ANDREW ROGERSON

The University of Arkansas System announced in a news release this morning that Andrew Rogerson is resigning as chancellor of the UA Little Rock campus.

He’d been chancellor for three years. His tenure has been marked by an enrollment decline, budget cuts and his own public unhappiness — along with that of many staff and students — at the negative impact on campus of the eStem charter high school, a project financed by the powerful Walton fortune.

I haven’t talked with Rogerson today. But in recent weeks he’d sent signals that dramatic developments might be in the offing.

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The UA release:

University of Arkansas at Little Rock Chancellor Dr. Andrew Rogerson today announced that he will step down from the position, effective Sept. 1, after three years serving in the role.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to have served as chancellor of UA Little Rock,” Rogerson said. “While the institution faces a number of challenges, I have been confident that the university can rebound and continue to serve its unique mission as a comprehensive, urban research university. However, it has become clear that it would be best for me to step aside and allow new leadership to determine the best path forward toward that goal. My wife Janessa and I will always pull for UA Little Rock and its students, faculty and staff to be successful in the future.”
Rogerson’s resignation was accepted by UA System President Dr. Donald R. Bobbitt.
“I want to thank Andrew and Janessa for their service to UA Little Rock these past three years,” Bobbitt said. “Andrew made positive strides strengthening the institution’s relationship with the Little Rock community during his tenure, and he and Janessa will leave a lasting impact in many areas, including increasing fundraising support, improving the campus grounds and focusing more energy on the arts. I wish them both the very best moving forward.”
Upon leaving the role of chancellor, Rogerson will return to a tenured faculty position at UA Little Rock for a one-year period and retire from the institution effective Aug. 31, 2020.
Bobbitt said that he will meet with members of the UA Little Rock campus community and external supporters of the institution over the next few days regarding the future leadership of the institution.
“We all know that UA Little Rock faces several immediate and long-term challenges and it is important that we find an individual who can work with me, the Board of Trustees, the UA Little Rock Board of Visitors and the students, faculty and staff on campus to move the institution forward and address these challenges head on,” he said.
An article I wrote earlier this summer on the eStem problem, which Rogerson blamed partially for the enrollment decline, also delves into other areas of pressure on campus, including the decision by the Fayetteville campus of UA to locate an arm of its business school in Little Rock, more or less in direct competition with UA Little Rock.
Financial details: Rogerson resigned with two years remaining on a contract that paid $350,000 a year. Under his resignation agreement, he’ll give up the second year and be paid $350,000 during his year as tenured professor. The first six months will be an “off-campus duty assignment.” He’ll have 30 days to vacate the chancellor’s residence on campus.
The agreement contains a promise against litigation. It also includes this provision that seems to mean Rogerson and the UA won’t speak much about circumstances leading to the abrupt departure.

Here’s the full agreement.