Longtime instructor named to ASMSA Board of Visitors

5 years ago

Donna Hutchison recently retired after serving 20 years as a  faculty member at the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts. It didn’t take her long to find a new role to fill at the school.

Gov. Mike Beebe recently appointed Hutchison to serve on the ASMSA Board of Visitors.  Hutchison, who now lives in Rogers, retired at the end of the 2012-13 school year after 20 years on the faculty, including 16 years as the Humanities Department chair. She said she is excited about the opportunity to stay involved with the school.

“I’m not ready to give ASMSA up,” Hutchison said. “It has been such an important part of my life for so long. … [Serving on the board] will give me the chance to stay connected to the school and the people I love who are there, and still, in a limited way, get to see the kids. And hopefully to continue to have a positive influence in the institution.”

The Board of Visitors acts as an advisory board for the school. Hutchison said that while she is aware the limited role the board may play in certain matters, she is very interested in the establishment of and growth of the school’s humanities focus. ASMSA plans to implement a humanities emphasis during the 2013-14 academic year.

Hutchison said she is very interested in the “expansion of our fine arts and humanities electives.” She said she anticipates working with Anne Greenwood, who succeeded Hutchison as department chair, to find grant and other funding opportunities for the department’s growth.

She also wants to help with outreach opportunities for the school, particularly in Northwest Arkansas.

“We draw a lot of students from this area, but not surprisingly there are still people who haven’t heard of us, don’t know anything about us,” she said. Hutchison said she’d like to work with the admissions and institutional advancement teams to increase statewide knowledge of ASMSA.

Hutchison said she has one advantage as a new member of the board — institutional knowledge. Her history with the school and her knowledge of how it operates will help her as a board member, she said.

“I don’t have a learning curve that new board members very often have. They are positively disposed to the school but they don’t know us in the sense of knowing what we do, how we do it and why we do it that way. I think I have that advantage,” she said.

Hutchison said she feels as if her appointment is a “validation of 20 years of work. … It was very gratifying because in my mind it validates everything that I and the school have been trying to do since 1993 [when the school opened].”

Hutchison is filling the remainder of the term vacated by Julie Mullenix. Hutchison’s term will expire in January 2018.

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