After nearly seven years leading the University of Arkansas, Chancellor G. David Gearhart is stepping down, the UA announced Monday.
Gearhart cited a desire to spend more time with his family as the main reason for the move. His retirement from the position is effective July 31.
“I have four main reasons for making this difficult decision,” the chancellor wrote in a Jan. 9 letter to UA System President Don Bobbitt. “They are our four grandchildren: Ben, age 5; Caroline, age 4; Ellie, almost 2; and soon to be born, Lily Jane. Going forward, I hope to spend more quality time with each of them as well as with our children and their spouses, Katy and Justin and Brock and Lindsey.”
Gearhart plants to take some time off this summer before ultimately making a return to teaching. He is a member of at the faculty at the UA’s College of Education and Health Professions.
Gearhart took over as chancellor in July 2008 following 10 years as vice chancellor for University Advancement.
Enrollment at the UA has skyrocketed under Gearhart’s leadership, increasing from around 19,000 students in 2008 to more than 26,000 students in 2014.
Bobbitt said he will begin the process to replace Gearhart “deliberately but aggressively.”
“I look forward to working with campus administrative and faculty leaders, the University of Arkansas System Board of Trustees and other stakeholders to name the next chancellor,” Bobbitt said.