Longtime UAM administrators are retiring at the end of October
Jay Hughes has announced his retirement as vice chancellor for university operations and student affairs at the University of Arkansas at Monticello effective Oct. 31.
Hughes and his wife, Laura, UAM’s director of counseling, testing and career services, are leaving the university to spend more time with family.
“UAM has been an important part of my life from the time I first strapped on a helmet to play for the Boll Weevils in 1979,” said Jay Hughes. “Laura and I met here as undergraduates and it was the culmination of a long-held dream when we were able to return to campus as part of the university’s staff and senior administration. UAM will always be a part of our lives and close to our hearts.”
UAM Chancellor Karla Hughes called the Hughes’ joint retirement “a loss to the university community. Jay and Laura have played vital roles at this institution for many years and they will be sorely missed. As a member of the executive council, I have come to rely on Jay for his insight, his wisdom and his judgment. Jay and Laura are both people of high character and while I will miss them both, I understand and fully support their decision to put family first.”
Jay Hughes came to UAM in 1979 on a football scholarship and lettered four years as an offensive lineman, earning honorable mention All-America honors as a senior in 1982. He graduated in 1983 with a bachelor of arts degree in history and began a long career in education as a history teacher at Norman Junior High School in Crossett. He held positions as a history teacher at Monticello and Crossett High Schools before pursuing a master’s degree in general counseling at Louisiana Tech University. Hughes received his master’s degree in 1992 before taking a job as a history teacher at Blytheville High School. Two years later, he returned to Monticello as assistant principal of Monticello Junior High School, a post he held until 2000 when he became principal of Monticello Middle School.
In 2005, Jay Hughes became partnership coordinator for the UAM School of Education while also serving as faculty athletics representative for intercollegiate athletics. In 2006, he returned as principal of MMS. In 2009, Hughes joined the UAM administration as dean of students and director of residence life. In 2010, he was named vice chancellor for student affairs and, in 2016, became vice chancellor for university operations and student services.
Laura Hughes holds a bachelor of arts degree in elementary education from UAM and a master’s degree in elementary counseling from Louisiana Tech. She spent 18 years in public school education before joining the UAM staff in 2001 as director of counseling, testing and career services.
“UAM has played such an important role in our family’s life,” Laura Hughes said. “Jay and I met here as undergraduates and have always held a special place in our hearts for this campus. It’s going to be hard to leave but we’re looking forward to the opportunity to spend more time with our children and grandchildren.”