The Flagship of the Delta’s crew received an update Tuesday morning from its admiral, who said that if their vessel is to remain on course, they must press forward with purpose.
“‘Thrive or Expire’ is our theme, but I said last year that we needed to adopt a sense of urgency,’’’ University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Chancellor Lawrence A. Davis Jr. said during spring convocation services at the Kenneth L. Johnson Sr. Health Physical Education and Recreation Complex.
Stressing that success is a product of preparation, Davis noted, “When a tornado siren is sounding, you don’t wait until a tornado hits to take cover. A sense of urgency is needed at each level of UAPB, because inclement weather is predicted.”
Davis said the potential storm posing peril to the land-grant college is continuing calls by national political leaders “for the reduction or elimination of some entitlements” that in large part make higher education possible, he maintains, for “about 85 percent” of UAPB students.
In describing his duties as chancellor, Davis hailed himself as a “weatherman,” saying he’s required to “keep an eye on the skies.” Especially when an obstacle is found to lie ahead, Davis said he must also serve as “chief of maintenance” and “fix whatever needs repair and then keep things functioning so that they don’t need additional repair.”
Pointing out that everyone “plays an important role” in keeping UAPB afloat, he declared, “We are one people. We are one team. We are all on the same ship. Each of us must carry out our assignment.”
Asserting that UAPB’s campus “competes with any in the state” because of the institution’s physical expansions, Davis boasted, too, of “research achievements” and graduate program additions.
He praised the faculty for its accomplishments, and then implored it to “teach these children as they are your own, because they are.”