Bishop Rudolph

After Henderson State University was recently added to the Arkansas State University System, the number of Board of Trustees positions increased from five to seven. 

Thursday, Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced that he has appointed three new members of the board including a local pastor. 

These new board members are Bishop Robert G. Rudolph Jr., of Bryant, Paul Rowton, of Harrisburg and Steve Eddington of Benton. 

“I’m delighted to announce these appointments to this expanded Board of Trustees. Paul Rowton, Robert Rudolph, and Steve Eddington have shown their dedication to their respective alma maters, and I am confident they will bring the same level of commitment and enthusiasm to this new role. This board will help to ensure all seven institutions under the ASU System will thrive for many years to come,” Hutchinson said.

Rudolph is the pastor at Calvary Church of God in Christ in Malvern and he is a graduate of Henderson State University. 

Rudolph received a bachelor of arts degree in political science in 1990 from Henderson State, where he served as student body president. He will receive his Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Texas at El Paso this year. He is the adjutant general of the Church of God in Christ, Inc., and jurisdictional bishop of the St. Maarten Reheboth Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction. He serves as chief minister of protocol for the Church of God in Christ and assists the presiding bishop in directing the National Adjutancy. 

He has 33 years of pastoral experience serving congregations in Arkansas.  His secular career spans three decades in government, including service as a clerk for the Arkansas General Assembly, a congressional aide and a special assistant to the governor of Arkansas.  Rudolph has participated in the White House Roundtable of African American Faith Leaders and is married to Michelle Parham Rudolph, according to a news release.

“I am honored that Governor Hutchinson has selected me to be a member of the Arkansas State University System Board of Trustees,” Rudolph said in a prepared statement. “The fact that he has entrusted me at this level will never be forgotten. In this position, I will make it my duty to give back to so many who have supported and encouraged me over the years.  I look forward to working with Dr. Welch, fellow board members and the institutions that we serve.”  

Rudolph’s term on the board will expire Jan. 14, 2027, according to Hutchinson. 

Eddington is the vice president of public relations at Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation. He is the current president of the HSU Alumni Board and has served on the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors since 2004. Eddington’s term will expire January 14, 2026.

Rowton, is the executive vice president of GES Inc., a corporation that owns and operates Edwards Food Giant and Edwards Cash Saver Supermarkets. Rowton is the former president of the ASU Alumni Association, where he served on the Board of Directors for 14 years. Rowton’s term will expire January 14, 2028.

ASU System President Chuck Welch said the three appointees bring a diverse mix of expertise to the board.

“I am so appreciative of Governor Hutchinson for these very strong appointments to our Board of Trustees,” Welch said. “Each of these individuals has been very involved in their communities and with our member institutions. Robert is a former Henderson student body president, Paul is a former A-State Alumni Association president, and Steve is the current president of the Henderson State Alumni Association. Their diversified backgrounds in ministry, agriculture, and retail business operations in our state will lend solid insight and leadership to our board.  I definitely look forward to working with all three of our new trustees as we continue to grow our system.”

The ASU System, based in Little Rock, serves 37,465 students annually on campuses in Arkansas and Queretaro, Mexico, and globally online with a total operating budget of $348 million. The ASU System includes:

  • Arkansas State University, a four-year Carnegie R2 Doctoral research institution in Jonesboro with degree centers in Beebe, Mountain Home, Blytheville, Forrest City, and West Memphis, as well as its Mexico site, Arkansas State University Campus Queretaro.

• Five two-year institutions: ASU-Beebe, with additional campuses in Heber Springs and Searcy and an instructional site at Little Rock Air Force Base; ASU-Newport, with additional campuses in Jonesboro and Marked Tree; ASU-Mountain Home; ASU Mid-South in West Memphis; and ASU Three Rivers in Malvern.

• Henderson State University, a comprehensive four-year institution in Arkadelphia.

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