Dr. Jeff Mott joined the Arkansas Tech University President’s Office staff in August as the first chief of staff in university history.
Mott brings with him years of experience in both the corporate environment and higher education, which will assist him as he becomes a part of the President’s executive counsel and helps President Robin Bowen manage her commitments.
Mott points to significant off-campus responsibilities as consuming a large portion of Bowen’s time.
“I’ll be feet on the ground, so to speak,” he said. “I’ll help her on campus when she’s not on campus.”
Off-campus commitments include maintaining a significant presence in Little Rock through her work with the legislature, the Governor’s Office and the Arkansas Department of Higher Education as she lobbies to alter the state’s higher education funding formula to better benefit Tech.
“Right now, we’re a little disadvantaged with the way the [funding] formula operates,” Mott said.
Mott is also helping with the strategic planning process that began this summer. Mott says the planning process is expected to take about a year.
“It’s run by academic affairs, but it involves people all over campus: staff and faculty as well as people in the community.” Mott said.
Mott joins Tech after serving as the director of the Leadership Institute at Washburn University for five years. Before his directorial duties, he worked for Sprint for nine years and rose to the rank of vice president.
In between his time at Sprint and Washburn University, he spent four years pursuing a doctorate in management from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
“I made a decision to leave Sprint and went and got my doctorate full time even though I had kids at the time that were nine, six and three,” he said. “People thought I was crazy, but if you’re following your passion, it’s not so crazy.”
Mott said during his time working in other areas of the country, he did not hear much about Tech. It was his time spent with Bowen at Washburn University that caused him to become interested in applying.
“I came down for a couple of visits and could really see how she described it [Tech], how the faculty and staff are very student centered,” he said.