The University of Arkansas - Fort Smith is thrilled to welcome Terisa C. Riley, Ph.D. as its chancellor as of July 1, 2019.Chancellor Riley talks to students on campus


Chancellor Riley has expressed her commitment to collaborative leadership and transparency, and a focus on creating an environment where students thrive and excel. A life-long advocate for student access, opportunity, and success, Dr. Riley is deeply committed to cultivating a diverse and inclusive campus where students and employees feel both welcomed and supported.


“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,” Riley said.


Chancellor Riley has visited campus and Arkansas numerous times, even before her official tenure began this July, becoming familiar with her new community. She has met with students, as well as faculty, staff, alumni, and donors. She has listened to their vision for the university, their hopes for the future and their assessment of it's challenges.


“I appreciated hearing their perspectives on the great things happening at UAFS and the ways we can use current governance structures to fortify our university through shared decision making,” Riley said.


“The faculty, staff, and students of UAFS are the heart of this institution, and I have appreciated each and every introduction and welcome I have received,” she added.


Chancellor Riley is a diligent problem solver, an engaging personality, and a vibrant leader, whose experience, dedication and passion have been evident over her 25-year history in higher education.


She has served in virtually every facet of higher education, from academics to administration, most recently 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.


Chancellor Riley is excited to lead the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith, to advocate for its needs, to celebrate its successes, and to serve the university and the greater Fort Smith community in the years to come, and the university is excited to begin a new chapter under her leadership.


Dr. Riley's biography is available here:, along with her CV. 





Photo Credits: 
Rachel Rodemann Putman
Date Posted: 
Monday, July 1, 2019
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