University of Arkansas at Monticello Chancellor Karla Hughes, Ph.D., will be retiring effective Tuesday, Dec. 31.


Hughes announced Oct. 14 that she would be stepping down from her role, according to a news release.


Hughes has led the campus since she was appointed by University of Arkansas System President Donald R. Bobbitt in January 2016.


“I’m proud of the progress we have made in the last four years, especially in demonstrating that UAM is, without question, a student-centered destination for higher education,” Hughes said. “Dr. Bobbitt and I discussed the challenges, both internal and external, that UAM has faced during my tenure, and we both felt the best step forward for the university was that I resign as chancellor.”


Bobbitt said he will turn his attention to planning for the future leadership of UAM.


“We appreciate the diligent work ethic and unmatched energy Dr. Hughes consistently brought to the table, along with her genuine passion for student success and being a part of the campus community at UAM,” Bobbitt said. “There’s no question that there are many challenges ahead facing the campus to help meet its unique regional and economic needs and finding the right leadership for the institution will be a top priority moving forward.”


Hughes, UAM’s 12th chief executive officer and the first female to lead a four-year UA System institution, came to the university in 2016 from her role as executive vice president and provost of the University of Louisiana System in Baton Rouge, La. There, she worked to support nine regional, comprehensive state universities.


Her previous leadership also includes being selected as a year-long American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow with an initial semester-long placement in the Office of the President at the University of North Carolina System, which serves 17 institutions.


During her career, Hughes has held academic appointments at the University of Missouri, Virginia Polytechnic and State (Virginia Tech), East Carolina, Kansas State, Middle Tennessee State, and Morehead State Universities, including three as a tenured professor, and has also developed professional relationships with faculty and administrators at six historically black universities.