Community colleges must adapt to change to better serve their students as the demands of societal change continue, Dr. Hugh R. Showalter told students, faculty, and board members at the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope here Monday in the first of five on-campus interviews to select a new UACCH chancellor.Showalter
, a native of Searcy, emphasized his
philosophy of adaptation while recognizing that higher education in Arkansas must first educate.
"We often try to be the end-all to everybody, to do everything," Showalter
"This country is founded on democracy; it's compromise," Showalter
added."There is no way that each one of those groups can have 100 percent of what they want; but, you can pull all of those together and get the best, and satisfy most of those needs and make most of the people happy most of the time.
"You can find a way to do that, but, that takes time; and, it takes a lot energy and a lot of people," he
said the community college setting should provide the flexibility necessary for the academic growth of its students.
"The community college can provide those opportunities, to be the resource for folks to come and find out and explore, and then, go on from there if they want to take if further; or, this may satisfy everything they want, it takes care of everything they need for that moment," he
, 57, believes that a community college must be administered as more than a business enterprise.
"No-one ever ends learning," Showalter
"I really don't like the term social institution, but we are about change; it's about human lives, and helping folks make their lives better," Showalter
A native of Searcy in White County, Showalter's father was a rural Arkansas public school superintendent.He
admits that his
father's career made an impression upon him when he
decided to leave the business world and pursue higher education administration.
"I'm the oldest of four children, and my dad died when I was 12," he
said."I was very lucky in that I was a good student and got a scholarship and was able to work in the summer.The first goal was to get a job, and I went to work for Allied Telephone Co.
, everybody knows as Alltel
"I was there four years in the management training program, and they were doing aggressive mergers even back then," Showalter
added."They sent me all over to these little, small-town exchanges; and, suddenly, this conglomerate comes in and takes it over, and that part I really didn't like.
"I got an opportunity at the Arkansas Department of Higher Education
, the coordinating board in Little Rock, and I took it; and, the rest is history, as they say," he
added."I got interested in community colleges there, and went to Helena to the community college there, and then to Blytheville."Showalter
has only recently retired as organist for the First Presbyterian Church of Blytheville
, and he
is an avid golfer, and enjoys yard work.His
wife, Janet, is an elementary school music teacher, and the couple have two adult sons.Showalter is a 2002 doctoral graduate of the University of Memphis, and he received his MS in operations management in 1980 from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, and his BA in economics and business from Hendrix College in Conway in 1969.Showalter served as vice president and dean for administrative affairs at Arkansas Northeastern Community College in Blytheville from 1990-1996, and was dean of administrative affairs at the college from 1984-1990.He is a member of Kappa Delta Pi International Educational Honor Society, the National Association of College and University Business Officers, Southern Association of College and University Business Officers, Arkansas Association of College and University Business Officers, and has served as co-chair of the Arkansas Higher Education Consortium.He is also a member of the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources, and the Arkansas College and University Professional Association for Human Resources, the Rotary Club and is an elder in the First Presbyterian Church of Blytheville.