Rawlins Appointed to New Duties
JONESBORO — Dr. Brad Rawlins becomes a special assistant to the Provost to handle matters pertaining to the Arkansas State University campus in Queretaro and other academic projects. In January, 2017, the former dean of media and communications transitions into appointment as vice-rector for academic and student affairs for its campus in Queretaro.
“We are excited that Brad accepted the offer to take the lead academic position as we move closer to the opening of Campus Queretaro,” Provost Lynita Cooksey said. “In looking for an individual who knows the Arkansas State campus and has the pioneering spirit necessary for an ambitious project like A-State Queretaro, it is comforting to know we had that person right here on our Jonesboro campus.”
The Queretaro campus of Arkansas State University is scheduled to open in August 2017. Several facilities, including the main classroom building, student union building and student residences are currently under construction with an anticipated completion date of March 2017. The campus is limited to admitting 1,000 students in its first class and plans to grow to 4,000 students in its first phase.
“Having someone who already understands our academic structure, is familiar with our degree programs and knowledgeable about the project is a tremendous advantage,” Cooksey added.
As special assistant to the provost this fall, Rawlins will focus on completing the final tasks in assembling the curriculum related to the Queretaro campus and serve as the primary academic liaison between A-State and the ASUCQ group that will construct and operate the facility in Mexico. At the start of 2017, he becomes the first vice-rector, a Mexican academic term similar to provost, for Campus Queretaro.
The project provides the first “American style” comprehensive residential campus in Mexico. Phase one of the campus will focus on offering degrees in engineering, biosciences, business and strategic communication. The degrees will be valid in both Mexico and the United States.
“I am extremely excited about this project. It is an opportunity to expand the global visibility of Arkansas State University and its excellent programs in science, engineering, technology, business and communications,” Rawlins said. “It also provides an opportunity to build partnerships with some of the world’s leading engineering, biosciences and global business companies that will benefit students of Arkansas State.”
Rawlins was previously the dean of the College of Media and Communication before it was merged with two other colleges as part of the university’s effort to be more efficient and promote cross-disciplinary synergy. Rawlins has two bachelor of arts degrees from Washington State University, one in communications and one in foreign languages and literature (Spanish). He earned a master of arts degree in advertising and public relations and a Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of Alabama.
“I met with more than a hundred high school students in Mexico during my visit to Queretaro and every one was excited about the possibility of studying at an American-style university,” Rawlins said. “This campus will help our students in Arkansas have more global opportunities through interactions with students from Mexico. It will also open up doors for our science, engineering, business and communications students to explore jobs in global markets.”
As has been the practice with the Campus Queretaro project, funding for this position is generated from private gifts for startup costs and A-State’s partner in Mexico, ASUCQ A.C., will underwrite all construction.