UA-Ft. Smith Students Concerned Over Issues Raised by Legislator

OCTOBER 12, 2006 - Posted at 11:24 a.m. CDT

FORT SMITH, AR - University of Arkansas at Fort Smith students are expressing concern over questions raised by a legislator over how the school became a four-year institution.

Republican state Senator Dave Bisbee of Rogers says the effort to convert what was Westark Community College to a four-year school was unconstitutional.

The university says Bisbee is misreading the law and that UAFS is on sound footing.  But some students are wondering if Bisbee's questions won't hurt the value of their degrees.

Student Brooke Whitney says the controversy is frustrating to witness.  But she says people in the state are aware of UAFS and that her degree will be recognized as being from the UA system.

Student body president Jeremy Wynn says he wonders why a legislator from Rogers is so concerned with a campus in Fort Smith.

Bisbee says officials improperly shifted a property tax that funded the community college to a sales tax when UAFS was founded.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)