Friday, August 23, 2013

Robert Brown announces he's in last year as president of Arkansas Tech

Posted By on Fri, Aug 23, 2013 at 11:25 AM

click to enlarge DR. ROBERT C. BROWN
  • DR. ROBERT C. BROWN
Dr. Robert C. Brown,
who finished his 20th year as president of Arkansas Tech University on July 1, has announced that this academic year will be his last as president of the school, which grew to an enrollment of more than 10,000 under his leadership.

A tenured professor of economics, Brown  plans to continue some association with the Russellville university.

Brown has admirers among the faculty and the Tech Board of Trustees. But his tenure has had its share of controversies stemming from  his strong top-down management. Friction with a former theater director was particularly long-running.

The full university release follows.

Dr. Robert C. Brown, whose leadership as president over the past two decades transformed Arkansas Tech University from a small college to one of five universities in the state with more than 10,000 students, has announced that the 2013-14 academic year will be his last as active president at Arkansas Tech.

Brown made the announcement during the annual fall semester opening session with faculty and staff at the Ross Pendergraft Library and Technology Center on Friday morning.

“This is the right time to make this decision,” said Brown while standing beside his wife of 45 years, Jill Brown, and speaking to the faculty and staff. “I and my family are in good health. There is nothing wrong, and that is what makes this the right time. We have the opportunity to step aside at the zenith of Arkansas Tech, and I owe that privilege to each of you.”

Brown, who also holds the rank of professor of economics, said that he expects to maintain an association with Arkansas Tech once his tenure as president is complete.

President at Arkansas Tech since July 1, 1993, Brown has the longest tenure at his present institution among all four-year college and university presidents and chancellors in Arkansas.

More than 400 presidents and chancellors from around the United States belong to the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU).

Among those more than 400 chief executive officers, only 12 current presidents or chancellors have served more than 20 years at their current institution.

As of Friday morning, Brown is among those dozen steadfast leaders.

Brown is beginning his 21st academic session at Arkansas Tech —- and his 51st consecutive year in higher education dating back to his freshman year as a student at Northwestern State University (La.).

“On the afternoon I was elected president of Arkansas Tech, I told those in attendance at Chambers Cafeteria that this institution represents the best, the brightest and the most significant promise that we could imagine for the 21st century,” said Brown. “Over the past two decades, the leadership of our Board of Trustees and the efforts of our students, faculty and staff have proven those words to be true. As we begin the 21st year in our shared endeavor to help this institution realize its immense potential is an appropriate moment to pause, consider all that has been accomplished and understand that the best days of Arkansas Tech are still to come.”

By beginning his 21st year, Brown is now the second-longest serving president in Arkansas Tech history. Only J.W. Hull, president at Arkansas Tech from 1932-67, had a longer tenure among the 11 individuals who have held that office.

When Brown was elected president by the Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees on May 19, 1993, enrollment at the university was 4,730 students, 850 of which lived on campus. The annual institutional budget was $31.6 million, there were 180 full-time faculty members, Arkansas Tech offered 62 programs of academic study and 30 of those programs held accreditations.

In the year before Brown arrived, Arkansas Tech conferred 711 degrees.

Two decades later, enrollment at Arkansas Tech is 10,950 —- including 2,668 who chose to live on campus —- the institutional budget is $144.8 million, there are 330 full-time faculty members and Tech offers 123 academic programs of study —- 58 of which are nationally or internationally recognized by accrediting bodies.

The Arkansas Tech freshman class will exceed the national and state averages on the ACT examination for a 19th consecutive year this fall.

During the recently completed 2012-13 academic year, Arkansas Tech conferred 2,617 degrees —- the most in a single academic year in the 104-year history of the institution.

Among all degrees that Arkansas Tech has awarded during those 104 years, 57 percent have been earned during Brown’s two-decade tenure as its president.

In order to provide for its growing and evolving role in education, Arkansas Tech has invested $250 million in its physical plant and instructional equipment since 1995.

Among the new facilities that have been constructed are the Pendergraft Library and Technology Center, the Doc Bryan Student Services Center, Norman Hall, Rothwell Hall, Baswell Techionery, Baswell Residence Hall, Nutt Residence Hall, M Street Residence Hall, University Commons apartments, the Chartwells Women’s Sports Complex and Thone Stadium at Buerkle Field.

In addition, 25 facilities on the Russellville campus experienced significant renovation, the university added a satellite campus in Ozark, the Lake Point Conference Center was acquired and the institution became a founding member of the NCAA Division II Great American Conference during the first two decades of the Brown presidency.

“Arkansas Tech has many tasks that it carries out on a day-to-day basis, but our university has just one mission,” said Brown. “Everything we do is designed to provide students with the tools necessary to persist to graduation and realize the life-changing benefits of a college degree. By maintaining that singular focus, we will continue to provide for the educational needs of our constituents and serve as a driving force in the economic development of our state.”

Charles Blanchard of Russellville, chairman of the Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees, spoke at the end of Friday morning’s faculty and staff meeting.

“For 21 years, Bob Brown has been an associate and a friend,” said Blanchard. “We will miss him in the role of president. Just as Dr. Brown is, and we all have a right to be, I am proud of what has occurred at this university over the past two decades. We will carefully and thoughtfully go about the process of selecting the 12th president of Arkansas Tech. Our first job is to establish a selection process by which the Board of Trustees, in discharging our duties, will put forth an inclusive selection process that will include input from people on campus and the communities that this university serves.”

Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Executionpalooza

    Appearances count. I was struck by a single sentence over the weekend in a full page of coverage in The New York Times devoted to the killing spree in Arkansas, beginning with a front-page account of the recent flurry of legal filings on pending executions and continuing inside with an interview with Damien Echols, the former death row inmate.
    • Apr 20, 2017
  • Death Row inmates argue to keep stay of execution in place; urge 8th Circuit not to 'rush' analysis

    Early this morning, attorneys for nine Death Row inmates, filed an argument with the 8th United States Court of Appeals contesting the state's effort to override Judge Kristine Baker's order Saturday that halted executions scheduled this month.
    • Apr 17, 2017
  • Federal judge denies execution stay for Don Davis but larger stay continues

    Don Davis, who's been moved to the killing facility of the state prison for killing tonight at 7 p.m. if a stay of execution is lifted in another federal suit, sought a stay in another federal court Sunday, but the request was denied.
    • Apr 17, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • Executionpalooza

    Appearances count. I was struck by a single sentence over the weekend in a full page of coverage in The New York Times devoted to the killing spree in Arkansas, beginning with a front-page account of the recent flurry of legal filings on pending executions and continuing inside with an interview with Damien Echols, the former death row inmate.
  • Art bull

    "God, I hate art," my late friend The Doctor used to say.
  • Not justice

    The strongest, most enduring calls for the death penalty come from those who feel deeply the moral righteousness of "eye-for-an-eye" justice, or retribution. From the depths of pain and the heights of moral offense comes the cry, "The suffering you cause is the suffering you shall receive!" From the true moral insight that punishment should fit the crime, cool logic concludes, "Killers should be killed." Yet I say: retribution yes; death penalty no.
  • Judge Griffen writes about morality, Christian values and executions

    Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen, who blogs at Justice is a verb!, sends along a new post this morning.
  • The Ledell Lee execution thread

    Arkansas Times contributor Jacob Rosenberg is at the Cummins Unit in Grady filing dispatches tonight in advance of the expected execution of Ledell Lee, who was sentenced to death for the Feb. 9, 1993, murder of Debra Reese, 26, who was beaten to death in the bedroom of her home in Jacksonville.

Visit Arkansas

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Chuck Haralson and Ken Smith were inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame during the 43rd annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism

Most Viewed

  • Lee's lawyer writes about executed man's last hours

    Lee Short, the lawyer for Ledell Lee, the man Arkansas put to death just before midnight last night, posted on Facebook the following letter of thanks for personal support and a bit about Lee's last hours, distributing his possessions and talking to family.
  • State spends $30,000 drug testing TANF recipients for drugs, nabs 2.

    Think Progress reported yesterday that 13 states spent a total of $1.3 million to perform 2,826 drug tests on persons seeking funds from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Of those nearly 3,000 people required to pee in a cup to get assistance for their families, 369 tested positive.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

Slideshows

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation