Higher Education

Arkansas House

A bill that would allow college-level student athletes in Arkansas to make money off of their name, voice, signature, photograph or likeness passed its first legislative hurdle on Tuesday.

The House Education Committee by a voice vote, with no dissenting votes heard, approved House Bill 1671, which would create the "Student-Athlete Publicity Rights Act."

Arkansas Senate

A bill that would have widened an existing law regarding free speech on college campuses in Arkansas stalled Monday due to a lack of action. 

Senate Bill 191, which would have created the “Free Thought In Higher Education Act,” failed to advance the Arkansas Senate Education Committee when no member seconded a motion to pass the bill.

The Arkansas Razorbacks and the ASU Red Wolves will face off in a 2025 game as part of a new agreement for War Memorial Stadium announced Wednesday.

An agreement to keep Arkansas Razorback football games at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock includes a long-awaited matchup with Arkansas State University in 2025, and two games with the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

The UA has signed an amendment to an existing agreement with the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism to bring two additional Razorback football games to War Memorial in future seasons and extend the overall agreement through the 2025 season.

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

To make up an $11 million budget shortfall, UA Little Rock Chancellor Dr. Christina Drale has embarked on a rare path of “retrenchment” aimed at re-evaluating the school’s programs, personnel and mission. At this juncture, it may be easier to say what will remain versus what may go away.

Dr. Alex Biris, director and chief scientist at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock's Center for Integrative Nanotechnology Services.
UA Little Rock

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock has been awarded a $5.6 million grant to advance technology with the potential to regenerate bones. The funding from the U.S. Department of Defense goes toward work on an implantable medical device known as NuCress scaffold, which has been in development since 2006.

It holds the promise of helping people with what have been considered untreatable injuries experience bone regeneration in places where parts of a bone are missing. In particular, researchers say it could help people avoid having limbs amputated because of injuries.

Henderson State University

The Henderson State University Board of Trustees voted unanimously 7-0 in Arkadelphia Thursday to join the Arkansas State University System and proceed with the development of a merger agreement. The move is subject to the approval of the ASU Board of Trustees and the Higher Learning Commission, as well as action by the Arkansas General Assembly.

ASU President Chuck Welch said the target for finalizing the transition would be no later than Jan. 1, 2021. He was president of Henderson State from July 2008 to April 2011 immediately prior to becoming president of the ASU System.

UA Little Rock

Less than two weeks after University of Arkansas at Little Rock Chancellor Andrew Rogerson announced his resignation, his acting replacement will now serve officially in that role.

The Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas System on Thursday unanimously accepted system President Donald Bobbitt's recommendation to name Christina Drale to the position. Drale had been named acting chancellor following Rogerson's resignation on Sept. 1.

In a news release, Drale thanked Bobbitt for the appointment.

Harding University

Private colleges and universities in Arkansas are having to change their strategies for recruiting students amid a reduction in prospective students. A number of factors are forcing the schools to rethink their business plans and marketing. The top factor is simply that Americans are having fewer children.

Arkansas Business Editor Gwen Moritz wrote about that for a story in this week's issue:

UALR Chancellor Andrew Rogerson
Chris Hickey / KUAR News

UA Little Rock Chancellor Andrew Rogerson announced his resignation Friday, after three years serving in the role. In a statement, Rogerson said his final day leading the institution will be Sept. 1.

“While the institution faces a number of challenges, I have been confident that the university can rebound and continue to serve its unique mission as a comprehensive, urban research university. However, it has become clear that it would be best for me to step aside and allow new leadership to determine the best path forward toward that goal," Rogerson said. 

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

A crowd of about 500 people gathered at Arkansas Tech University in Russellville Tuesday to protest the naming of a scholarship in honor of a former history professor who's been accused of Holocaust denial.

The protest, which white supremacists had threatened to attend, came after the school declined to remove the name of Michael Link from a scholarship fund named for himself and his mother. 

Sarah Kellogg / KUAR

An Arkansas House committee has passed legislation allowing students who meet the requirements for state residency or have lived in Arkansas for a certain period of time to qualify for in-state tuition at a state-supported university.

In order to qualify, the person must be an Arkansas resident under current code or have lived in the state for three years at the time of applying for the college, and either graduated from a public or private high school in Arkansas or received the equivalent of a high school diploma in the state.

Sarah Kellogg

A bill that lifts restrictions on free speech policies by universities has passed the Senate Education Committee.

The bill would, among other things, eliminate free speech zones on university campuses and instead designate most outdoor areas of a campus as a place for members of a campus community to express themselves. According to the bill, a "campus community" consists of students, faculty, administrators, staff and invited guests of the university such as speakers.

Sarah Kellogg - KUAR News

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock officially has a downtown space where visitors can learn about the university, attend occasional lectures and view a mural painted in 1935.

The university held its opening ceremony Wednesday afternoon, which featured speeches from UA Little Rock officials and the mayor.

UA Little Rock Chancellor Dr. Andrew Rogerson spoke on how since he began his tenure over two years ago, there was talk about the necessity of a downtown space, especially as the only four-year public research university in the city.