Chancellor Steinmetz Offers Roadmap for the U of A's Future
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – U of A Chancellor Joseph E. Steinmetz delivered his first “State of the University” message to the campus community on Thursday, Sept. 14, beginning with the statement that “this is a fantastic time to be at the University of Arkansas.”
He pointed to recent successes: record enrollment that shows stabilized growth; a small improvement in the U of A’s ranking by U.S. News; and particularly cited the recent $120 million gift to the School of Art from the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation.
He quickly moved on, however, to priorities for the coming academic year and beyond, including details for ways that various projects will be funded and measured to be sure they are successful.
For example, he talked about generating $13.5 million for this year’s budget by re-allocating funds from central administration and the various academic entities, enrollment growth and contributions from athletics. That money is being used to increase faculty and staff salaries, developing a fund to support interdisciplinary research, investing in programs to support student success and working to enhance the economic development of the state.
He made it clear that these are first steps in the U of A’s strategic plan for academics, detailing some of the actions intended to fulfill the university’s eight guiding priorities.
The chancellor discussed the practical reasons for the various actions, but added another reason these goals are important.
“They are an expression of our values as an institution and as people,” he said. “We believe deeply in our mission to better humanity – starting with the lives of each and every person who enrolls here. We uplift the people of Arkansas through increased education, outreach and opportunity, and the benefits additionally spread across state lines and national borders.”
Steve Voorhies, manager of media relations
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