With the announcement Monday that four finalists for the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff chancellorship have been selected, the university is one step closer to finding a successor to Lawrence A. Davis Jr., who retired in May 2012 after 20 years in the position.

With the announcement Monday that four finalists for the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff chancellorship have been selected, the university is one step closer to finding a successor to Lawrence A. Davis Jr., who retired in May 2012 after 20 years in the position.

University of Arkansas System officials said in a press release that each of the four will visit the campus for separate two-day visits from late January through early February.

The four are: Laurence B. Alexander, associate dean of the Graduate School and director of the Office of Minority Programs at the University of Florida; Everette J. Freeman, president of Albany State University in Georgia; Kim Luckes, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Norfolk State University in Virginia; and Robert Mock, vice president for Student Affairs at the University of Kentucky.

The candidates were selected with the assistance of an advisory search committee chaired by Robert McGehee, a UAPB alumnus and dean of the Graduate School at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

“We had 32 or 34 who submitted all of their application materials as of the Friday after Thanksgiving,” McGehee said Monday afternoon. “The committee was very impressed with the candidate pool. We invited 10 of the candidates to the University of Arkansas System office in Little Rock during the second week of December where each of them met with the search committee as well as members of the search firm Greenwood Asher for two hours.”

McGehee said that the four finalists were selected after those interviews.

“The four finalists will participate in a full campus and stakeholder visit,” McGehee said. “Each of them will have the same schedule. They will start off meeting the current chancellor as well as the chancellor’s cabinet and the deans and their directors. The candidates will make presentations to the faculty and staff and will then take part in a closed forum with the Faculty-Staff Senate.”

McGehee said that the closed forum will allow the candidates to meet with university personnel and to ask any questions they may have.

“Next there will be an open forum with students followed by a reception at the Reynolds Center in Pine Bluff for the community and alumni,” McGehee said. “The day concludes with a dinner at Colonial Steak House.”

McGehee said that the second day will start off with a meeting between the candidate and the search committee followed by a full tour of the campus that will include the aquaculture and fisheries area.

“Then we will drive them back to Little Rock where they will meet with Sen. Hank Wilkins IV who will host them and introduce them to other legislators,” McGehee said. “Then we will go to the U of A System office for a meal with [U of A System President] Dr. [Donald R.] Bobbitt and members of the board of trustees before taking the candidate back to to the airport.”

Bobbitt said he was satisfied with the progress being made in the search.

“I’m grateful to Dr. McGehee and the members of the committee for their diligent work in helping us find the very best person to serve as the next chancellor at UAPB,” Bobbitt said in the release. “The high quality of these candidates is a testament to the work of our committee and to the attractiveness of the position as chancellor of this fine university. We are looking forward to getting to know them better as we move into the final stages of this process.”

Campus visit dates

Luckes will visit Tuesday, Jan. 22, and Wednesday, Jan. 23; Mock on Thursday, Jan. 24, and Friday, Jan. 25; Alexander on Tuesday, Jan. 29, and Wednesday, Jan. 30; and Freeman on Tuesday, Feb. 5, and Wednesday, Feb. 6.

Candidate biographies

Laurence B. Alexander is an associate dean of the Graduate School and director of the Office of Graduate Minority Programs at the University of Florida. He also is a distinguished teaching scholar and a professor in the Department of Journalism at Florida.

He chairs the Graduate Curriculum Committee and directs more than 20 student development and funding programs, including the UF McKnight Doctoral Fellowships and the National Science Foundation LSAMP Bridge to the Doctorate. He also leads the Graduate School’s program in recruitment, retention, success and graduation of underrepresented minority students. Previously, he served as chair of the Department of Journalism at the University of Florida and coordinator of journalism in the English Department at the University of New Orleans.

A native of New Orleans, Alexander received a bachelor’s degree in drama and communications from the University of New Orleans, master’s degree in journalism and communications from the University of Florida, Juris Doctor from Tulane University and Ph.D. in higher education from Florida State University.

Everette J. Freeman has served as president of Albany State University since 2005. He previously served as senior vice president and provost at the University of Indianapolis and as executive assistant to the president at Tennessee State University, where he was also interim vice president for university relations and development.

In addition to his 14 years of service in higher education leadership and 19 years as a faculty member, Freeman has held several corporate positions and has specialized interest in organizational development, EEOC compliance and industrial relations.

A Washington, D.C. native, Freeman received his B.A. degree in sociology and economics from Antioch College in 1972, an M.A. degree in labor and industrial relations from the University of Illinois in 1974 and an Ed.D. in education foundations from Rutgers University in 1983. He holds a certificate from the Institute for Educational Leadership at Harvard University and a certificate in Economics from Fircroft College in Birmingham, England.

Kim Luckes is executive vice president and chief operating officer of Norfolk State University. She served as the acting president of Norfolk State University in 2010-11 and as liaison to the board of visitors and assistant to the president from February 2010 to May 2010.

Luckes has more than 20 years of executive and administrative experience in higher education. She served as executive vice president at Saint Augustine’s College in Raleigh, N.C., where she was responsible for the areas of institutional effectiveness, personnel management and strategic planning. Before being named executive vice president, she served as provost and vice president for academic affairs. She also served as the director of human resources and executive assistant to the executive vice president and provost at Hampton University.

Luckes earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Elizabeth City State University in Elizabeth City, N.C., and a Juris Doctor degree from North Carolina Central University School of Law in Durham, N.C.

Robert C. Mock Jr. is vice president for student affairs at the University of Kentucky with teaching appointments in the College of Communication and Information, College of Education and the College of Arts and Sciences within the Africana and African-American Studies Department.

Mock previously served as vice provost for student affairs and assistant vice chancellor for student affairs at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. He also served as director of recruitment and retention and associate dean in the College of Professional Studies at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Mock has more than a decade of corporate business experience, including serving as production plant manager for Illinois Tool Works and quality control manager with Pepsi-Cola. A veteran of the Army National Guard, Mock earned his B.S. degree in industrial engineering with minors in physics and mathematics from Southern Illinois University; and his M.A. in interpersonal and organization communication and doctorate in higher education administration from UALR.