University Document Provides Transparency and Accountability to the People of Arkansas
Progress report shows progress toward 15 key university goalsMonday, November 19, 2012
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The document Providing Transparency and Accountability to the People of Arkansas, first published in 2009, is one way the University of Arkansas holds itself accountable to students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends and all Arkansans. The latest edition, Transparency and Accountability to the People of Arkansas: A Progress Report 2012, is now available and includes updates on the university’s progress toward 15 institutional goals set out by Chancellor G. David Gearhart. It also shows how the university plans to meet its aspirational goal of becoming a Top 50 Public Research University by 2021.
“Transparency and Accountability 2012 is an assessment of the University of Arkansas today — our strengths and our weaknesses — and a bold announcement of the institution we aspire to be by 2021,” said Gearhart. “Achieving the goals laid out in this document won’t be easy, but we believe that as an institution we are uniquely poised to build upon and even accelerate the phenomenal trajectory of the last 10 years.”
Serving as a progress report, Transparency and Accountability 2012 provides an indication of whether the university has already met or exceeded specific goals or made sufficient, modest or insufficient progress toward reaching the goals originally established in 2008.
“The Transparency and Accountability 2012 document is incredible because it shows the dedication of the Chancellor's Executive Committee to not only remain transparent, but it also shares the goals and the successes of the university that ultimately comprise their vision for moving it forward,” said Tori Pohlner, president of the Associated Student Government.
The university has already met or exceeded two of its stated goals — relating to enrollment and diversity. In the summer of 2009, a goal was set to increase enrollment to 22,050 by 2015 and to 25,000 students by 2021. At the time those goals seemed realistic but ambitious. This fall, enrollment topped 24,500 — an increase of nearly 28 percent in four years — exceeding the original goal set for 2015 three years early. In the fall of 2011, the university reached its 2015 goal of 16 percent minority enrollment. With a record minority enrollment of more than 4,200 students in 2012, the university’s minority enrollment now tops 17 percent.
Sufficient progress was noted on 10 of the remaining 13 goals included in progress report, with modest progress on three goals. None of the goals were characterized as experiencing insufficient progress.
“I’m extremely proud of the progress the University of Arkansas has made in each of the 15 goals,” said Jeremy Battjes, director of university recreation and current chair of the Staff Senate. “The University of Arkansas offers so much to students and continues to be a great place to work.”
“This progress report is a very comprehensive and enlightening document,” said Tim Kral, professor of biological sciences and current chair of the Faculty Senate. “The biggest challenge will be balancing our ‘Students First’ focus with the goal of becoming a Top 50 public research institution.”
“Our goals are ambitious, but universities do not break into the ranks of the Top 50 public research universities by wishful thinking alone,” Gearhart said. “Many of the initiatives presented in Transparency and Accountability 2012 will take several years to accomplish and will depend on higher levels of public and private support as well as a strong commitment from all of our stakeholders—students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends and state policymakers.”
The university will provide regular updates on the progress being made and the challenges the university faces relating to the goals outlined in Transparency and Accountability 2012 as well as publishing subsequent editions of the progress report in 2015, 2018 and 2021.
John Diamond, associate vice chancellor
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