SAU president to retire next year

LITTLE ROCK — Southern Arkansas University President David Rankin announced Thursday he will retire next year.

Rankin, who has served as the university’s president since 2002, said he will remain on the job through the 2014-15 school year but will retire June 30, 2105.

Rankin received a bachelor’s degree in management from the University of Arkansas in 1964 and a master’s degree in finance from Louisiana Tech University in 1966. He earned a Ph.D. in finance from the University of Mississippi in 1970 and earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 1979.

In 1968, Rankin joined the SAU faculty as an assistant professor of business. From 1977-80, he served as dean of the School of Business Administration and professor of economics and finance. He also served as a Puterbaugh Professor and chair of the Department of Economics and Finance, and again as dean of the School of Business Administration from 1994-2001.

He and his wife, Toni, live on a farm in Magnolia. They have three children.

Under Ranikin’s leadership, SAU launched its first-ever capital campaign, which has resulted in more than $100 million in completed capital projects, the university said. The university also added programs in engineering, computer game and animation design, wildlife and marine biology and digital cinema production.

In the fall of 2o13, SAU and SAU Tech a record-high enrollment of 5,451 students. Graduate enrollment is up 200 percent since 2002, the university said.