Creating the Future of College: Reimagining Henderson

January 11, 2023

Dear Members of the Campus Community,

Welcome back to campus! I hope that you had an opportunity during the holidays to celebrate with family and friends and to take a well-deserved break after a year of significant change for Henderson in 2022.

At the beginning of 2022, we faced a $12.5 million projected budget shortfall, which prompted us to implement a modified cash budget and work through financial exigency. We experienced as much change in a 12-month period as any public higher education institution ever has. This has been a difficult experience for the entire campus and required changes that no chancellor wants to recommend unless absolutely necessary to sustain our educational mission.

Twelve months later, we begin 2023 with new optimism—perhaps a cautious optimism as we still have work to do—however, we can see progress in restoring our financial integrity.


Reimagining Henderson: Restoring Financial Integrity and Redefining the Future of College (2022 Financial Report)

January 9, 2023

In 2022, Henderson State University implemented one of the largest cost containments in the shortest timeframe in the history of public higher education. In January 2022, Henderson faced a $12.5 million projected budget shortfall for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2022, long-term debt of $78 million that required annual debt service payments of $6.9 million, and depleted financial reserves, even after receiving a $6 million dollar advance from the State of Arkansas in July 2019 and $12 million in Higher Education Emergency Relief Funding.

Henderson needed to restore financial integrity and stabilize its finances for sustainable operations. This included eliminating its annual operating deficits, improving its overall cash position, and aligning its instructional spending with the revenue generated by specific academic programs. The following report summarizes the process from modified cash budget and financial exigency to Henderson's next steps to improve student persistence and completion rates.


November 16, 2022

Dear Members of the Campus Community,

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, I want to share my gratitude and appreciation for your work to restore our financial integrity, put #StudentsFirst, and create a #CollegeThatWorksforAllStudents. Even though this has not been an easy semester with the implementation of a new Banner system, we continue to see some progress in our efforts to improve the university’s financial health. This would not be possible without your resilience and continued efforts to imagine new ways to achieve our educational mission while maximizing available resources.


Modified Cash Budget - October 31, 2022

September 8, 2022

Dear Members of the Campus Community,

I am pleased to share that our Students First initiative is moving forward with key partnerships aimed at both opening the doors of access and opportunity for all students and removing barriers to college completion.

Henderson is partnering with Complete College America (CCA) and the Arkansas Department of Higher Education on the Policy, Equity, and Practice (PEP) Initiative and with ReUp to help adult learners complete college degrees.


September 2, 2022

ASU System Board of Directors approves Henderson positioning platform

The Arkansas State University System Board of Trustees officially approved Henderson’s Strategic Positioning Platform at its September 2 meeting.


August 22, 2022

Higher Learning Commission removes Financial Distress Designation, effectively immediately

The Financial Distress Designation assigned to Henderson State University by the Higher Learning Commission on March 14, 2022, will be removed “effective immediately,” according to a letter I received from the HLC president on Friday, August 19, 2022.

This designation was placed on the university in March following our recommendation for the Declaration of Financial Exigency on February 3, 2022. In April, the Higher Learning Commission reaffirmed the institution’s accreditation and currently is scheduled to host a Focused Visit in June 2023.

This is an important step toward our shared goal to restore fiscal integrity to Henderson State University.


August 18, 2022

First week of semester update

Dear Members of the Campus Community,

As we mark our fourth day of class, I want to thank all of you for the work you are doing to welcome and serve students. Students First is not just an initiative, it is how we help students transition to campus, forge purposeful relationships, make sure that their needs are heard and met, and continue to build a culture of student success.

The Reddie Spirit is strong, as was evident at the Pine Tree Assembly on Monday night and in the ways that we continue to persevere despite the challenges of financial exigency and a conversion to the Banner system. Implementing a new enterprise system in such a short timeframe has not been ideal but will lead to improved services for students longer term. We are continuing to apply aid to student accounts as we track toward Census Day on August 29 and are working on a transition plan for transcripts in the coming weeks. 


August 9, 2022

As of July 31, 2022, the expected annualized future salary savings for vacated positions is $7,038,548 plus $1,970,793 in estimated fringe benefits.

View savings information by month.

July 7, 2022

Governor Hutchinson, Secretary Key express confidence, support for Henderson's future

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Secretary of Education Johnny Key today expressed confidence and support for Henderson State University’s academic reorganization, partnerships and future that will lead to improved student success in Arkansas.

“Henderson leadership has worked hard to right the ship,” Hutchinson said at a news conference at the State Capitol. “Tough decisions have been made that were not easy and were painful, but necessary for survival of Henderson. We all want to see Henderson succeed.”

The governor said he was grateful to the Arkansas State University System and President Chuck Welch for “stepping up” to support Henderson, which became a member of the system in 2021, and that he wanted to “showcase Henderson and its purpose.”

“Henderson’s singular focus is student success, making college more affordable and developing pathways from kindergarten to college,” Hutchinson said. “I’m proud of the transition and pivot. Survival was a real issue in the past, and Arkansas would be less if it didn’t have Henderson.”


HSU Strategic Positioning Platform

Reimagining Henderson: College that Works for All Students

June 17, 2022

Furloughs will end July 1. This change will be effective with July 15 paychecks. We are projected to end the fiscal year with $3.7-$5 million in cash, which will support summer payroll and help the university transition into the fall semester.


Modified Cash Budget - May 31, 2022

May 5, 2022

The Arkansas State University System Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve the chancellor's financial exigency recommendations today.


Chancellor's Recommendations

Financial Exigency Committee's Recommendations

Academic Restructuring FAQ

May 2, 2022

The Arkansas State University System Board of Trustees will consider financial exigency recommendations prepared by the Chancellor and the Financial Exigency Committee on Thursday, May 5 at 10 a.m. Connection information will be available at in advance of the meeting.

Dr. Ambrose's Message

Guide to Human Resources Transitions

April 20, 2022

Dear Members of the Campus Community,

As we work toward next steps of our financial exigency process, I am sharing an overview of our progress and challenges, further defining decision-making metrics and tools, and providing a timeline of actions needed to build a sustainable, student success-driven model for Henderson State University.

As communicated in the Academic Performance and Program Viability document, decisions concerning academic programs will be based on four primary metrics:

  • Net cost basis of delivery and overall net revenue production
  • Unit-based cost of instruction defined at the seat level
  • Student success rates with weighted priority for degree completion
  • Alignment to community-based needs and 21st century durable skills

Today, I want to provide access to dashboards and additional context for the first three metrics that are being utilized to evaluate academic programs in the financial exigency process.

Read Dr. Ambrose's message and access the dashboards.

Dashboards FAQ


April 2022 Activity: Modified Cash Budget

March 2022 Activity: Modified Cash Budget

ASU System Board Resolution (March 28, 2022)

Reimagining Henderson: Academic Performance and Program Viability

February 2022 Activity: Modified Cash Budget 

Letter from Higher Learning Commission

Response to Higher Learning Commission


Human Resources FAQ

Student FAQ

Fiscal Responsibility and Financial Exigency Process Next Steps FAQ

Position Management Process FAQ


Letter to Faculty Senate (February 9, 2022)

Responses to Faculty Senate Questions

Henderson's Strategic Resource Allocation Model

FY2022 HSU Modified Cash Budget

January 2022 Activity

FY2023 HSU Modified Cash Budget without HEERF

Presentation from Campus Conversation on February 3, 2022

Cost Savings Survey Results as of January 28, 2022

Position Justification Form

Rapid Response Team Cost Savings Survey

Modified Cash Budget Pro Forma (Unaudited)

Chancellor Messages

December 9, 2021

January 10, 2022

January 14, 2022

January 20, 2022

January 27, 2022

February 3, 2022

February 9, 2022

March 3, 2022

March 9, 2022

March 18, 2022

March 28, 2022

April 20, 2022

June 17, 2022