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Gov. Hutchinson Appoints A-State Alumnus Niel Crowson to Second Term on ASU System Board


LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Asa Hutchinson today appointed Niel Crowson of Jonesboro, a 1975 graduate of Arkansas State University, to a second five-year term on the ASU System Board of Trustees.

Crowson, who is chairman of the board and president of E.C. Barton & Company of Jonesboro, was first appointed by Hutchinson in 2015 and served as chair of the ASU Board in 2019. His reappointment expires in January 2025.

ASU System President Chuck Welch said Crowson has been a valuable member of the board and provided key leadership in multiple areas of the system’s growth.

“Trustee Crowson has really driven changes in the way we approach capital expenditures and budgets,” Welch said. “He helped us enhance our financial reporting processes with the board and advocated our efficiency study. His vast experience as a business executive and change leader will continue to serve our system well as we continue to address challenges and opportunities in higher education.”

Crowson said he’s proud of the improvements and growth in the ASU System during the past five years but is focused on the future.

“We must continue to be strategic and innovative and determine how we can do things differently and better,” Crowson said. “We need more creative ways to operate our system and institutions. I believe we are up to the task, and I hope we will build on our past successes and chart a unique future course that will make us all proud of the ASU System.”

In addition to leading home improvement retailer Barton’s – one of Arkansas’ largest privately-owned companies – Crowson serves as a board member and executive committee member of St. Bernards Healthcare and is a member of Jonesboro Unlimited.

Crowson also is a board member for the Arkansas Economic Development Foundation, a Pillars Member of the Jonesboro United Way and a member of the Arkansas Good Roads Association. He has been significantly involved in the Do It Best Corporation, the Jonesboro Jaycees and the Northeast Arkansas Regional Solid Waste Disposal Authority.

He has served his alma mater as a member of the ASU Foundation Board of Directors, as well as serving as former chair of the A-State Chancellor’s Cabinet. He is a 1924 Sustaining Life Member of the ASU Alumni Association, and in 2012 he was honored as a university Distinguished Alumni by the A-State Alumni Association. He earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Arkansas State.

The ASU System, based in Little Rock, serves nearly 40,000 students annually and includes Arkansas State University, a four-year research institution in Jonesboro with a campus in Queretaro, Mexico; ASU-Beebe, with additional campuses in Heber Springs and Searcy and an instructional site at the Little Rock Air Force Base; ASU-Mountain Home; ASU-Newport, with additional campuses in Jonesboro and Marked Tree; ASU Mid-South in West Memphis; and ASU Three Rivers (formerly College of the Ouachitas) in Malvern. For more information about the ASU System, visit ASUSystem.edu or follow on Twitter @ASUSystem.

Niel Crowson
Mr. Niel Crowson, Member, ASU System Board of Trustees