Len Frey will serve as interim provost at Arkansas State University, Chancellor Todd Shields announced Tuesday.
Frey is Acting Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration and Chief Operating Officer at ASU’s Jonesboro campus.
“I’m grateful that Len is taking on these additional responsibilities for the next several months and I want to thank him in advance,” Shields said in a statement Tuesday. “I am grateful that we have someone available to oversee our academic affairs and research department, who knows the campus and already has relationships with our academic leaders. This gives me the opportunity to devote time to finding our next Provost. Me too. I know that as the legislature begins, I want to have time to be available in Little Rock to work with our new governor and her administration, as well as our legislators.
In December, former Arkansas State Provost Alan Utter announced his intention to return to teaching. He is currently on sabbatical. Shields has since performed the duties of Provost while doing his job as Chancellor and leading a national search for a new Provost.
The Provost – who also serves as Executive Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Research – is the university’s chief academic officer and provides primary administrative leadership, direction and evaluation of all academic activities and faculty affairs.
In this capacity, the provost reports directly to the chancellor and oversees academic administration, professional and support staff. The provost oversees ASU’s agricultural colleges; engineering and computer science; educational and behavioral science; humanities and communication; the Neil Griffin College of Business; nursing and healthcare professions; natural sciences and mathematics; University; and the graduate school.
Other responsibilities include accreditation and evaluation; the Arkansas Biosciences Institute; Campus Queretaro in Mexico; cultural heritage sites; institutional research; the library; military science; the museum; research and technology transfer; and retention of the university’s Carnegie Classification Research 2 classification.
Frey’s appointment began on Tuesday. He said he would not be a candidate for the Provost post.
“It is my honor to assist the Chancellor in the day-to-day running of academic affairs,” Frey said in a statement. “I look forward to working with our deans and chairs to solve problems and pursue opportunities together.”
Frey is an ASU graduate. In 2000, he returned to the university as Chair of the Department of Management and Marketing, a position he previously held at Nicholls State University, where he once served. He was Chair of the Faculty for four and a half years before being appointed Interim Dean of the Neil Griffin College of Business in January 2005.
In the fall of 2005, he became permanent dean until July 2012, when he became vice chancellor of the university for finance and administration. In 2019 he was promoted to Acting Vice Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer.
Frey, 59, earned $259,000 annually as Executive Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration and Chief Operating Office, according to ASU’s 2022-23 operating budget. Utter earned $276,400 annually as a provost.