More red ink in Conway | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, February 1, 2009

More red ink in Conway

Posted By on Sun, Feb 1, 2009 at 7:51 AM

Another shoutout for Debra Hale-Shelton, the Democrat-Gazette reporter in Conway, for another in a series of what should be prize-winning coverage of the financial shambles at the University of Central Arkansas.

For years, other colleges grumbled about then-UCA President Lu Hardin's aggressive use of "concurrent enrollment" (high school students taking college courses) to swell total enrollment.

Hale-Shelton's report today explains it all in detail. It appears to be another area where officials left to rebuild UCA don't really have a clue of the costs of a program that has grown to roughly 8 percent of UCA's total enrollment.

The big question mark  is exactly where UCA will stand -- both in enrollment and financial soundness -- following corrections and clarifications from past excessive scholarship spending; poor collection practices; concurrent enrollment, and audits of past spending. Those executive bonuses and the $1 million buyout might be causes for regret.

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