Four Finalists in Search for UACCB Chancellor Set Campus Visit Forums

Posted Date - 10/14/21

LITTLE ROCK (Oct. 14, 2021) — A national search by a committee formed to find the next chancellor of the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville (UACCB) has announced schedules for four finalists that will visit campus and hold public forums Oct. 18-26.

The four finalists, who were announced earlier this month, will each take part in a “Community Partners Session” that will be open to the public both on campus and livestreamed through UACCB’s YouTube channel. Each candidate will also spend a day meeting with various campus, community and UA System stakeholders.

The finalists, dates of their visits and links to their public forums located in the Independence Hall Auditorium are:

Dr. Brian Shonk (3:45 – 4:45 p.m., Oct. 18):
Dr. Jeff Jochems (3:45 – 4:45 p.m., Oct. 19):
Dr. Scott Cook (3:45 – 4:45 p.m., Oct. 25):
Dr. Randy Smith (3:45 – 4:45 p.m., Oct. 26):

“We’re very excited to welcome each finalist to campus and allow faculty, students and staff – as well as the greater Batesville community – the chance to get to know each one and learn more about their unique vision to move UACCB into the future,” said Marietta Candler, search committee chair, program coordinator of Nursing and Allied Health at UACCB and a 27-year employee at the institution. “We encourage the public to tune in or come to campus for each public forum and participate in the process.”

The search drew candidates from 23 states and two countries from which the finalists were chosen. Former Chancellor Deborah Frazier, who was named chancellor at UACCB in 2007, retired May 31 and Zachary Perrine has been leading the institution as interim chancellor since June 1. UA System President Dr. Donald R. Bobbitt and Chris Thomason, vice president for planning and development for the UA System, are leading the search with input from the committee, and the finalists will ultimately be considered by Bobbitt before taking his pick to the Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas for final approval.

Full bios and resumes, along with more details about their visits can be found at

Brief Finalist Bios (alphabetically):

Scott Cook, Ed.D.: Cook earned an associate degree in history, political science and psychology from Motlow State Community College in Lynchburg, Tenn., a bachelor’s degree in political science from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tenn., a master’s degree from Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kan. and a doctorate in education from Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tenn. He is currently provost at Madisonville Community College in Madisonville, Kent. and most recently has served as vice president for quality assurance and performance funding, honors program director and assistant vice president for academic affairs at Motlow State Community College.

Jeff Jochems, Ed.D.: Jochems earned an associate degree from Pratt Community College and a bachelor’s in business administration from Washburn University. He also received a master’s degree in higher education-student personnel from the University of Kansas and a doctorate in education from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. He served as president and vice chancellor of the Richwood Valley Campus of Ozarks Technical Community College (OTCC) for nine years and recently retired in 2020.  Dr. Jochems returned to the college as a part-time COVID-19 case manager during the 2020-2021 academic year. He also previously served as director of financial aid, dean of student services, dean of student development and assistant vice president of administrative services at OTCC.

Brian Shonk, Ed.D.: Shonk earned two associate degrees in criminal justice and electronics technology from Northwest Florida State College (NWFSC) and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Troy University. He received a Master of Public Administration degree and a doctorate in education, curriculum and instruction from the University of West Florida. He is currently vice chancellor for academic affairs at UACCB, where he has served since 2013. Shonk has also served as dean, associate dean and director of public safety at NWFSC.

Randy L. Smith, Ph.D.: Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Montana State University, a master’s degree in emergency health services policy and administration from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and a doctorate degree in higher education leadership from Touro University in Cypress, CA. He has extensive experience in student recruitment, academic affairs, student services and policy advocacy and is currently director of program development, director of emergency management and a special advisor to the chief for the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma. Most recently he has served as president and chief executive officer of Sisseton Wahpeton College in Sisseton, S.D. and president and chief executive officer of the Rural Community College Alliance.


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