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Arkansas State University – Mountain Home’s Technical Center has been renamed in honor of outgoing Chancellor Emeritus Dr. Robin Myers, who celebrated his retirement from the college during a retirement reception this week.
The building, which is currently being renovated in preparation for new courses, will be named the “Robert L. Myers Technical Education Campus.” Myers also received his new title of Chancellor Emeritus during the reception.
“I’m happy with my decision,” said Dr. Myers in a discussion on his retirement. “I feel like I’ve done my job here, and it’s time to move on to the next thing, whatever that is.”
An Arkansas native, Myers spent his transformative years living in Blytheville before graduating high school and moving to Arkansas State University in 1977 to pursue bachelor’s degrees in marketing and accounting.
While growing up, the young Myers would quickly develop a strong work ethic after he began working at 16.
After graduating from his first college, the young Myers entered the workforce on an industrial firm’s marketing team before picking up accounting positions at two other firms as he continued to climb the workforce ladder.
In 1987, Myers decided to continue his education by pursuing a master’s degree in operations management and supervision from the University of Arkansas. He would graduate with his new degree a year later.
With his new degree, Myers would begin transitioning to a new phase in life by becoming the coordinator of the Business and Industry Resource Center at Arkansas Northeastern College (ANC) from 1989 to 1992. His transition to a classroom setting sparked a love for education that would take Myers to new heights in his career.
In 1991, while still working at ANC, Myers began working on earning his Doctor of Education degree from the University of Memphis in Tennessee. He would continue down that path for nearly a decade before graduating in 2000.
At the same time, Myers began moving up the education ladder at ANC, becoming an Associate Dean and then Dean for Continuing Education from 1992 to 1996. In 1996, he advanced again to become the Dean for Community Education and College Advancement.
By 1998, Myers had become the Vice President of Instruction at ANC. He was selected as the college’s President in 2005, leading the school until 2012, when a new opportunity in Mountain Home called to him and his wife.
“My wife and I always envisioned this would be a place we’d like to retire,” Myers said. “When this job came open, we were at a point in our lives where we thought this would be a great place to work. At the time, I thought six to 10 years, and I did make it to 11. We just thought we’ll get there and get established, and it’ll be a great place to retire.”
During his tenure as Chancellor for ASUMH, Myers oversaw developing and expanding many of the college’s most popular programs. Myers formed strong relationships with organizations like Baxter Health and Mountain Home Public Schools to achieve this expansion.
Alongside Baxter Health and MHPS, Myers was able to bring several LPN and RN programs to Mountain Home, with many of the area’s local students being able to jump directly from their high school career into a nursing program before heading down the road to a decent paying job at Baxter Health.
In 2022, the “Big Three” partnered to allow MHHS seniors to begin their nursing careers before graduation to meet the community’s ongoing shortage of healthcare providers.
The partnership expands ASUMH’s Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program while providing students a monthly $500 stipend to complete their coursework.
In January of this year, Myers helped ASUMH receive initial approval from the Arkansas State Board of Nursing to offer the Associate of Applied Science Degree in Registered Nursing on campus.
In addition to nursing, Myers also worked to develop ASUMH’s technical college during his time as Chancellor.
In 2013, ASUMH’s popular welding program operated out of a two-car garage with little more than a dirt floor.
Now the program sits inside a soon-to-be newly renovated Technical Center that boasts spaces for the college’s welding program, its mechanic program, its freshly minted boat manufacturing program, and its plastics and extrusion program. The center also offers a commercial truck driving course.
“One of the things I was asked to do when I accepted this job because I had such a background in technical programming was to bring those to campus, and we really didn’t have much more than a very small welding shop here on our campus,” Myers said. “So, we developed the Technical Center and brought all those programs on and have continued to evolve that and are now bringing two additional programs, the boat manufacturing and also a plastics and extrusion program.”
Another focus for Myers while serving as Chancellor was opening up ASUMH’s campus more to the public. To achieve this goal, he worked with school employees like Christy Keirn and Molly Morgan to breathe life into the campus by bringing various performances and events to The Sheid while continuing to embrace well-established traditions like Mountain Home’s Red, White & Blue Festival.
A major community achievement for the campus was the joint effort by Morgan and Mountain Home Mayor Hillrey Adams, with some help from Myers, to create the Coulter Celebration of Lights, a yearly Christmas light show and festival, for ASUMH’s campus.
Myers said he credits the school’s success to the educators and staff on campus.
When asked about his upcoming retirement, Myers said he’s not sure where the future will take him but looks forward to traveling the country with his wife while getting some quality hunting and fishing time right here in the Ozarks. He said he may even hit the golf course from time to time.
Dr. Myers will officially retire on July 31.