University of Arkansas Campus Update 2012

Uploaded by UniversityArkansas on 30.11.2012

Campus Update
Abigail Brumfield - Hi, I'm Abigail Brumfield. A senior majoring in Political Science and
Latin American Studies. Afshar Sanati - and I'm Afshar Sanati. A senior
majoring in Finance. We are here today to update you on all the latest developments
from the University of Arkansas campus. AB - First of all, you cannot help but notice
all the construction on campus. In fact we're standing in front of the newly finished Jean
Tyson Childhood Development Study Center. Just one of the many projects completed this
fall. AS - As you can see, it's a fabulous new facility.
We've also recently completed work on the Pi Beta Phi centennial gate. This in addition
to the Epley Center for Health Professions and new fitness and computer centers that
opened in the Union last spring. Mullins library has also undergone a makeover adding 47 new
computers and 38 new wireless access points, new carpeting and furniture and reconfigured
study space to create a learning commons. AB - These projects are part of a broad academic
renewal that will increase the quality and sustainability of our facilities while providing
expanded and upgraded classrooms and lab spaces. Other projects that are currently underway
include the expansion and renovation of Vol Walker and Ozark Halls, the renovation of
Hotz Hall, and the construction of a new football center and new residence facility Founders
Hall. AS - To accommodate the huge growth we've
experienced, the university has also acquired a property previously owned by Southwest Energy
on North College Avenue, a location now being called The Uptown Campus. Two new projects
are also in the early stages of planning: a new general purpose classroom building and
the Joyce and Jim Faulkner Performance Hall. Jim Faulkner - When we were approached about
the performing arts center, we thought about that and they told us what they were going
to do. They were going to renovate the old building. And we said that sounded like a
good idea. And let me tell you, we have a particular reason for giving to the University,
all five of our children, right? Joyce Faulkner - All five.
Jim Faulkner - They studied at the University of Arkansas.
AS - Much of this construction is part of our campus refurbishment plan to address deferred
maintenance needs approved by the Board of Trustees using facilities fees and private
gift support. It has also been driven by several years of unprecedented enrollment growth.
AB - Once again the University set an enrollment record this fall exceeding 24,500 students.
This is a good thing. Arkansas has the second lowest percentage of college graduates in
the country. So getting more Arkansans enrolled and on the path to success is critical to
our state's fortunes. While we anticipate growing to 28,000 students, that will still
be below the SEC average of 30,000 students. AS - It's important that remain the right
size to serve our students and state. We are not sacrificing quality for quantity. We continue
to see an increase in the percentage of students with a GPA of 3.75 or greater and an ACT score
of 30 or above. We've also welcomed multiple national merit scholars to this year's class.
Suzanne McCray - I love being in the honors college lounge. It's a great place, a happening
place, lots of kids everywhere. But this year in particular, it's a great place to be. We
have a record this year in high ability students. AB - Diversity has also increased with significant
gains. We've already reached our goal of sixteen percent diversity and we fully anticipate
of reaching our goal of twenty percent minority enrollment by 2021.
Charles Robinson - We feel that this diversity is necessary for students to have better learning
outcomes, to develop greater comfort levels in dealing with people who are different from
themselves, and it helps to create on this campus a greater sense of family. We want
everyone who is in this state to know that the University of Arkansas reflects the demographics
of this state and welcomes everyone to be part of the Razorback family.
AS - As we continue to diversify our campus community, it's important for us to remember
those who first struggled to gain access to the university. This recently completed sculpture
honors the legacy of Silas Hunt, the first African American student admitted to the University.
It's the first work commissioned by the Public Art Oversight Committee which has been charged
with increasing and diversifying the amount and quality of public art on our campus. We're
also exploring other ways to enhance and beautify our campus landscape.
AS - Meeting the needs of our growing and increasingly diverse student body also means
expanded course and program offerings to insure that we're providing cutting edge curriculum.
Sharon Gaber - In the past several years, we've had the opportunity to add new degree
programs in minor areas to meet the needs of students on campus. We've added a bachelor's
degree in Biomedical Engineering, a PHD in Biomedical Engineering, PHD in Geosciences,
minors at the undergraduate and graduate level in sustainability and a new degree program
online for the RN to Bachelors of Science in Nursing degree program. What we're trying
to do is continue to add degree programs where there's a demand on the part of students and
of industry or potential employers. Tori Pohlner - With nearly 25,000 students
on campus, you might imagine it would be easy to feel lost in the crowd. At UofA's Fayetteville
campus, however, this is not an issue. At the UofA we have an ever increasing demand
for student activities and we strive to meet those interests of each and every student.
With an engaging curriculum, we are meeting the needs of a thriving student population.
AS - We are also welcoming a new dean to campus, Eli Jones, who became dean of the Sam M. Walton
College of Business this summer. Eli Jones - Hi I'm Eli Jones, the new dean
of the Sam M. Walton College of Business, one of our points of pride in the state of
Arkansas and certainly at the UofA. We're nationally ranked, one of the top thirty public
business schools in the country and we're on an upward trajectory. Seven academic departments,
a dozen outreach centers, and 4,200 students enrolled this semester. I'm pleased to be
here and I appreciate your help. AB - Terry Martin was also named interim dean
of the College of Engineering after Dean Ashok Saxena stepped down to pursue and opportunity
in his homeland of India. AS - Expanding our distance, online and continuing
education courses remains a top priority as well. Toward this end, associate professor
Javier Reyes was recently named vice provost for distance education.
Javier Reyes - We know that not every student can come to campus, that's why here at the
University of Arkansas we're bringing the campus to them. Last February Chancellor Gearhart
and Provost Gaber initiated the reorganization of the Global Campus. That started the implementation
of the strategic plan that took the expansion of online programs as a key initiative for
the University. Four years ago we had 2,500 students taking online courses. Right now
we have well over 6,000 students. We're offering 250 unique online courses and we have 20 degrees
that are primarily or fully online. For all this expansion, we're going to be working
with our faculty and the deans to ensure that every course and program offered online by
the University of Arkansas meets the same standards and expectations that all the courses
and programs that we currently have. We want to make sure that every student that wants
to get an education from the University of Arkansas can chose the path that they want
to have to become a Razorback. AB - Nearly 50 tenure track faculty and almost
100 non-tenure track faculty have been hired in the last three years to ensure that teacher
to student ratios remain low. AS - However, ensuring that all of our faculty
and staff are adequately compensated remains a top priority.
Tim Kral - In these tough economic times, the faculty are grateful for the 2-3% raises
in recent years, however we have a long way to go. Average salaries of associate and full
professors on this campus are approximately 10% lower than those at our peer institutions
in the southern university group. Increasing faculty salaries will be necessary to achieve
the status of top 50 public research universities. AB - Despite a desire and commitment to increase
faculty and staff salaries, making changes isn't easy in light of flat state appropriations.
Richard Hudson - Here we go toward another legislative session in 2013. There always
seems to be a big challenge. This year one of the biggies is the 400 million dollar short
fall in Medicaid. So obviously prospects for increased state funding are not great. There
is an idea though that Chancellor Gearhart has that I think it might just catch some
traction. First let me give you a little background, just a quick reminder that we get about half
our money from tuition and about half from the state of Arkansas. So if we get a 3% increase
in state funding and do not raise tuition that's really a 1.5% increase to our budget.
On the other hand if we raise tuition 4% and get no new state money that only gives us
2% new spending power. The Chancellor has suggested maybe a compromise, a modest approach
where the state agrees to give us 2% and we agree to hold tuition down to 2%. That would
give us a true 2% increase and would not seem a dramatic increase for either side of the
budget. AS - The University of Arkansas has continued
to establish itself as a place where important issues of the day are discussed and as a destination
for prominent speakers. AB - Last semester included visits from Nobel
Peace Prize Winner Ellie Wiesel and former president Bill Clinton. And in recognition
for her tremendous impact on our region, state and the world, Alice Walton was also awarded
an honorary degree. AS - Another important event hosted by the
university was Undocumented: Living in the Shadows, a panel discussion that examined
the lives of undocumented immigrants in America. Isabell Castillo - We would just be happy
with a work permit. To be able to stay here legally and work legally and not be scared
every day that we could be deported and separated from our families and be sent back to a country
we hardly remember. AB - The University continues to make great
progress on its climate action plan, which requires it to cut its greenhouse emissions
in half by 2021. Innovative projects like Operation Clean Plate have greatly reduced
food waste on campus and involvement on the Sustainability Consortium have allowed us
to collaborate on issues related to sustainability on a national level.
AS - The University of Arkansas will be celebrating its sesquicentennial in 2021. By that time,
we hope to be established as a clear top 50 public research university. The road map that
will lead us there is the University of Arkansas's 2012 edition of Providing Transparency and
Accountability to the People of Arkansas, otherwise known as the TAP Report.
AB - This document first published in 2009 is one way we hold ourselves publicly accountable
to the people of Arkansas and the students and family who call this university their
institution of choice. Dave Gearhart - I'd like to recommend that
you read this important report. We affectionately call it TAP but it stands for Providing Transparency
& Accountability to the People of Arkansas, A Progress Report. This is a collaborative
effort of students, faculty, administration, to show the university, to show the constituency
of our institution where we're headed, what we want to accomplish in the next 5, 7, even
10 years as we strive to become one of the top 50 public universities in the country.
So please take some time to look through it. It is in fact our guidepost for the future.
AB - And this concludes our campus update. Thank you for watching and giving us the opportunity
to share all the latest news from campus.