Dr. Trey Berry appointed chancellor of Henderson State University

Dr. Trey Berry

Arkansas State University System President Chuck Welch today announced the appointment of Arkadelphia native and longtime higher education administrator Dr. Trey Berry as Henderson State University’s next chancellor, effective Jan. 1, 2024.

Berry is an Arkansas historian, professor, former dean and provost. Since 2015, he has served as president of Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia. He previously served various roles at Ouachita Baptist University, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

He will succeed Dr. Bob Fisher, who is serving as interim chancellor during the fall semester and was not a candidate for the position.

Berry said he expects to lead Henderson with a forward focus by building the Henderson community, growing enrollment and student success, further stabilizing finances and increasing support from every sector.

“I know we can build upon the talents of so many wonderful and dedicated students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends at Henderson to shape an even stronger and more vibrant ‘Reddie Family’ and to create an ever-evolving, unique campus where students come not only to learn, but to flourish,” Berry said.

Welch said the selection was fitting for an Arkadelphia native whose family has a storied history with Henderson. Berry grew up on the Henderson campus, where his father – Henderson Hall of Fame member Clyde Berry – served as head football coach, baseball coach and kinesiology professor at various times during the 1960s through the 1980s. Clyde Berry Field is the home field of the Henderson baseball team.

"Trey Berry brings so many positive qualities to Henderson – from significant higher education leadership experience to his history with and love for the university and his hometown of Arkadelphia," Welch said. "His decision to return home and join Henderson is such a vote of confidence in the faculty, staff and students. He will be a critical part of Henderson's return to success and growth."

Berry said Henderson was part of his daily life from the time his family moved to Arkadelphia when he was two years old until his early college years.

"The lessons I learned from the people of Henderson forged not only early memories, but also gave me leadership exposure and daily examples to follow that I still use today," he said. "The opportunity to lead the team at Henderson is fully in my heart. Henderson remains such a pivotal part of my personal story and my family’s history. Now, I have a calling to become a meaningful part of Henderson’s history.

“These are challenging times for all of higher education," Berry added. "I am a campus leader who believes in casting a shared vision, rolling up my sleeves and getting to work alongside others. ‘That Old Reddie Spirit’ is alive and well. It is time to harness the power of our history and look ahead to a future we can create together. It’s time to come home and serve the community that shaped our family!”

Fisher said he would be leaving Henderson in very good hands.

"Dr. Berry has proven himself to be one of America's most outstanding university presidents," Fisher added. "We are excited that he will be bringing his innovative, entrepreneurial and enthusiastic leadership to Henderson. Henderson is embedded in Trey Berry's DNA. Today we celebrate that this DNA has brought him to Henderson, where we say welcome home to him and Katherine with arms wide open."

Since becoming president at SAU in 2015, Berry has overseen the largest fund-raising campaign in the university's history, resulting in endowment growth of 48 percent from $31 million to $46 million. Also during his tenure, enrollment increased 24 percent to the highest level in SAU's history, and the university added 21 graduate degrees and certificates, including a new doctoral program.

He has a Bachelor of Arts in history degree from Ouachita Baptist, and a Master of Arts degree and Doctor of Philosophy in history from the University of Mississippi.

Berry is married to Dr. Katherine Simms Berry, also from Arkadelphia. They have an adult son, Tanner, and a daughter, Berkeley, a 10th-grade student.

The ASU System, based in Little Rock, serves almost 35,000 students annually and includes Arkansas State University, a four-year research institution in Jonesboro with an additional campus in Queretaro, Mexico, and Henderson State University, a four-year institution in Arkadelphia. The system's two-year institutions include ASU-Beebe, with additional campuses in Heber Springs and Searcy; ASU-Mountain Home; ASU-Newport, with additional campuses in Jonesboro and Marked Tree; ASU Mid-South in West Memphis; and ASU Three Rivers in Malvern, with the Saline County Career Technical Campus in Benton. For more information about the ASU System, visit ASUSystem.edu or follow on X at @ASUSystem.