University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Chancellor Laurence B. Alexander has appointed Mary E. Benjamin as vice chancellor for research; James B. Tysonas vice chancellor for development/institutional Advancement; and Jacquelyn McCray as interim vice chancellor for academic affairs, the university announced in a news release Tuesday.

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Chancellor Laurence B. Alexander has appointed Mary E. Benjamin as vice chancellor for research; James B. Tysonas vice chancellor for development/institutional Advancement; and Jacquelyn McCray as interim vice chancellor for academic affairs, the university announced in a news release Tuesday.


Benjamin had served as vice chancellor for academic affairs since 1992.


"(Benjamin) developed innovative programs promoting academic advancement for students and faculty, " the news release said. "She has skillfully managed recommendations for employment, promotion, tenure and retention."


Benjamin is the founder of the UAPB STEM Academy and has given leadership in obtaining STEM expansion grants totaling $16 million. Most recently, Benjamin has led the drive to successfully fund a $10 million STEM Academy and Conference Center to centrally house the programs at UAPB. The facility is scheduled for completion by August 2014.


Benjamin received a bachelor’s degree in social studies from Tuskegee Institute, a master’s degree in sociology from Atlanta University, and a doctorate in sociology from Mississippi State University.


"The new position in Research is needed to provide campus-wide leadership that will enable us to accomplish our goals for growing the university’s external resources through strategically pursuing additional contracts and grants," Alexander said in the news release. "Because of the excellent leadership Dr. Benjamin has demonstrated in securing grants for the STEM Academy, she is well-suited to guide the institution through the next phases of research support from grants, contracts and partnerships through local, state, federal and private funding sources."


Tyson has served the not-for-profit sector or more than two decades. He has developed successful fundraising programs at a number of organizations and played key leadership roles in six capital campaigns.


A former vice president of institutional advancement at Virginia State University, Tyson served as a member of the Foundation Board, the Research Foundation Board and the National Alumni Association Board. He also led the institution advancement staff at Old Dominion University through the planning and beginning implementation stages of its first capital campaign. He also has served as an area director of the United Negro College Fund and vice president for development at the Central Florida YMCA.


Tyson earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at Morehouse College and continued his education at Old Dominion University and received a Certificate in Leadership from Harvard Business School.


"UAPB is in a great position for growth," Tyson said. "I am grateful for the opportunity to use my expertise to aid in moving this institution forward."


McCray is a retired dean of the School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences and also served as director of the 1890 Research and Extension programs at the UAPB. During her tenure at UAPB, she served in various capacities including professor of home economics, assistant administrator for 1890 programs and deputy dean of the School of Agriculture and Home Economics. Her experience in the area of grant writing and contract negotiation through the United States Department of Agriculture and other federal agencies exceeds $20 million. In 1991, McCray was elected president of the national professional association in her discipline, The American Association of Housing Educators. She also served as chair of the 1890 Association of Extension Administrators, and as a member of the USDA Extension Committee on Organization and Policies.


A native of Monticello, McCray received a bachelor’s degree, from Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal College, (now UAPB). She received a master’s degree from Michigan State University and a doctoral degree from Florida State University.


Named a Distinguished Alumnus by the College of Human Sciences at Florida State University and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, McCray was named a Centennial Laureate in 2007, one of the top 100 graduates of the Florida State University College of Human Sciences during its 100 years of existence.


"I have long recognized the value of [UAPB] to the state of Arkansas, and particularly the Arkansas Delta Region," McCray said. "Both its historical and evolving mission statements attest to the institution’s commitment to enhancing the economic, cultural and social conditions of its constituents and the communities in which they live."