Dr. Elizabeth Underwood Jordan Hale
Dr. Elizabeth Underwood, formerly the associate vice chancellor for government and university relations at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith, will be returning to her alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Asheville, to serve as the senior director of alumni relations. Her last day at UAFS is May 25.
During her time at UAFS, Underwood oversaw the university’s government and community relations efforts, which included coordinating the vote to close Kinkead Ave., working with Congressman Steve Womack’s office to place students in the John Paul Hammerschmidt Fellowship, overseeing students participating in the Up to Us competition, and co-teaching the Chancellor’s Leadership Council class.
Her extensive work in government and community relations came after she led the university’s alumni affairs office in her previous role. Her achievements in alumni affairs included establishing an advisory council and developing inaugural programs, networking events, and award banquets to engage university stakeholders.
Underwood has accrued an impressive array of awards during her time in Arkansas, including being named one of the Most Powerful Women in Arkansas in 2016 by About You. In 2011, she earned the Award of Excellence for Integration of Social Media by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and was given the Outstanding Staff Team Award by the Staff Senate at the University of Arkansas in 2009. In 2013, Underwood studied higher education in Germany on a Fulbright Scholarship.
Dr. Paul B. Beran, UAFS chancellor, lauded Underwood’s efforts during her time here.
“In her time here, Dr. Underwood has done an exemplary job leading our governmental relations efforts, spending countless days and nights in Little Rock advocating for UAFS to our legislators and government officials,” Beran said. “Thanks in part to her work, UAFS enjoys a strong standing in the state Capitol as the leading workforce development university in Arkansas.”
Jordan Hale, previously the senior admissions officer with UAFS, will assume Underwood’s duties in the role of director of government and community relations, effective July 1. Hale, a UAFS alumnus, graduated from the university with a bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in political science and was selected as the university’s first John Paul Hammerschmidt Fellow in 2013, when he spent a summer interning with Congressman Steve Womack.
Additionally, he has served on numerous advisory councils and boards in the community, including with the Future School of Fort Smith and the Adult Education Center.
He said he was excited to assume the role.
“I am honored to take on this new role with the university. UAFS plays a vital role in the success of our state and region by educating students and creating a competitive workforce,” Hale said. “I look forward to working with Dr. Beran, the UAFS community, and our local and state leaders to ensure the continued success of the university and its students.”
About the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith
The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith is the premiere regional institution of Western Arkansas, connecting education with careers and serving as a driver of economic development and quality of place in the greater Fort Smith region. Through a small campus, dedicated professors, and the university’s unique bond with its community, students at UAFS are able to do more in the areas they are passionate about, both on- and off-campus, in a way that prepares them for post-graduate success. To find out how you can do more at UAFS, visit www.uafs.edu.