UA System board OKs concurrent enrollment program at UAPB


LITTLE ROCK — The University of Arkansas System’s Board of Trustees on Thursday approved the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff’s request to start a concurrent enrollment program for area high school students.

The board also signed off on its building and grounds committee’s approval of requests related to construction projects in Fort Smith, Monticello and Fayetteville.

Meeting via conference call, the 10-member board approved UAPB’s request from a program that will allow area high school students to take courses for which they will receive both high school and college credit. Tuition will be charged, although scholarships may be available to help students cover the costs.

In addition to helping students transition to college, the program is expected to boost UAPB enrollment by heightening its profile in the community. Several universities in the UA System have similar programs.

UA System President Donald Bobbitt told the board the program will be evaluated after five years, and if its enrollment and budget goals have not been met, it will be discontinued.

“I think the more we can do for UAPB the better off we’ll all be,” said board member John Goodson, whose motion to approve the request carried in a unanimous vote.

Also receiving the committee’s approval was a request from UAPB to purchase a home in Foxborough Estates in Pine Bluff for Chancellor Laurence Alexander for $350,000. Bobbitt said the previous chancellor’s home has been razed because of structural and other problems.

The committee gave UAPB the go-ahead to accept the donation of four vacant lots on East Harding Avenue and to purchase two tracts of land adjoining Walker Lake for $45,000, which will complete the university’s acquisition of land around the lake.

The committee approved the selection of DMS Wireless of Little Rock as network engineer for a project to link the three campuses of the University of Arkansas at Monticello via broadband microwave towers.

“This is both a project of importance to the campus but also to the state,” Bobbitt said. “In many parts of the Delta, broadband connections are, let’s just say lacking at the moment, and it’s hoped that this might serve as a demonstration of how high-speed broadband could be brought to large areas by using microwave towers as opposed to physical cable in the ground.”

The committee approved the selection of Flintco/Alberici Construction of Springdale and St. Louis as construction manager for the planned Foundation Seed Facilities at the Rice Research and Extension Center in Stuttgart.

The committee approved the selection of Clark Contractors of Little Rock as construction manager for the planned Student Recreation and Wellness Center on the campus of the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith.

The committee approved the selection of deMx architecture of Fayetteville and Treanor Architects of Lawrence, Kan., as the architect and engineer, respectively, for the planned Civil Engineering Research Education Center at the Arkansas Research and Technology Park on the Fayetteville campus of the University of Arkansas.

The project has a total estimated cost of $15 million. Design fees for the first phase of construction, which is to be completed by December 2015, are estimated at $190,000.

The University of Arkansas in Fayetteville received the committee’s approval to name its new athletic training center the Fowler Family Baseball and Track Training Center. Wallace and Jama Fowler donated $2.5 million for the project.