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NewsMarch 16, 2023

Chancellor Updates Campus on University’s Role in Region, UA System

Written By: Terisa Riley

Dear colleagues and students,


We have had a very active two weeks on the campus of the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith. I believe a short summary before a well-deserved break was due.

Economic and Workforce Developer Kudos: A core value of the university is contributing to the development of a well-educated workforce, and I received kudos from employers who attended the All-Majors and Health Professions Career Fairs. They were incredibly impressed with the students and alumni who attended and indicated that our career fairs are their favorite to attend due in part to organization and professional approach of the leaders of the Babb Center for Career Services at UAFS. Employers said our students asked excellent questions, brought well developed resumes, and were professional in their dress and manner. Thank you to all faculty and staff who mentored and advised students who attended.

UA System Board of Trustees: This week, Vice Chancellor Tucker and I attended the meeting of the Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas. Below is a summary of the activity related to UAFS:

  • On the unanimous consent agenda, modifications to the curriculum in the traditional and accelerated options in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing were approved. The changes will move forward to be reviewed by the Arkansas Coordinating Board of Higher Education.
  • The Board of Trustees approved an Energy Cost Savings Contract (ESCO) with Bernhard for $5.2 million which will provide HVAC upgrades to improve indoor air quality at the Baldor Technology Center and the Math and Science Building as well as replacing a defective chiller for the Campus Center. The university will use $2 million in HEERF funds and approximately $3.2 million in campus reserves to fund the project.
  • During the meeting, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to name the UAFS Athletics Hall of Fame in honor of Coach Louis Whorton. Coach Whorton was the head women’s basketball coach at the university for 30 years and is celebrated as the winningest coach in our basketball history with 648 wins. Coach Whorton passed away in December 2021, so this honor will be shared with his wife, Pat, and their family during the Coach Louis Whorton UAFS Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet in April 2023. 
  • UAFS was selected to host the meeting of the Board of Trustees on November 15-16 (Wed-Thurs), 2023. I look forward to hosting members of the board along with representatives from each of our campuses and divisions.

Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Project: Ebbing Air Force Base in Fort Smith has been selected as the location for the mission to train foreign allies on the F-16 and F-35 jet fighter planes. As chair of the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce, I was honored to work on this project with elected officials and community leaders.  I had the honor of representing UAFS in conversations with military representatives from Singapore, Poland, Germany, and Finland during which we demonstrated the capacity of our university to offer credit and non-credit programs. Our Military-Friendly and Military Spouse-Friendly designations clearly show our commitment to the success of active duty, military, their families, and Veteran students. This new mission will greatly diversify our community and provide a substantial economic impact currently estimated at $1 billion per year. The next 2 to 3 years will result in explosive growth for our region, and we are happy to provide both higher education and economic development support for our new neighbors.  For more information about our community preparations, please check out this website:  

I hope you have a safe and restful spring break. 

As always, I am honored to be your chancellor.  

Terisa C. Riley, Ph.D.

As always, I am honored to be your chancellor.  

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