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Dr. Chuck Welch Part of Governor’s Recovery Task Force

By Dale Gathright, Jr., 04/18/20 4:12 PM

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has created the Governor’s Economic Recovery Task Force to develop an industry-specific strategy and make recommendations to the Governor for Arkansas’s economic recovery from the effects of COVID-19, the Governor announced at a news conference Saturday.

The task force, established by Executive Order 20-20, will include 27 leaders from the private sector and public agencies who will examine the impact of COVID-19 on businesses and industries in the state. The task force will recommend a strategy to the Governor for our economy to shift out of low gear consistent with public-health guidance.

Members of the Governor’s Economic Recovery Task Force include Dr. Chuck Welch, Arkansas State University System President. Dr. Welch was named the second president of the ASU System in November 2010 and officially began his new position in April 2011. He is the youngest person to ever serve as president or chancellor of an Arkansas community college and is the youngest university president in Arkansas. He is co-chair of the executive council of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education. He previously served as president of Henderson State University, chancellor of the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope; vice chancellor for academic affairs at ASU-Beebe; and dean of university studies at Pulaski Technical College. Dr. Welch also worked at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and has served as an instructor of education and political science at three different colleges in Arkansas.

On Friday, Governor Hutchinson set May 4 as the date he hopes to begin to ease restrictions in Arkansas. The task force will meet next week.

Steuart L. Walton, a business leader and philanthropist who holds degrees in business administration and law, will chair the committee.

“Steuart’s Arkansas roots run deep, and he knows and loves the state,” Governor Hutchinson said. “Steuart is engaged in the hospitality, manufacturing, and retail industries. He understands the needs of small business. He is engaged in philanthropy across Arkansas. He is the perfect choice to lead this task force to help restore our economy.”