Dr. Terisa C. Riley

Dr. Terisa C. RileyDr. Terisa C. Riley was named chancellor of the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith by University of Arkansas System President Dr. Donald R. Bobbitt April 16, 2019, and will begin her appointment July 1, 2019. 


Dr. Riley is an experienced higher education administrator who has spent more than 25 years serving in virtually every facet of higher education, from academics to administration. Before her appointment as UAFS Chancellor, she served as Senior Vice President for Student Affairs and University Administration at Texas A&M University – Kingsville, as well as holding previous positions as the institution’s chief student affairs officer, chief financial officer, chief administrator, and chief enrollment management officer.


“I enjoy every minute I spend working for and with college students, providing them access and opportunities to thrive. I am excited about the future of higher education, and I look forward to serving our students and our constituents by providing an excellent educational environment that betters their lives, careers, and communities.” - Dr. Terisa C. Riley.


An advocate of student access, opportunity, and success, Dr. Riley values the mission of public universities to provide excellent and affordable educational opportunities. She is deeply committed to cultivating a diverse and inclusive campus environment where students and employees feel both welcomed and supported.


Dr. Riley places a priority on communication, transparency, and shared governance, and has collaborated with campus leaders and stakeholders to prepare and implement strategic plans to increase enrollment, retention, and graduation rates. She has optimized spending practices, implemented more than $250 million in construction and capital investment plans, and led universities to millions of dollars in savings through strategic investment in sustainable practices – bettering her campus, and the earth.


She is dedicated to serving her community, having served as president of the Kingsville Chamber of Commerce and vice chair of the Hotel Tax Advisory Committee for the City of Kingsville, and on the boards of the Santa Gertrudis Independent School District Foundation, the City and County master planning committees and the Economic Development Council strategic planning committee.


Dr. Riley earned her bachelor’s degree in communication and master’s degree in higher education administration from the University of Missouri at Columbia, and her doctoral degree from Saint Louis University in higher education administration and research methodology.  She is also a graduate of the National Police Institute and the Governor’s Executive Development Program at the University of Texas at Austin.


Dr. Riley's CV is available here.