7964_David Gearhart in a relaxed pose.University of Arkansas Chancellor G. David Gearhart has announced his decision to retire, effective July 31, after serving 20 years at the University including seven years as chancellor, ten years as vice chancellor for University Advancement and three years previously as director of development.

“I have four main reasons for making this difficult decision,” the chancellor wrote in a Jan. 9 letter to UA System President Don Bobbitt. “They are our four grandchildren: Ben, age 5; Caroline, age 4; Ellie, almost 2; and soon to be born, Lily Jane. Going forward, I hope to spend more quality time with each of them as well as with our children and their spouses, Katy and Justin and Brock and Lindsey.”

After stepping down from the chancellor’s post, Gearhart will take a period time off, and then will continue teaching responsibilities. He is a professor of higher education in the College of Education and Health Professions.

Chancellor Gearhart has guided the university during a period of unprecedented growth.

“The most difficult part of this transition will be giving up my daily contact with our superb faculty and staff, extraordinary students, loyal and generous alumni and benefactors and campaign volunteers,” Gearhart continued in his letter. “We have a tremendous team at the University of Arkansas, and that team has made these past 17 years, 10 as vice chancellor, and seven as chancellor, both exciting and memorable.”

A national search led by UA President Don Bobbitt will begin immediately.

A full news release and additional information are available at: