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Warden to oversee higher education


I am pleased to announce that Dr. Ken Warden will serve as the commissioner of the Arkansas Division of Higher Education. Dr. Warden’s extensive leadership experience in higher education makes him the clear choice to serve in this role as we usher in a bold new chapter in Arkansas education. Together, we will continue expanding access to quality education from grade school to higher education – preparing students to take on high-paying jobs in the workforce and unleashing a new era of opportunity for every Arkansan.

“I am humbled and honored to serve as the commissioner of the Arkansas Division of Higher Education,” Warden said. “I look forward to working closely with Governor Sanders and Secretary Oliva as we empower Arkansans with education – paving a path to prosperity for all Arkansans. Governor Sanders has made education reform the hallmark of her administration, and I am ready to get to work with her and the talented team at the Department of Education as we begin a new day in Arkansas education.”

Dr. Ken Warden biography: Dr. Ken Warden has worked for the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith for the past 9 years, most recently serving as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Compliance and Legislative Affairs. Dr. Warden previously served as the Dean of the College of Applied Science and Technology for six years and as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Workforce Development for one year.

He also spent 17 years working with Arkansas Tech University – Ozark. Over the course of his time there, he served as the Department Chair of Automotive Service Technology, Business and Industry Coordinator, and Chief Officer for Business and Community Outreach.

His breadth of work in higher education is extensive, having worked in adult education, two-year colleges, and university systems. He has experience in program design, project management, community partnerships, career pathways, grant implementation, and senior level academic leadership.

His research interests are focused on adult learners and non-traditional students, credit and non-credit workforce aligned programs, student retention, and sustainability initiatives on college campuses.

Dr. Ken Warden holds a Doctorate in Education in Workforce Development from the University of Arkansas, a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from Arkansas Tech University, a Bachelor of Science in Vocational Education from the University of Arkansas, and an Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Service from Westark Community College, now University of Arkansas – Fort Smith.

Gov. Sarah Sanders

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