASU-Beebe, with additional campuses in Heber Springs and Searcy; ASU-Newport, with additional campuses in Jonesboro and Marked Tree; ASU-Mountain Home; and instructional sites in Paragould and at the Little Rock Air Force Base.