Chancellor Charles Robinson poses for photos with his supporters at his investiture ceremony last week. Many UA community members gathered the Faulkner Arts Center to officially welcome Robinson into the role. 



Campus community members filled the Arkansas Union and the Faulkner Performing Arts Center last week to see the investiture of Charles Robinson as the seventh UA chancellor.

Robinson responded to the celebration with the same friendliness he has shown to the university for a long time.

The formal ceremony took place in the FPAC after the investiture student celebration for the campus community. Due to the rainy weather, the Division of Student Affairs, the main organizer, decided to cancel the SOOIE Fair, which was supposed to be at the Union Mall with a performance from the band Funk Factory. Scott Flanagin, executive director of communications, said he was afraid the change in the investiture student celebration might lead to lower turnout, but he was surprised so many people showed up for the celebration.

At the party, the room was full of students and staff members who were chatting and taking pictures with Robinson, celebrating his investiture.

“It’s just a celebration, and it reflects the support that the campus has shown me,” Robinson said. “It’s largely symbolic because everyday, I feel that support when I’m on this campus and I’m very grateful for it.”

Many students are excited to see what Robinson will bring to the campus in his new role.

Starling Ledbetter, the 57th Miss UofA, was invited to the ceremony and said she is excited the university finally went through with Robinson’s investiture.

“I’m so excited that he’s been able to be a part of this form of the campus and represent us as a whole,” Ledbetter said.

Flanagin said Robinson has been dedicated to the university for a significant time and thinks he deserves his new position.

“He is very student focused and very student centered, and he really thinks about students’ experience,” Flanagin said. “He was the only chancellor who has been a vice president of student affairs as well. That’s everything outside of the classroom and athletics, so I think he really knows this whole university and loves our students, faculty and staff.”

Denise Burford, associate director of financial aid, said she expects more of the same great leadership from Robinson that he has already exhibited.

“So many of us on campus are excited that he’s a chancellor because he’s dedicated a lot of great time to the university already, and people just enjoy him as a person.” Burford said. “I love that he gets out and talks to students around on campus so that people know who he is.”

After taking a group photo at the Union, people moved to the FPAC for the formal ceremony.

The ceremony began with an orchestra performed by the university Inspirational Chorale, followed by the speech of the first speaker, UA System President Donald R. Bobbitt.

Robinson gave his speech after Bobbitt put the medal around his neck. The crowd welcomed him with a long applause.

During his speech, Robinson talked about how he is grateful for being able to engage with members of the UA campus.

“Every single day, I feel the energy and the power and the connection that I have always wanted to build with this campus and again, I’m so grateful to you, for your continued support,” Robinson said.

Robinson said his task as a chancellor is to foster and facilitate an atmosphere that everyone on this campus can experience magical moments that are transformative and empowering.

“Let us work together to better ensure that no student, particularly an Arkansas student who demonstrates the ability and great necessity to attain a degree, is denied that opportunity simply because he or she cannot afford the cost of attendance,” Robinson said.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.