A familiar face has returned to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock to become the new vice chancellor for finance and administration.
Steve McClellan, who served as the associate vice chancellor for finance at UALR from 2007 to 2013, started his new role on March 1. He replaced Charles Cansler III, who left UALR to accept a position in industry. As a self-described “man who likes challenges,” McClellan is ready to take any and all responsibilities at UALR. In addition to finance and administration, McClellan will oversee areas including human relations, facilities management, public safety, information technology, and procurement. “I am excited about being at UALR during this time,” McClellan said. “Education is going through a change right now, more so than it did in the last 30 years of my career, and I am excited to be a part of that change to come up with ways to approach this new time of education.”
In addition to his supervisory and leadership responsibilities, McClellan wants to do everything he can to support enrollment and retention efforts on campus and to increase employee productivity through stress reduction. “I want to find a way to reduce some of the stress in our offices. I hear over and over how stressed people are. What does that have to do with finance? A happy person is a more productive person, and happiness, just like stress, is very contagious. I also want to find a way to enhance communication across campus,” he said.
McClellan returned to UALR from a three-year post as vice president for finance and administration and chief financial officer at his alma mater, Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi.
“An opportunity opened up for me to go back to my alma mater and the town where my aging parents lived,” he said. “I wanted to help my alma mater improve its financial stability, and I wanted to help my parents for a few years, and I think I did both. My father recently passed away, so I was very fortunate to have that time with them,” he said.
Prior to his first position at UALR, McClellan served nearly 25 years at Northwest Mississippi Community College, holding various accounting, business, and leadership roles, including 13 years as vice president for fiscal affairs.
McClellan earned both his bachelor’s degree in accounting and master’s of business administration from Delta State University. He and Ladye Ann, his wife of 30 years, have two adult children. McClellan is also an avid outdoorsman who enjoys cycling, hunting, fishing, and canoeing. When McClellan eventually decides to retire from UALR, he hopes he will be able to fulfill his lifelong dream of teaching college classes. “Coming out of graduate school, I wanted to teach. That was my goal and what my faculty advisors were recommending,” he said. “After working in administration at Northwest (Mississippi Community College) for about five years, I actually resigned once so I could teach at a lower paying job. I was at one of our branch campuses three days, and they recruited me back to finance. I have not given up on my dream of teaching. My plan now is to wait until I retire and to teach part time if anyone wants me then.”
For now, McClellan enjoys helping students achieve the dream of obtaining a college education.
“I like to feel that I am making a difference in the educational opportunities that are offered to students,” he said. “I don’t always like the headaches that sometimes come with my job, but I do like to think I am making a difference in the opportunities that people have to enhance their education and better themselves.”