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Aug 24, 2013 05:23 AM EDT

Long-Serving Arkansas Tech President to Step Down After 2013-14 Academic Year

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Dr. Robert Brown, President of Arkansas Tech University for nearly two decades, has decided to step down from his post after the 2013-14 academic year.

Brown occupied the post in July, 1993, and is the second-longest serving president in the university's history; only behind J.W. Hull who was the president from 1932-67.

"For 21 years, Bob Brown has been an associate and a friend," said Charles Blanchard of Russellville, chairman of the Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees. "We will miss him in the role of president. I am proud of what has occurred at this university over the past two decades.

Brown is credited with having transformed the university from a small institution to one of the best universities in the state with more than 10,000 students. When Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees appointed Brown as the 11th president in 1993, enrolment at the university was 4,730.

"This is the right time to make this decision," said Brown. "I and my family are in good health. There is nothing wrong, and that is what makes this the right time. We have the opportunity to step aside at the zenith of Arkansas Tech, and I owe that privilege to each of you."

Brown hopes to continue his ties with the university once he retires. Apart from being the president, Brown is also a professor of economics at the university.

"On the afternoon I was elected president of Arkansas Tech, I told those in attendance at Chambers Cafeteria that this institution represents the best, the brightest and the most significant promise that we could imagine for the 21st century," said Brown. "Over the past two decades, the leadership of our Board of Trustees and the efforts of our students, faculty and staff have proven those words to be true."

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