A few months ago, the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff received the biggest donation in school history from Simmons Bank — a $2.5 million gift in support of upgrades to its athletics programs and facilities. No one could have guessed that the announcement would be just the beginning, and perhaps a footnote, in a summer of success for the Golden Lions community.
Arkansas Baptist College faces more scrutiny over its finances and leadership, after an Arkansas Democrat-Gazette investigation reveals that its foundation is sharing a tax-exempt status with the institution after losing its federal 501(c)3 designation in 2013. [Read more…] about Arkansas Baptist Foundation Financial Status in Question
Former Arkansas Baptist College President Joseph Jones lays out the history, details and overview of an HBCU likely facing its final days.
Trustees claim a lack of transparency about finances, enrollment as school faces serious questions following a leadership transition.
[Read more…] about Arkansas Baptist Fires President Joseph Jones
In this work, the research team demonstrated the first set of optically pumped GeSn edge-emitting lasers that covers an unprecedented broad wavelength range from 2 to 3 micron and higher efficiency than all previous reports. This work is an essential step towards obtaining high performance and cost-effective Si-based monolithic integrated mid-infrared laser sources.
The technology will improve not only lasers, but also detectors in a wide range of applications such as lasers for medical use, infrared detections, and in optical communications. The development of this technology will undoubtedly lead to opportunities for commercialization of the technical innovations to significantly contribute Arkansas economic development.
The American Council on Education (ACE) recently announced Arkansas Baptist College among the 11 collegiate institutions invited to participate in the 2017 Internationalization Laboratory Cohort.
The Internationalization Laboratory is an invitational learning community of the American Council on Education (ACE) that assists participating colleges and universities to achieve comprehensive internationalization. To help institutions reach their goal, ACE guides the process of reviewing the array of international activities; articulating student-learning goals for international learning; assessing progress towards those goals; and developing a strategic plan to broaden and deepen internationalization.
Over the last eleven years, 116 institutions from all sectors have successfully participated in this intensive program. ACE limits the number of institutions in each year’s cohort so that everyone receives an appropriate level of assistance for finding new ways to internationalize teaching, learning, research, and service. Arkansas Baptist College and Clark-Atlanta University will be among the first private Historically Black Colleges and Universities to participate in the lab.
“We are delighted to welcome Arkansas Baptist to the 2017 cohort of the Internationalization Laboratory,” said Robin Matross Helms, Ph.D. ACE Director for the Center for Internationalization and Global Engagement.
A group of faculty and staff will join other colleagues from the other ten institutions around the country and world at the ACE opening meeting in Washington, D.C. late August.
“Participating in this internationalization lab will reposition Arkansas Baptist College towards becoming a global campus by taking an internal and external look at our capacity to adapt to needs of globalization,” said Dr. Arkansas Baptist President Joseph Jones. “We are excited to enter into this intellectual space with other institutions and look forward to providing our students, faculty and staff a broader view of education through internationalization.”
Participation in the cohort provides institutions the opportunity to take part in an international learning community with regular access to expert consultation and the opportunity to learn from the experiences of institutions with which ACE has worked on internationalization.
ACE is the major coordinating body for the nation’s colleges and universities. Representing nearly 1,800 college and university presidents and the executives at related associations, ACE is the only major higher education association to represent all types of U.S. accredited, degree-granting institutions: two-year and four-year, public and private. The Council’s strength lies in their loyal and diverse base of member institutions, 75 percent of which have been with ACE for over 10 years. ACE convenes representatives from all sectors to tackle the toughest higher education challenges, with a focus on improving access and preparing every student to succeed.
Five public and private historically black colleges and universities will work to recruit and train black males to serve as secondary teachers in underserved cities and towns, thanks in part to a three-year, $1.5 million grant awarded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, which helped to organize the training consortium.
Southern University, Tuskegee University, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Alcorn State University and Claflin University are the lead institutions in Project Pipeline Repair: Restoring Minority Male Participation and Persistence in Educator Preparation Programs (Project PR). The program will support academic development, mentoring, and skill training for black males beginning in their junior year of high school, to foster interest and talent in secondary teaching career paths.
Officials say the program will work to eliminate social and economic barriers which limit college entry and completion and contribute to dismal statistics of underrepresentation of black men in teaching. According to SHEEO press release, only two percent of all secondary teachers in public school systems are black men.
The partnership is the second major secondary education initiative involving historically black colleges and universities in the last six months. In October, Virginia State University and Albany State University were announced as part of a $47 million national initiative to help in training principals in underresourced areas.
Former NBA first-round pick and all-American collegian Todd Day was last week named as the new head coach of Philander Smith College’s men’s basketball team.
Day, who led the University of Arkansas Razorbacks to a Final Four appearance and became the team’s all-time leading scorer, comes to Little Rock after coaching stints in Amateur Athetic Union leagues, and high schools in his native Memphis.
“I felt like coaching on the college level at Philander Smith College was a natural next step in my career,” said Day. “Little Rock is like my second home, and it feels good to be able to come back and play a significant role in this community.”
Philander Smith President Roderick Smothers praised Day’s global exposure to the sport, and said that he will be able to offer student athletes a unique perspective on remaining as a competitive program in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference.
“Todd Day brings a wealth of knowledge and experiences to the Men’s Basketball program at Philander Smith College. The game of basketball has taken him all over the world, so he enjoys a unique perspective that will benefit our student-athletes and serve to strengthen our athletic program.” he said.
Arkansas Baptist College President Fitz Hill will resign this fall after ten years at the helm of the private black college in Little Rock. Hill, who had four years remaining on his contract, will assume control of the university’s foundation, and leaves with the full support of the school’s board of trustees.
Hill announced his resignation this week on Facebook, saying that his tenure has been ‘a blessing’ to himself and the campus community.
This has been an awesome experience and God has placed it in my heart that it’s time to serve ABC in a different role. Excellent leadership can come in a form of obedient followership. As I transition to new roles at ABC, I do so with a determined focus to help advance our College from Good to Great. My new venture excites me much like 10 years ago when I first started at ABC. I thank God for his covering and protection during my tenure. I have witnessed the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows, and I have been blessed through it all. I have loved blessing our students and the community we call home. I’m going to try and elevate and accelerate the blessings to our students and community over the next five years.
The school, which has made historic gains in enrollment and fundraising during Hill’s leadership, is also on show-cause accreditation status with the Higher Learning Commission, and faces heightened cash monitoring from the federal Department of Education, which does not give student aid funds directly to the school, but allows the school to apply for reimbursement of tuition awarded from institutional cash reserves.
Trustees said the resignation was solely Hill’s decision, and that his leadership of the college has exceeded expectations. From ArkansasOnline.com:
When asked if Hill’s leaving the president’s office was a board decision, (Trustee Richard) Mays replied: “No, no. no. He’s too talented and has done too much to bring these communities together in this city. We think this move would ultimately be extremely beneficial.”