16 Oct Bobbitt picks Willenberg as next UACCM chancellor
University of Arkansas System President Dr. Donald R. Bobbitt announced he is recommending Lisa Willenberg as the next chancellor at the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton (UACCM) effective Friday, Nov. 1.
Willenberg currently serves as vice chancellor for finance and operations at UACCM.
“After a thorough process of interviews and many conversations with people on campus and in the community, Lisa’s institutional knowledge and the respect she has earned from key individuals internal and external to the institution really set her apart,” Bobbitt said. “She is well-positioned to step in and continue to motivate our students, faculty and staff to keep UACCM on its upward trajectory.”
Bobbitt’s recommendation is subject to final approval at a later date by the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees.
A skilled administrator and longtime active member of the community in Conway County, Willenberg’s current role as vice chancellor for finance and operations at UACCM includes managing the college’s finances, human resources, information technology and physical plant.
Under her leadership, the college has increased its fiscal reserves, reacted to recent changes to the legislative productivity funding model, improved the college’s financial scoring that is critical to maintaining high accreditation standards, and secured bonds to construct innovative campus facilities. She has also collaborated to find funding pathways for concurrent students and helped establish new workforce training programs.
Willenberg has served at UACCM for 27 years, starting as a general accountant and later becoming a vice chancellor in 2011. She also has experience as an adjunct instructor of accounting at UACCM. She earned her masters of education at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, and a bachelor of business administration degree from the University of Central Arkansas. She also graduated from the College Business Management Institute at the University of Kentucky in Lexington.
As the highest-ranking administrator at the college, the chancellor oversees all activities and sets the direction for the institution. The position promotes academic excellence, forges partnerships with members of the public and private sectors and champions the college’s reputation.
The college’s fourth leader since its establishment in 1963, Willenberg will be the first woman to hold the position.
“I would like to thank President Bobbitt, the search committee and the campus community for the support and for believing in me and to entrust me with this honor,” Willenberg said. “Continuing to build campus and community relationships as well as trust will be my priority as I will work collaboratively and cooperatively to expand educational opportunities for everyone. I am deeply honored to serve as the next chancellor at UACCM.”
The chancellor search committee was chaired by Mary Clark, director of marketing and public relations at UACCM, and included a group of UACCM faculty and staff, a member of the UA System Board of Trustees, members of the UACCM Board of Visitors, as well as representatives from the community.
“I want to thank the search committee for its hard work and dedication in this endeavor,” Clark said. “There was truly an overwhelming amount of quality candidates, and the process helped solidify the passion this community and this campus share in seeing UACCM succeed well into the future. I appreciate the professionalism, integrity and thoughtful consideration the committee demonstrated from the start. We look forward to welcoming Lisa Willenberg into this new role with enthusiasm and anticipation of great things to come.”
Bobbitt also commended the work of the search committee.
“The group of finalists presented to me from the search committee was truly remarkable and a testament not only to the hard work of the committee, but to the solid reputation UACCM has built as an institution,” he said.
Former UACCM Chancellor Dr. Larry Davis announced his retirement in November 2018, after serving for nine years at the college. Diana Arn, vice chancellor of academic services at UACCM, has served as interim chancellor while the search was under way.
“I wanted to extend my sincere appreciation to Diana Arn for serving so capably as our interim chancellor,” Bobbitt said.