UA BOARD: Eight are present, two on phone. KARK/FOX 16

The University of Arkansas Board of Trustees has just announced an 11 a.m. meeting this morning by telephone at which it is expected to immediately go into executive session.

Hard to believe this doesn’t relate to the opening for an athletic director at the Fayetteville campus of UA. Jeff Long was fired by Chancellor Joseph Steinmetz after a closed door meeting with the UA Board, unhappy with several aspects of Long’s leadership. Steinmetz has assembled a search committee to help find a new athletic director, but he was expected to consult his superiors on the matter, too.


Several candidates have been mentioned for the job, most often Derrick Gragg, the current athletic director at Tulsa, who earned a Ph.D. at Arkansas and served in the athletic administration of Frank Broyles before getting top jobs at Eastern Michigan and then Tulsa.

There’a football coach opening, too, and that process has been proceeding under guidance of Interim Athletic Director Julie Cromer Peoples, with assistance from a separate group of advisers. Since the UA Board’s unhappiness with Long in part stemmed with performance of the now-fired Bret Bielema, you could see where notice on a decision on that job might also be passed by the Board. When’s the last time the UA Board conferred on the head of the romance languages department?


After meeting for about an hour, the board called in UA System President Donald Bobbitt. There were still in closed session at 12:25 p.m.

UPDATE: The meeting concluded shortly before 2 p.m. No votes were taken, meaning no board decisions were made in the session. Whether they were advised about decisions by others down the chain of command is not known.