Massanelli Named Vice Chancellor for Governmental Relations

Randy Massanelli
Photo Submitted

Randy Massanelli

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Randy Massanelli, the state director for U.S. Senator Mark Pryor, has been named vice chancellor for governmental relations by University of Arkansas Chancellor G. David Gearhart, effective July 1.

Richard Hudson, who currently holds the vice chancellor position, is retiring July 31.

The vice chancellor for governmental relations coordinates University of Arkansas activities related to government organizations on a local, state and federal level and works with civic organizations and our state and congressional delegations in Arkansas and Washington, D.C.

“Randy comes to us highly regarded, with a strong track record of accomplishment working with all levels of government and all political parties,” Gearhart said. “His experience with Arkansas politics will help us not only continue, but deepen, our relationships with our state lawmakers. My charge to the search committee was to find someone who could not only foster good relations with elected officials at the local, state and federal level, but who would also be effective in making the case and building support for our institutional priorities. The committee advanced three incredibly qualified finalists, each with strong credentials and experience. It was a close race and at the end of the day, Randy edged out the others with his federal government experience. Richard’s are big shoes to fill, and I’m confident Randy will ensure a smooth transition.”  

“I am humbled and honored to be selected as the next vice chancellor for governmental relations,” Massanelli said. “I am proud to be working for my alma mater and am eager to do my best for the university and our state.”

In addition to Massanelli, the other two finalists were:                                            

  • Mac Campbell, a former aide to Sen. Blanche Lincoln and deputy staff director of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.
  • Sen. Johnny Key (R-Mountain Home), who served in the Arkansas House of Representatives from 2003-2009 and in the state Senate since 2009.

Massanelli has served as state director for U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor since 2002. In that capacity, he is responsible for public affairs, communications and messaging as well as field and outreach activities with constituents. Prior to that, he served as Pryor’s campaign manager in 2001-2002 and was director of operations for the Arkansas attorney general’s office. Massanelli had an extensive military career in the U.S. Army, earning many honors including the Bronze Star for service in the Persian Gulf War and numerous service and commendation medals. He is a graduate of the University of Arkansas with a bachelor of science in business administration.

The finalists each met separately with the chancellor, as well as a number of other vice chancellors and other individuals on and off campus.

“I’d like to thank the search committee members for their due diligence and thorough effort researching, vetting and narrowing the talented pool of candidates,” said Chancellor G. David Gearhart. “I appreciate the time, service and sincerity with which they approached their task.”

The search committee included the following members:

  • Kathy Van Laningham, vice provost for institutional research, committee chair
  •  Jerry Adams, president and CEO, Arkansas Research Alliance
  • Lynda Coon, professor, department of history
  • Steve Higginbothom, former state senator, District 16
  • Stacy Leeds, dean, School of Law
  • Katy Nelson-Ginder, assistant vice chancellor for university development
  • Charles Robinson, vice chancellor for diversity and community
  • Melissa Rust, vice president for university relations, University of Arkansas System
  • Gary Smith, president, Glass Erectors

Of the 33 total applicants for the position, five were invited to campus to interview with the search committee, and three were chosen from among that group as finalists.



Laura Jacobs, associate vice chancellor
University Relations

Kathy Van Laningham, vice provost for planning
Office of the Provost

Editor-selected comments will be published below. No abusive material, personal attacks, profanity, spam or material of a similar nature will be considered for publication.

comments powered by Disqus


Arkansas Teacher Corps Honors Graduates, Welcomes New Fellows

The Arkansas Teacher Corps honored Fellows who completed their three-year teaching commitments in high-need schools in Arkansas at a celebration May 20 in Little Rock.

Assistant Professor Invited to Attend NIH Workshop on Branched-Chain Amino Acid Metabolism

Jamie I. Baum, an assistant professor of nutrition in the Department of Food Science, will join key scientists at a workshop identifying research opportunities and gaps.

U of A Ranked Among 'Best for Vets' Schools by Military Times

Military-friendly campus culture, academic quality and outcomes for veterans are key values in selecting the top 130 four-year institutions.

College of Education and Health Professions Chooses New Administrators

The College of Education and Health Professions will have several new faces in administrative positions at the University of Arkansas, Dean Michael Miller announced.

NSF Site Visit for Power Optimization for Electro-Thermal Systems Center

Five UA faculty and 14 students attended the Power Optimization for Electro-Thermal Systems Center National Science Foundation site visit at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Newswire Daily