LITTLE ROCK, AR (KAIT) -- Presidents and chancellors from Arkansas' 11 public universities and two university systems on Tuesday issued a 16-point pledge to improve higher education.
The "Compact with the People of Arkansas" is designed to improve accountability, collaboration and cooperation among the state's colleges.
According to Dr. Dan Howard, interim chancellor at Arkansas State University, the compact is "intended to show a unified commitment" by the university leaders to "accomplish a wide array of important objectives needed to prepare students for the rigors of a globally connected and highly competitive marketplace."
The 16 pledges include: prudent fiscal management, clear measures of institutional performance and keeping tuition and fees as low as possible without sacrificing academic quality.
In addition to Howard, others signing the pledge were B. Alan Sugg, president of the University of Arkansas and Joel E. Anderson, chancellor of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
- transparent and accountable decision making
- prudent fiscal management
- clear measures of institutional performance
- doubling, by 2025, the number of college degrees produced by the Compact's partners
- dramatically increasing the number of Arkansas residents with at least a bachelor's degree
- keep tuition and fees as low as possible without sacrificing academic quality
- create a seamless process of transferring academic credits between and among Arkansas' two-year colleges and its four-year public universities
- work with K-12 schools to reduce the need for student remediation in post-secondary education
- adopt environmentally and economically sound business practices
- expand the diversity of the universities' student bodies, faculties and staff
- effectively address military veterans' needs to help ensure their success in the academic environment
- provide the support and resources to all students to help them achieve success
- provide adequate financial aid to help ensure that no student is denied access to one of the universities due to an inability to pay
- increase efforts to accommodate the needs and schedules of non-traditional students
- pursue entrepreneurial ways to generate the revenues necessary to ensure a high-quality learning environment and experience
- increase the universities' role and engagement in economic development
Those signing the pledge:
- Joel E. Anderson, chancellor, University of Arkansas at Little Rock
- Paul B. Beran, chancellor, University of Arkansas at Fort Smith
- Robert C. Brown, president, Arkansas Tech University
- Lawrence A. Davis, chancellor, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
- G. Daniel Howard, interim chancellor, Arkansas State University
- H. Jack Lassiter, chancellor, University of Arkansas at Monticello
- Allen C. Meadors, president, University of Central Arkansas
- Robert L. Potts, interim president, Arkansas State University System
- Dan Rahn, chancellor, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
- B. Alan Sugg, president, University of Arkansas System
- Charles L. Welch, president, Henderson State University
- G. David Gearhart, chancellor of the University of Arkansas
- David Rankin, president, Southern Arkansas University