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ChancellorNovember 10, 2023

UAFS Celebrates Involvement in State Initiatives

Written By: Terisa Riley

Happy weekend, colleagues and students. 

There are so many things to celebrate at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith, and I appreciate having this venue to share some of it with you.

Veteran's Day: I want to thank the employees and students who have served in our armed forces. Your service has protected the freedoms we enjoy, and you are our heroes!

Staff Open Forum: Staff Senate will host an open forum with campus leaders on Monday, November 13 in the Windgate Theatre from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Many questions have been submitted in advance of the meeting, and we hope to answer as many as possible during our time together. I appreciate everyone who submitted questions and look forward to our conversation. If you have questions about the open forum, please contact Staff Senate Chair Meighan Pendergrass at

College Cost Transparency Initiative: Under the leadership of Vice Chancellor Lee Krehbiel and Director of Financial Aid Karen Jeffers, the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith has signed a letter of commitment as a partner institution with the College Cost Transparency Initiative. The first action is to communicate student financial aid offer letters to current and prospective students so that they are clear, accurate, and transparent. This commitment does not require us to make very many changes to our offer letters, but new formatting and content will be available to our students as we roll out Workday Student, the new student information system which will replace Banner in 2024. The first financial aid offers to be processed in Workday student will be available next school year for students joining UAFS in fall 2025. If you would like to learn more about this initiative, you may view the following: College Cost Transparency Initiative website and this article in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

University of Arkansas Workforce Development Initiatives: UAFS is a major contributor to workforce development efforts across the state of Arkansas. As a result, we have been invited to join a collection of colleges and universities in the UA System to create and participate in the University of Arkansas Workforce Response and Training Center. The purpose of the Center is to engage in strategic partnerships that provide workforce education to our communities. We have a wide range of non-credit training and for-credit education that occurs on campus as well as through the UAFS Center for Economic Development and at the Peak Innovation Center. We are excited to focus on the following initiatives: credit for prior learning, seeking state funding incentives for workforce training, collaborate on grant funding submissions, increasing funding for secondary career centers, and encouraging full use of Workforce Challenge and AR Futures Scholarships. I appreciate the leadership of Mr. Kendall Ross, Executive Director of the UAFS Center for Economic Development, and Ms. Amanda Seidenzahl, Director of the Western Arkansas Technical Center, who are joining me in representing UAFS in these initiatives.

As a reminder, the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees will be on campus on Wednesday and Thursday of this week. The last time we hosted them was in 2018, so it is an honor to have them on campus.

Please remember that employees and students have free admission to our athletic events. Women's basketball will play at home tonight at 6 p.m. I hope to see you there. Go Lions! 🦁 

Have a wonderful weekend!

Terisa Riley 


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