UCA announced alumna and current UCA employee Amy Whitehead as the university’s new Chief of Staff.
Whitehead currently serves as UCA’s Assistant Vice President for Community and Workforce Development in the Division of Outreach and Community Engagement. She is a graduate of the Community Development Institute and also received her Master of Science in Community and Economic Development from UCA.
Whitehead is looking forward to her new role as Chief of Staff.
“I started at UCA as a student in the fall of 2002, and 17 years later I am lucky enough to still be here. UCA has been such an important part of my life, and now, I am excited to give back to my alma mater in new ways,” Whitehead said, “This [position] will give me an opportunity to further serve our students and support our amazing faculty and staff.”
After UCA president Houston Davis asked Whitehead to take the position, she’s had several conversations with him about the position’s roles and responsibilities.
Whitehead will assist Davis with some of the day-to-day operations of the president’s office and oversee media relations and university police.
“[Amy Whitehead] is well-respected on campus and around the state and is one of Arkansas's rising stars in leadership and community development. I am excited to have her join our team,” Davis said.
Communication with both external partners and UCA’s board of trustees will be a significant part of the job as well.
“In my current role, I am heavily focused on partnerships and programs outside the walls of the university,” Whitehead said. “While external relations will still be a big piece of my role as Chief of Staff, I will have much more opportunity to interact with students, faculty, and staff across campus, which is really exciting.”
Whitehead also plans to meet several times with Kelley Erstine, the current chief of staff, to gain a better understanding of how she can prepare for her new role. Erstine will be stepping down from his position as chief of staff in August.
“Once I start work as chief of staff, I will be doing a lot of listening and learning so that I can be effective in serving the president and UCA,” Whitehead said.
Whitehead said she brings the skills of communication collaboration to this position.
“I have spent a lot of time collaborating with individuals and organizations from all across the state of Arkansas,” Whitehead said. “In my current position, I spend a lot of time working with elected officials, government agencies, nonprofits, foundations, and community leaders.”
Whitehead said she’s always in learning mode.
“I want to work hard and serve the university with integrity. If I can do those two things, then hopefully everything else will fall into place,” Whitehead said.