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UAM Provost David Ray To Retire June 30

April 13th, 2012 by

R. David Ray, provost, vice chancellor for academic affairs, and dean of the graduate program at the University of Arkansas at Monticello, has announced his retirement effective June 30.

Ray has been a member of the UAM faculty for 42 years since coming to Monticello from Texas Tech in 1970 and created the school’s debate and forensics program, one of the most successful and respected in the nation.

“It is with regret and sadness that I have accepted David Ray’s letter of resignation,” said UAM Chancellor Jack Lassiter. “He is a part of this institution’s history, a remarkable instructor, an esteemed colleague, and dear personal friend. David has been a positive influence on several generations of UAM students and those who came through his debate and forensics program are a lasting legacy to his contributions to higher education. He has provided valuable leadership and insight as dean of the School of Arts and Humanities and as part of our senior leadership team. He will be sorely missed.”

Lassiter indicated that a national search will be conducted to find Ray’s replacement but has not set a timetable for filling the position of the institution’s chief academic officer.

“I am deeply grateful for the professional opportunities of teaching and administration that I have enjoyed while at UAM and leave with wonderful memories of the students, faculty, staff and administrative colleagues who have been a part of my life and that of my family,” said Ray. “Words cannot express how much I will miss UAM students as they have always been a source of pride and encouragement to me.”

A native of San Antonio, Tex., Ray earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in speech communications from Texas Tech before joining the faculty of what was then Arkansas A&M College in 1970. He completed additional graduate study at the University of Mississippi and the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville.

Ray served as debate coach and director of debate and forensics for 35 years, earning a place in the Pi Kappa Delta (PKD) National Debate and Forensics Hall of Fame in 2005. Ray is a past president of PKD, the national honor society for debate and forensics, and served as the organization’s historian for 13 years. He received two national coaches’ awards from PKD – the John Shields Award in 1995 and the E.R. Nichols Award as the outstanding national forensics educator in 1998. In 2005, Ray was given the Isocrates Award for his contributions to collegiate debate by the International Public Debate Association.

Ray was named Arkansas Speech Teacher of the Year in 1989, received the Faculty Excellence Award from UAM in 1992 and 1993, and is a former president of the Arkansas Speech Communication Association.

In 1994, Ray was named chair of UAM’s Division of Arts and Languages and in 1998 became dean of the School of Arts and Humanities. He became the university’s chief academic officer in 2004 when he was named vice chancellor for academic affairs and became provost in 2005. Ray served as a member of the Arkansas Legislative Task Force on Higher Education in 2007-08.

Ray has also served as a communication consultant to business and industry and is a text author on business and professional communication.

Ray and his wife, Loyce, a 32-year employee of UAM who retired in 2010, plan to spend more time with their children and six grandchildren.

One Response to “UAM Provost David Ray To Retire June 30”

  1. Bishop Sam Wherry says:

    I do not have adequate words to express the deep joy, as well as the honor and privilege of knowing this most honorable, distinguished intellectual and foremost Christian Gentlemen for 42 years. It was the dawn of my sophomore year at then Arkansas A&M that this scholarly, articulate gentlemen joined the A&M department of Language Arts and I was member of his basic Speech Class and from this experience and counsel I give credence to my par excellence speaking ability that was an enhancement of my acceptance to one of the Worlds Greatest Educational Institutions. David Ray has been and is a glue that has enhanced the UAM total academic complex-through the most difficult periods of transitions in our Nations History. It is fitting that this entity retire at the zenith of an incredible, par excellence service to the University of Arkansas-Monticello and the region it represents and service.The plans and hopes of this great and historical institution would have been shattered if he had not been an integral part of the outstanding Administrative and Department Head team that gives this Institution credence among the giants of the Higher Education Arena . Again I ask you in joining me in tipping our hat(Men) and a professional etiquette bow(Ladies) to this most-honorable and deserving Man who did his job so well the living the dead or the unborn could not do it any better. May God continue his Blessing and Favor upon David Ray all in the name of Jesus Christ.

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