The Distinctive Organization
- Description of UALR
- Documents that Guide the University: Values Documents
- The University of Arkansas System Board of Trustees Oversight
- The Arkansas Department of Higher Education Oversight
- UALR Mission and Objective Statements
- Student Learning Outcomes
- Mission Diversity
- Mission Throughout the University
- Mission Understood
- Mission Accessibility
- UALR Fast Forward—Planning that Guides the Future
- Other Planning Documents
- Governance and Governance Policies
- UA System and Board of Trustees
- UALR Administration
- UALR Organizational Chart
- Campus Governance at Institutional Level
- Collaborative Work
- Governance Policies
- Codes of Conduct and Expected Behavior Policies
- Rights and Responsibilities of Internal Constituents
- Grievance Committees
- Human Relations
- Intellectual Property Rights
- Office of Research and Sponsored Programs
- Financial Integrity
- Upon Reflection
Criterion One: Mission and Integrity
The organization operates with integrity to ensure the fulfillment of its mission through structures and processes that involve the board, administration, faculty, staff, and students.
- 1a The organization operates with integrity to ensure the fulfillment of its mission through structures and processes that involve the board, administration, faculty, staff, and students.
- 1b In its mission documents, the organization recognizes the diversity of its learners, other constituencies, and the greater society it serves.
- 1c Understanding of and support for the mission pervade the organization.
- 1d The organization’s governance and administrative structures promote effective leadership and support collaborative processes that enable the organization to fulfill its mission.
- 1e The organization upholds and protects its integrity.
As the only metropolitan university in Arkansas, UALR enjoys a unique prominence in higher education in the state. Originally a two-year and later a four-year private institution, Little Rock University merged with the University of Arkansas System18 (UA System) in 1969 to provide access to public higher education in the state’s capital city and largest population center.
Since the 1969 merger, the institution has stayed true to the belief that it should “provide programs of study that will educate students to live, work, and lead in the complex, technological, and diverse world” (Mission Statement19) and “should share [its] intellectual resources to help solve community problems and otherwise advance the metropolitan community” (Dr. G. Robert Ross, Chancellor 1973–1982).
UALR is part of the UA System, which includes five universities; five community colleges; a college of medicine; two schools of law; a presidential school; divisions of agriculture, archeology, and criminal justice; and a high school for math, science, and the arts. The institution is governed by a Board of Trustees of the UA System (UA Board of Trustees), which has the power to prescribe all rules and regulations for the government and discipline of the University. Each of the ten members of the UA Board of Trustees is appointed by the governor of the State of Arkansas to a term of ten years and has legal control and responsibility for the functions of the UA System. Its composition is governed by provisions in the Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 33, which gives the UA Board of Trustees power over the University, and by certain Arkansas statutes. It is a body both corporate and politic.
Like all institutions of higher education in Arkansas, UALR is overseen by the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board20 (AHECB) and the Arkansas Department of Higher Education21 (ADHE), which serves as its administrative staff. These two organizations act under the auspices of the state legislature to develop and implement policy and procedures stemming from state laws related to higher education. The mission of ADHE is to advocate for higher education; to promote a coordinated system of higher education in the state; and to provide for the orderly and effective development of each of the publicly and locally supported institutions of higher education in the state—all geared toward improving the delivery of higher education services to the citizens of Arkansas.
ADHE serves as the administrative staff for AHECB. The board consists of 12 members who are appointed by the governor and serve staggered six-year terms. As part of its responsibilities, the staff develops and implements AHECB policies and procedures. Additionally, ADHE reviews and approves academic programs; administers statewide financial aid programs; contracts with the Southern Regional Education Board for support of graduate and first professional study outside of Arkansas; recommends institutional operating, capital, and personal services budgets; and collects and reports on student and course data as part of a statewide database and academic program inventory for policy studies.
Role and Scope
The board has adopted statements of mission, vision, values, goals, and organizational priorities that together clearly and broadly define the organization’s mission.
Understanding, embracing, and encouraging the role of UALR as the metropolitan university for the State of Arkansas, the UA Board of Trustees established a foundational definition of the role of UALR and the scope of its mission within the state and region. The UA Board of Trustees has continually worked in partnership with UALR faculty and administration to develop a role and scope statement22 that reflects the growth, maturation, and importance of UALR to its constituencies. This statement was originally adopted in 1978 and revised three times, most recently in 2006. The following excerpt delineates the UA Board of Trustees’ recognition of the particular focus of UALR.
UALR is a Carnegie “Doctoral/Research Intensive” university offering a comprehensive range of undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral programs, and a first professional degree in law. Due to its location in the state’s capital city and largest, most complex metropolitan area, the demand for UALR to offer graduate, professional, and doctoral education continues to increase, and, thus, post-baccalaureate offerings will become a larger part of the institution’s instructional program. Because of its metropolitan location, UALR assumes a special role in relation to the needs of urban areas in modern society in its instruction, research, and public service programs. UALR recognizes and accepts that in the 21st century universities are critical to regional and state economic development.
UALR is strongly committed to research and public service. Faculty engage in applied and basic research appropriate to their academic disciplines and in response to economic development needs and other state and regional needs. The University is committed to supporting research and development, often in cooperative relationships, leading to intellectual property and commercialization. UALR’s public service mission is reflected in numerous outreach activities by individual faculty members, academic units, and a number of specialized units established to provide assistance and expertise to organizations and groups in the community and across the state.
Partnerships are very important to UALR for they enable the University to extend its reach, increase its effectiveness, and leverage its resources. UALR works with other institutions of higher education, particularly the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, and Pulaski Technical College to coordinate instructional programs. UALR partners with and complements the research activities of UAMS. UALR gives and receives benefit from partnerships with businesses, schools, governmental offices, neighborhood groups, cultural organizations, and nonprofit organizations. (Adopted by the UA Board of Trustees, 1978; revised 1982, 1989, 1991, 2006)
Role and Scope
In 2008, as they provided leadership to institutions of higher education and responded to the needs of the state for an educated citizenry, AHECB revisited the role and scope statements to assure that each institution has a clear connection to its role in helping the state compete in the global economy of the 21st century and attain a high-quality standard of living. This new Role and Scope document, issued in 2008 by the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board, begins by recognizing that, “as the state’s metropolitan university,” UALR has the responsibility for serving seven distinct populations:
- Residents of Arkansas and the Little Rock metropolitan area who have completed a high school education and are seeking either a college degree or continuing professional education. As a metropolitan university, the institution serves adults, part-time students in particular.
- Employers across the state, particularly in the region, both public and private, seeking well-educated employees, technical assistance, and applied research
- Economic development interests and entrepreneurs in the region and across the state
- The research community
- The community and area by providing a broad range of academic and cultural activities and public events
- Area K–12 schools seeking college general education courses for advanced students
- Two-year college transfer students
In addition to the traditional role of an institution of higher education to offer baccalaureate, graduate, first professional, and doctoral programs to its students, AHECB also specifies that UALR has a commitment to provide “services specifically designed to meet the needs of statewide and regional economic development, continuing professional education, technical and professional services, support of small businesses and entrepreneurs, and technology transfer” (2008).
In 1989, the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board developed mission statements for each of the state’s colleges and universities. The statement originally created for UALR also recognized the University’s unique mission:
Because of its location in the state’s capital city and largest metropolitan area, UALR assumes a special role in relation to the needs of urban areas in modern society in its instruction, research, and service programs.
The mission, vision, values, and goals documents define the varied internal and external constituencies the organization intends to serve.
On an institutional level, the UALR faculty, through the Faculty Senate,23 worked for more than a year to develop both a comprehensive understanding of the institution’s role and scope within the parameters established by the governing boards and also a succinct statement of mission, which was developed to codify the fundamental purposes and permanent commitments of the University to its publics.
While each document has been reviewed in the intervening years, most substantially as a part of the University’s strategic planning process in 2005–2006, the statements have withstood the test of time as both valid and reliable articulations of the intended outcomes of the educational experience at UALR, whether at the baccalaureate, graduate, or doctoral level:
The mission of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock is to develop the intellect of students; to discover and disseminate knowledge; to serve and strengthen society by enhancing awareness in scientific, technical, and cultural arenas; and to promote humane sensitivities and understanding of interdependence. Within this broad mission are the responsibilities to use quality instruction to instill in students a lifelong desire to learn; to use knowledge in ways that will contribute to society; and to apply the resources and research skills of the [u]niversity community to the service of the city, the state, the nation, and the world in ways that will benefit humanity. (Adopted by the UALR Faculty Senate, 1988)
UALR Mission Objectives
In conjunction with the development of the institutional mission, the Faculty Senate also drafted and approved objectives to guide its fulfillment of the mission. The six objectives codify the responsibility of the University to differing constituencies and the different components—teaching, service, and research—of the mission:
The mission documents include a strong commitment to high academic standards that sustain and advance excellence in higher learning.
- Excellence in Instruction. The University has a responsibility to provide excellence in instruction to ensure high-quality education for students. This responsibility includes developing faculty teaching skills, awareness of the ways students learn, assessing student learning outcomes, and enhancement of resources to support effective instruction.
- Scholarly Inquiry. The University has a responsibility to use scholarly inquiry to advance the discovery, preservation, and dissemination of knowledge. This responsibility includes the creation of a university environment that supports diverse research activities by faculty, staff, and students.
- Service to Society. The University has a responsibility to serve society through the application of knowledge and research skills. This responsibility includes applying the University’s resources to local, state, national, and international needs in order to improve the human condition.
- Community of Learning. The University has a responsibility to provide a community of learning through creation of an academic environment that stimulates students, faculty, and staff to become life-long learners. This environment should heighten the intellectual, cultural, and humane sensitivities of students, faculty, and staff.
- Accessibility. The University has a responsibility to serve the needs of a heterogeneous student population and to make its resources accessible to the general public and to local, state, national, and international groups. This responsibility includes creating opportunities for access to the University’s academic and other resources.
- Responsiveness. The University has a responsibility to remain responsive to a changing environment and society. This responsibility includes a continuous assessment of the University’s strengths and weaknesses in planning for and meeting internal and external needs. It also includes developing the faculty, staff, and students’ desire and capacity in order to create an academic community that is open to change and ready to meet the demands of a dynamic environment and student body. (Adopted by the Faculty Senate, 1988)
The mission documents state goals for the learning to be achieved by its students.
In addition to affirming the codifying the mission, UALR has long recognized the importance of the outcomes of the educational experience. In 1986–1987, the Blue Ribbon Committee, an ad-hoc committee of the Faculty Senate, was established to review the educational goals of the University. The committee adopted the principle that a life-long ability to learn is the University’s paramount learning goal and that education should be considered a “structure of competencies” rather than a specific inventory of information (Blue Ribbon Committee Statement of Philosophy).24
The committee identified nine essential competencies to be mastered by all students graduating from UALR. In 2004, the Faculty Senate added a tenth competency, Information Technology. The ten core competencies are as follows:
Aesthetic Experience includes knowledge about different art forms and their history; an understanding of how creative processes compare among art forms; and the ability to describe and analyze artistic works.
Critical Thinking requires the ability to analyze data, synthesize information, make decisions, and systematically and imaginatively solve problems. All core courses stress critical thinking, providing practice in the techniques of inquiry, logical reasoning, and critical analysis.
Ethical and Moral Consciousness involves the ability to recognize ethical and moral issues that may arise from scientific and technological developments or that may be inferred from aesthetic and humanistic works.
Historical Consciousness requires the knowledge of the main stages of human cultural development, along with the ability to relate one’s historical heritage to that of other cultures, past and present. This competency involves understanding historical events, whether social, economic, or political, and then examining the relationships among them—relationships such as change, continuity, and causation.
Information Technology requires using contemporary technologies to communicate effectively; to locate, manage, and analyze information; to critically evaluate information obtained through these technologies; to comprehend basic information technology concepts in order to understand and quickly assimilate new technologies as they evolve; and to have an understanding of and respect for the ethical and legal aspects of the use of information technology.1b Example of Evidence
The mission documents present the organization’s function in a multicultural society.
International Awareness involves the ability to examine one’s own culture, society, and nationality from perspectives acquired through understanding other cultures and nations, including their languages, literature, art, history, and geography.
Mathematics includes an understanding of the concepts, the methodology, and the application of probability and statistics; the ability to use and interpret functions and graphs to express relationships; an appreciation of the importance of numerical information; and a recognition of both the role and the limitations of mathematics in all areas.
Philosophy and Methods of Science involves understanding the strengths and limitations of science, including how scientists learn about the world through observation and experiment, through modeling and interpretation, and through the skeptical scrutiny of the work of other experts in the field. This competency includes the following: an awareness of relationships between science and society; the ability to use scientific reasoning to evaluate conflicting statements in order to arrive at informed opinions on contemporary issues; an appreciation of how experiencing the universe scientifically differs from experiencing it in other ways; and knowledge of the questions that science neither asks nor answers.
Social and Cultural Awareness requires viewing human beings as organisms functioning within a set of global, interconnected systems, including nationality, ethnicity, race, gender, class, law, religion, and communication—that influence and are influenced by changing individuals. This competency includes knowledge about how persons develop and grow; awareness of how social and cultural systems influence values, thought, and behavior; and appreciation for the interactions, conflicts, and communication among systems.
Verbal Literacy includes four skills: writing, reading, speaking, and listening and the ability to use language to learn and participate in the discourse and decision-making of academic, personal, professional, and public life. Competency in written literacy involves the ability to read and write clearly and thoughtfully, to understand different writing and reading processes, and to use these processes to advantage when writing and reading about experiences and ideas. Competency in oral literacy involves public speaking and interpersonal and small group communication. All core courses address this competency.
All courses included in current core or general education requirements at UALR are linked to one or more of these ten competencies and have been since the competencies were developed. As originally envisioned, the competencies provided a foundation for the undergraduate academic experience, and through the experience of the core curriculum, students developed the critical thinking and analytic skills necessary to successfully complete degree programs and become educated citizens with the ability for life-long learning.
By 2005, however, it had become clear that the method of assessing the core curriculum only using individual course assessments was not producing useful data, either for continuously improving the courses in the core or for measuring student achievement of the competencies through the core. This, as well as plans for revisiting the institutional student learning outcomes, are discussed in Chapter 3, “The Learning-Focused Organization.”
The mission documents affirm the organization’s commitment to honor the dignity and worth of individuals.
UALR mission documents state the University’s commitment to recognizing and celebrating the diversity of students, faculty, and staff as well as the diversity of the surrounding community and Central Arkansas. Campus diversity is recognized in the Role and Scope Statement adopted by the UA Board of Trustees for UALR, the faculty-adopted mission statement, two of the six mission objectives, and the Faculty Role and Scope document.
UA Board of Trustees UALR Mission Statement25 (adopted 1998)
UALR serves a diverse student body. While it serves traditional students as do most other universities, UALR also serves large numbers of nontraditional students who enroll part-time, commute to campus, have job and family responsibilities, and may be older. The University also enrolls international students from more than 50 countries.
Faculty Senate UALR Mission Statement1 (adopted 1988)
To promote humane sensitivities and understanding of interdependence
Faculty Senate UALR Mission Objective Statements
- Accessibility. The University has a responsibility to serve the needs of a heterogeneous student population and to make its resources accessible to the general public and to local, state, national, and international groups. This responsibility includes creating opportunities for access to the University’s academic and other resources.1b Example of Evidence
The mission documents provide a basis for the organization’s basic strategies to address diversity.
- Responsiveness. The University has a responsibility to remain responsive to a changing environment and society. This responsibility includes a continuous assessment of the University’s strengths and weaknesses in planning for and meeting internal and external needs. It also includes developing the faculty, staff, and students’ desire and capacity in order to create an academic community that is open to change and ready to meet the demands of a dynamic environment and student body.1b Example of Evidence
The mission documents present the organization’s function in a multicultural society.
UALR Role and Scope (adopted July 2008)
[UALR], taking advantage of its metropolitan location, offers programs and services that respond to the special needs and interests of individuals, organizations, institutions, businesses, and governmental units. Academic programs, student services, research activities, public service projects, and institutional policies reflect the University’s commitment to a diverse student body composed of recent high school graduates, students returning to school after other experiences, retirees, international students, disabled students, and professionals seeking career change or enrichment.
UALR strives to make higher education accessible to all those who can benefit. The institution’s academic courses are offered in flexible and varied time periods and learning formats, at off-campus locations as well as in traditional classrooms, and by radio, telecommunication, and newspaper. In all of these forms the quality of instruction is of paramount importance.
Specialized programs and assistance are offered to educationally disadvantaged students. The University is committed to international education, supporting programs and courses that attract international students and offer opportunities for all students to explore and experience other cultures.
UALR has been particularly pro-active in recognizing disability “as an aspect of diversity that is integral to society and to the campus community.”26 To emphasize UALR’s commitment to meet the unique needs of each student, in 1995, then Chancellor Charles Hathaway adopted a policy which requires all course syllabi to include a statement articulating the disability support policy. Revised in 2007 and mandatory on every syllabus distributed on campus, the statement reads:
It is the policy of UALR to create inclusive learning environments. If there are aspects of the instruction or design of this course that result in barriers to your inclusion or to accurate assessment of achievement—such as time-limited exams, inaccessible web content, or the use of non-captioned videos—please notify the instructor as soon as possible. Students are also welcome to contact the Disability Resource Center, telephone 501-569-3143 (v/tty). For more information, visit the Disability Resource Center website at http://ualr.edu/disability/.
UALR Fast Forward also recognizes several institutional strengths that speak to a commitment to diversity:
Academic breadth. UALR is a comprehensive university, offering major programs of study across the full range of academic disciplines and from the associate through the doctoral degree. The University is therefore capable of responding to the individual higher education needs of a great variety of people.
Convenient class schedule. For the many students who have to juggle college attendance, job demands, and family responsibilities, UALR, in addition to the traditional day-time class periods, has for many years offered classes during the late afternoon, evening, and weekends and has recently added many online classes, making them available to students essentially anytime and anywhere.
The goals of the administrative and academic subunits of the organization are congruent with the organization’s mission.
Understanding and supporting the mission also is evident in the way that the colleges and units refract the institutional mission statement within their own mission statement and strategic plans. Most, if not all, make their mission and role statements publicly available, through their websites, their unit governance documents, and/or departmental catalog descriptions. These statements often embody the goals of the program or unit and, as all good mission statements do, assist in evaluation.
The institutional commitment to teaching, service, and research is distilled within the more specific missions of each college and unit. For example, the College of Business’ mission statement reads
For the UALR College of Business, teaching, research, and service are the core foundations we build to serve our students, the business community, and industry in the State of Arkansas.
Our goal is to prepare men and women for careers of leadership and service in private and public business. We also provide applied research, information services, and continuing management and labor education services to the private and public sectors in support of the economic development of the state, the enhancement of the practice of management, and the effectiveness and efficiency in the work place.27
Within the College of Business, each academic unit further distills the mission statement, as evidenced by the mission statement of the Department of Accounting.
The mission of the Department of Accounting is to provide quality educational experiences that enable students to enter and advance within the accounting profession. In pursuit of this mission, the faculty is committed to providing effective teaching, relevant research, and academic, professional and community service.28
Similarly, other academic departments have also made their missions public.
The Psychology Department strives to be excellent in teaching, scholarship, and service. We accomplish this by applying psychological knowledge, skills, and tools to further human welfare and by producing well-trained students.29
The opening paragraph on the website for the Dean of Students reads as follows:
The primary goals of the Office of the Dean of Students30 are to educate students regarding the University’s expectations of behavior, to protect students’ rights, and to assure fairness and due process.
The opening paragraph on the Disability Resource Center31 page embeds its mission in the description of what they do:
Providing access to a diverse student population is embedded in the philosophy of [UALR]. The Disability Resource Center recognizes disability as an aspect of diversity that is integral to society and to the campus community. To this end, the Disability Resource Center collaborates with students, faculty, staff, and community members to create usable, equitable, inclusive, and sustainable learning environments. The Disability Resource Center also promotes and facilitates awareness and access through training, partnerships, innovative programs, and accommodations.
Although how the mission of UALR manifests itself in pragmatic terms has evolved over time as the needs of constituencies have changed, the core values of integrating research, teaching, and service to enhance the economic, social, and cultural lives of people living in the metropolitan area and throughout Arkansas have not.
The board, administration, faculty, staff, and students understand and support the organization’s mission.
The mission of UALR is understood by its internal and external constituencies. Although few can recite it word for word, faculty, staff, and students understand and hold dear the vision and values of the University. Indeed, many faculty are at UALR specifically because of its mission. At a Spring 2009 lunch hosted by Provost Belcher, many of the faculty spoke eloquently and passionately about their appreciation for the high value UALR places on dedicating its resources to meeting community needs. These values are expressed through faculty and student research that solves real-world problems or advances economic prosperity; through academic programs that prepare students to become involved citizens and community leaders; and through outreach programs that engage faculty, students, and staff with external constituencies.
The full text of all mission statements, objectives, core competencies, UALR Fast Forward, and the other strategic plans described above can be found in various highly visible and public documents and places such as UALR’s UnderGraduate Catalog,32 Graduate Catalog,33 and the University website.34 The mission statement and objectives are also reproduced on the Chancellor’s website,35 in all large-scale planning documents (such as the strategic plan), and indirectly in many of the mission statements of the colleges and departments across campus.
These documents are available in electronic format, portable document format (PDF), and print format. All of these documents can be freely downloaded. Additionally, they are indexed so that any constituent or interested party may learn how the institution understands and articulates its commitments to society. In keeping with the University’s commitment to accessibility, those who need access to alternative formats such as Braille or cassettes are invited to contact the Chancellor’s Office or the Disability Resource Center for a copy. Shortened versions of UALR’s mission statement are printed in the program at fall and spring graduation (also available in alternative formats).
Following his inauguration in 2003, in part in response to concerns raised by the NCA visit in 2000, Chancellor Anderson called on the university community to address the challenges of the new century and to commit to “build a powerhouse university in the capital city—as fast as possible—not for the sake of those who work at the University but for the sake of the people the University exists to serve.” The result of this challenge was the development of UALR Fast Forward, a strategic plan designed to help the University meet the need of the State of Arkansas”… to move forward at a faster pace if the people of Arkansas are going to maintain, much less improve, their standard of living in the intensely competitive global economy of the 21st century.”
For almost two years, UALR faculty and staff members, along with local community members and state representatives, worked cooperatively and candidly to create a visionary affirmation of mission for the beginning of the 21st century that would, as Chancellor Anderson noted in his introductory letter “… improve our stewardship of the University and… increase our success in accomplishing the University’s noble purposes.”
The organization regularly evaluates and, when appropriate, revises the mission documents.
The 125-page report provides a thorough and thoughtful analysis of institutional strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats as is common in many strategic planning efforts and embodies the physical implementation of the mission and values documents over the next ten years. More importantly, perhaps, the creation of UALR Fast Forward re-affirmed the University’s commitment to the mission statement and the objectives document, which repeatedly were referenced to ensure the eight goals and seven pledges in UALR Fast Forward reflected the broad guidelines established by the mission: to develop the intellect of students; to discover and disseminate knowledge; to serve and strengthen society by enhancing awareness in scientific, technical, and cultural arenas; and to promote humane sensitivities and understanding of interdependence.
The eight goals articulated in UALR Fast Forward are as follows:
- UALR will provide programs of study that will educate students to live, work, and lead in the complex, technological, diverse world of the 21st century.
- UALR will provide a student-centered educational environment.
- UALR will continue to expand its graduate offerings to address regional and state needs.
- UALR will expand its research capabilities to support its academic mission and to strengthen regional and state economic development plans.
- UALR will provide exceptional service through partnerships and outreach activities.
- UALR will support and strengthen its human resources.
- UALR will provide the institutional infrastructure necessary to achieve its educational mission.
- UALR will develop a strategy to enhance resources to accomplish its mission.
The seven pledges to external stakeholders are as follows:
- UALR pledges to provide programs of study that will educate students to live, work, and lead in the complex, technological, and diverse world of the 21st century.
- UALR pledges to shape its programs and align its resources to address state-identified priorities.
- UALR pledges active support of regional and state strategies to speed economic development.
- UALR pledges to work in partnership with governmental entities and community organizations and groups to solve community problems and advance the community in other ways.
- UALR pledges to be a keeper of the flame on the subject of race.
- UALR pledges to be a keeper of the flame on the need for regional cooperation in Central Arkansas.
- UALR pledges to work as an active partner in revitalizing the University District, the area of the city immediately around the University.
The organization’s planning and budgeting priorities flow from and support the mission.
The institutional mission is advanced through annual reports which show how units are meeting their own mission as well as UALR’s. Annual reports, submitted to the Provost by all academic units and colleges, do not merely report on the year’s highlights but specifically address faculty involvement in the following activities related to the mission:
- grant applications and awards
- public service
- research and creative activity
- use of information technology
- assessment of student learning
Also tied into the mission of UALR and UALR Fast Forward is each unit’s strategic plan. Each plan explicates the methods, objectives, and measures for accomplishing the goals of excellence in teaching, research, service, recruitment, and retention. Furthermore, yearly budgets from all areas of campus must relate to the strategic plan by referencing goals, objectives, and strategies. At each level, the requests are prioritized according to institutional goals and resources available that year. Once this has occurred, the Chancellor’s Leadership Group and the Faculty Senate’s Planning and Finance Committee meet to hear the recommendations of each vice chancellor for budgeting priorities in the coming fiscal year. This group ranks the requests in order to inform administrative decision-making on budgetary allocations.
In addition to working on UALR Fast Forward, faculty, staff, students, and external constituents have taken part in the development or re-evaluation of a wide variety of policy and planning documents that put the mission statements and roles and scope documents into action.
Over the past ten years, the following major planning documents have been revised or created:
- the Faculty Roles and Rewards36 document in response to the changing role of research on campus (committee formed in 2005; completed 2009)
- the Campus Master Plan, UALR On the Move, that guides the future physical growth and development of the UALR campus (2005)
- the University District Plan, Partners for Progress: Shaping the University District, that develops a strategic plan for revitalizing the part of the city immediately surrounding the campus (2004)
Currently, the faculty is in the process of reviewing and revising the following:
- the faculty Tenure and Promotion documents
- the role and rewards document for non-tenure track faculty
- the core curriculum requirements and core competencies
In addition, due to the information discovered during the self-study process, plans are being developed to revise the Faculty Handbook.
The organization makes the mission documents available to the public, particularly to prospective and enrolled students.
As described previously, UALR is part of the UA System37 and is governed by the UA Board of Trustees,38 which has the power to prescribe all rules and regulations for the governance and discipline of the University. The UA Board of Trustees meets five times each year and alternates its meeting locations between the UA System office, the major campuses (UAF, UALR, and UAMS), and other UA System locations. Members of the UA Board of Trustees include a former senator and other public officials, lawyers, and heads (or former heads) of Arkansas corporations such as Anthony Timberlands, Akin Industries, and Tyson.
The organization’s governance and administrative structures promote effective leadership and support collaborative processes that enable the organization to fulfill its mission.
The UA Board of Trustees has “legal control and responsibility for the functions of the [UA System].” This authority extends to all institutions within the UA System and includes oversight of the following:
- buildings and grounds
- educational policies and practices
- fiscal affairs
- advancement and development
Appointed by the UA Board of Trustees, the President, B. Alan Sugg, is the Chief Executive Officer of the UA System and has served in that capacity since 1990. As President he
coordinate[s] the activities of the [u]niversity and all of its constituent campuses and units in accordance with the principles prescribed by the [UA Board of Trustees]… [Further, the President], in consultation with the chancellors, establish[es] and define[s] the duties of university-wide councils, committees, or other bodies organized to advise and assist him or her. All official communications from faculty, staff, and students on a particular campus or unit shall emanate through the appropriate chancellor or director to the President.
Board policies and practices document the board’s focus on the organization’s mission.
The UA Board of Trustees appoints the chancellors of all campuses upon recommendation of the President. Each chancellor has “complete executive authority thereon, subject to the policies established by the [UA Board of Trustees] and the President,” as described in UA Board of Trustees Policy 100.4.39
The board enables the organization’s chief administrative personnel to exercise effective leadership.
According to UA Board of Trustees policy, each chancellor in the UA System is
the leader of and the official spokesperson for the campus and shall promote the educational excellence and general development and welfare of the campus. The Chancellor shall define the authority of administrative committees and officers of that campus, and all projects, programs, and institutional reports to be undertaken on behalf of that campus shall be subject to authorization and approval of the Chancellor.
UALR’s current Chancellor, Dr. Joel Anderson, began at UALR in 1971 and has advanced through every academic level at UALR. He was appointed Chancellor in 2003.
The Chancellor is advised by various formal and informal groups consisting of external and internal constituencies. These include the Board of Visitors, the Chancellor’s Cabinet, the Chancellor’s Leadership Group, and the Policy Advisory Council.
Board of Visitors
The Chancellor meets monthly with the Board of Visitors.40 The Board of Visitors, which has no policy-making powers, is charged with the responsibility for advising the Chancellor of UALR, the President of the [UA System] and the governing body of the University, the UA Board of Trustees, with respect to means of maintaining high standards in the development and operation of UALR as a major urban university of higher education. Two of its members are invited to attend meetings of the UA Board of Trustees to advise on matters concerning UALR. Members of the Board of Visitors include prominent local area business leaders. The Board of Visitors functions under UA Board of Trustees Policy 1010.1.
The Board of Visitors was formed when UALR was created by the merger of Little Rock University and the UA System; the status of the Little Rock University Board of Trustees changed to that of a Board of Visitors.
The Chancellor’s Cabinet, also known as the Direct Report Group (DRG), meets twice monthly with campus administrators who report directly to him in order to exchange information among the University’s top administrators. This group includes the following:
- Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
- Vice Chancellor of Educational and Student Services and Dean of University College
- Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration
- Vice Chancellor of University Advancement
- Vice Chancellor of Information Services and Chief Information Officer
- Executive Director of Development
- Director of Human Relations
- Director of Athletics
- Chief of Staff and Director of the Budget
Each member of the Chancellor’s Cabinet brings information from his or her unit to inform discussions on policy, budget, and other issues. Cabinet members also receive information from the Chancellor and others to disseminate among their staffs.
Chancellor’s Leadership Group
Twice a month, the Chancellor meets with a larger group that represents campus leadership. In addition to the Chancellor’s Cabinet, this group includes the following:
- Deans Council
- Chair of Graduate Council
- Chair of Undergraduate Council
- Chair of Chairs Council
- President of Faculty Senate
- President of Staff Senate
- Director of the Office of Communication
- Division Chief of Enrollment
- Director of the Office of Institutional Research
- Associate Vice Chancellor of Facilities and Services/Risk Management
- Director of Recruitment and Retention
- Associate Vice Chancellor of Advancement
- Director of the Academic Success Center
- President of the Student Government Association
- President of the Graduate Student Association
- President of the Student Bar Association
The purpose of the Chancellor’s Leadership Group is to ensure that diverse groups on campus participate in discussing policy issues, plans for the future, and other issues involving the University.
The Policy Advisory Council
The Policy Advisory Council meets monthly with the Chancellor. The Policy Advisory Council provides advice to the Chancellor on academic and administrative policies of the University that are subject to the authority of the University Assembly and the Faculty Senate. The membership of the council consists of the following:
- President and elected officers of the Faculty Senate
- Elected chairpersons of elected standing committees of the Faculty Senate
- Chairperson of the Staff Senate or designee
- President of the Student Government Association or designee
- One student services representative
- Two members of the University Assembly appointed by the Executive Committee of the University Assembly.
The agenda for the meeting is developed by the Chancellor and the president of the Faculty Senate. The meetings are chaired by the president of the Faculty Senate.
The model for communication established by the Chancellor permeates all administrative units on campus. Each vice chancellor also meets regularly with the people who report directly to him or her. For example, the Provost holds weekly meetings of the Deans Council. Each of these administrators also meets regularly with the people he or she supervises. The Provost is invited to meet monthly with the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate in order to discuss upcoming issues being considered or projects on which the Faculty Senate is working.
People within the governance and administrative structures are committed to the mission and appropriately qualified to carry out their defined responsibilities.
Most of the upper-level administrative positions are appointed by the Chancellor after initial recommendation of the Provost and a committee made up of appropriate faculty, staff, students, and administrative members. (More information is available in the Faculty Handbook.)41
The Chancellor, as authorized by UA System policy, has distributed responsibilities (administrative and other) of the University to various positions. These and their job descriptions are described below:
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs42
The Provost is appointed by the Chancellor, who is guided by the recommendations of a search committee that includes faculty and student representation. The Provost is the chief academic officer of the University and provides academic and administrative leadership in the area of academic and faculty affairs. Key responsibilities include the following:
- Long-range planning and development of academic programs
- Improving and maintaining quality of the curriculum
- Providing leadership in hiring faculty and reviewing recommendations for faculty retention, tenure, promotion, and salary increments
- Establishing and administering procedures for the regular evaluation of deans and the other administrators directly under his or her supervision
- Developing the overall academic budget
- Communicating policies within the University and among the community at large
- Acting as liaison in academic affairs with other units and the central administration of the [UA System]
- Chairing the periodic meetings of the Deans Council
- Reviewing and recommending action on nominations for tenure and promotion, applications for leaves of absence without pay, requests for off-campus duty assignments, and authorizations for employees to enroll in classes at the University
The Provost reports to the Chancellor and has the following reporting to him:
- Associate Vice Chancellor of Faculty and Administrative Affairs/Director of International Services
- Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Policy
- Director of the Office of Institutional Research
- Director of Research and Sponsored Programs
- Vice Provost for Innovation and Commercialization/Director of the Nanotechnology Center
- Deans of the following:
- Extended Programs43
- College of Education44
- College of Professional Studies45
- William H. Bowen School of Law46
- Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology47
- College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences48
- College of Business49
- College of Science and Mathematics50
- Vice Provost for Research and Dean of the Graduate School
- Dean of the Ottenheimer Library
- Director of the Office of Institutional Research
- Director of the Office of Recruitment
- Coordinator of Web Services
Vice Chancellor for Educational and Student Services/Dean of University College51
The Vice Chancellor for Educational and Student Services / Dean of University College reports to the Chancellor. He is responsible for academic and educational support to students, faculty and staff. There are four units that report to this area (University College, Student Development, Enrollment Planning Services and Recruitment). Eighteen departments make up the Division of Student Services. Key responsibilities include:
- long-range planning and development of student development programs;
- improving and maintaining the quality of student life on campus;
- providing leadership and guidance in the hiring and evaluation of staff;
- developing and monitoring budgets for the Division;
- acting as a liaison with Academic Affairs, Financial and Administration and University Advancement;
- provide leadership and guidance in enrollment management of the University;
- provide leadership and guidance in the retention and graduation of students;
- provide leadership and guidance for four (4) auxiliary services (Barnes and Noble Bookstore, University Housing, Dining Services and Donaghey Student Center); and
- provides leadership in the assessment and evaluation of programs.
The Vice Chancellor for Educational and Student Services / Dean of University College reports to the Chancellor and has reporting to him:
- Division Chief for Enrollment Planning
- Division Chief for University College
- Division Chief for Student Development
- Director of Recruitment
Vice Chancellor for Information Services52
The Vice Chancellor for Information Services is the Chief Information Officer of the University and provides leadership and management in the area of information technology. Key responsibilities include to:
- strategic planning for the development and deployment of the technical infrastructure and service delivery to the campus community in the areas of networking and telecommunications, administrative systems, document imaging, electronic mail, learning management system, web services, campus wide computer support help desk, open student lab, multi-media classroom support, training initiatives, data center operations, and project management services;
- providing leadership in hiring and managing the technical staff who work collaboratively with academic and administrative departments to meet the technical needs of the campus community;
- establishing and administering procedures for the regular evaluation of associate directors and the other staff directly under his or her supervision;
- developing and managing the departmental budget;
- developing and communicating technical and computer use policies procedures, and guidelines with the campus community;
- acting as a liaison in meetings with other campus units, the central administration of the University of Arkansas, and statewide technical committees and work groups;
- and managing complex projects that further the long term objectives of the University.
The Vice Chancellor for Information Services has the following individuals reporting directly to her:
- Associate Director of Networks and Communications
- Associate Director of Desktop Support
- Associate Director of Systems and Programming
Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration53
The Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration is the Chief Financial Officer of the University and provides financial and administrative leadership in the areas of financial affairs, human resource services, public safety, physical plant administration, and campus planning. Key responsibilities include:
- long-range campus planning and development and oversight of capital projects;
- providing financial information for campus decision makers;
- providing leadership in the hiring process and oversight of all employee benefits;
- providing oversight of the campus police department and campus public safety efforts and programs;
- acting as liaison with the central administration of the University of Arkansas on financial and administrative issues;
- overseeing the campus risk management program and securing appropriate levels of campus insurance
- coordinating the annual audit process with the state department of legislative audit;
- ongoing review and revision as necessary to University financial policies and procedures.
The Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration has the following individuals reporting directly to him:
- Associate Vice Chancellor of Finance
- Associate Vice Chancellor of Facilities and Services/Risk Management
Vice Chancellor for University Advancement
The Vice Chancellor for University Advancement has administrative responsibility for the key external relations functions of the campus. The offices under the Vice Chancellor’s area include: Office of Communications, Office of Alumni Relations, University District, Office of Community Engagement and Children International. In addition, the governmental relations functions of the campus—including local, state and federal levels—is managed by the staff of the Vice Chancellor’s office. The Vice Chancellor and the Associate Vice Chancellor for Advancement serve as the lobbyists for the University.
Key responsibilities of the Vice Chancellor include:
- determining overall strategies and objectives for the University’s relations with external constituencies
- directing the marketing and public relations goals of the University
- identifying and pursuing funding strategies for University priorities and projects, particularly from government sources
- advising the Chancellor and other administrators on legislative and governmental issues of importance to the campus
- developing relationships and partnerships with elected officials and governmental agencies
- developing and administering outreach programs that link University faculty and students with community organizations to meet critical needs
- directing the Friday Fellows Leadership Program, a student service and leadership program, including teaching responsibilities for classes
- providing strategic direction for engaging the campus with the larger community, particularly focusing on new initiatives in which the University should be a participant
- directing the use of data with University Advancement in order to set goals and objectives for garnering support for University programs, including monitoring of departmental budgets
- providing administrative support in staffing, budget and facilities for departments within University Advancement in order to provide an efficient external relations operation for the campus
The following individuals report directly to the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement:
- Associate Vice Chancellor for University Advancement
- Director of Communications
- Director of Alumni Relations
- Director of Children International
- Director of University District
- Program Manager for University District Educational Net
Director of Athletics54
The Director of Athletics is responsible for overall operations of the Department of Athletics. Key responsibilities include:
- Mandate a comprehensive rules education program.
- Identify issues and submits recommendations to the Chancellor.
- Consult with the Faculty Athletics Representative.
- Ensure athletic programs comply with the National Collegiate Athletics Association rules.
The following individuals report directly to the Director of Athletics:
- Assistant Director of Athletics/Compliance
- Assistant Director of Athletics/Business Operations
- Associate Director of Athletics/External
- Director of Athletics Development
Communication on campus is structured through the following groups:
Deans Council. Chaired by the Provost, the Deans Council is comprised of the following:
- Deans of the Colleges, Law School, Extended Programs, and Ottenheimer Library
- Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Policy
- Associate Vice Chancellor for Faculty and Administrative Affairs
- Vice Provost for Research and Dean of the Graduate School
- Director of the Office of Institutional Research
- Director of the Office of Recruitment
The group meets weekly to discuss topical University issues (e.g., budgetary, legislative, developmental, or academic) about which they advise the Provost. The council is also the direct conduit of information from the Provost into the academic colleges. This council connects the academic perspective with the administrative processes of the campus. Agendas and meeting minutes are distributed to participants, department chairpersons, and the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate.
Chairs Council. Composed of the chairs of all academic units, the council meets monthly to discuss matters of common interest to department chairs and to act as a conduit of information back to their units. The Chairs Council has an elected chairperson and is supported by the Provost’s office.
Graduate Coordinators Committee. Comprised of the coordinators of the several graduate programs, this committee meets monthly and advises the graduate office in the formulation of Graduate School policies and procedures. It also provides assistance and information on other matters. Meeting minutes are published on the web.
Various UALR administrative committees that serve in an advisory capacity. There are two different types. One is a committee convened by a specific administrator to advise, gather, and promulgate information on topics of importance to that administrator. The other is administrative committees that are part of the University Assembly structure.
Faculty and staff members are appointed by the Chancellor upon recommendation of the Committee on Committees of the University Assembly. Unless otherwise specified, student representatives on these committees are appointed by the Chancellor from nominees recommended by the Student Government Association.
Each University Assembly administrative committee is instructed to keep Faculty Senate members informed of any action it takes that would be of general interest. These are committees such as the Behavioral Standards Committee, the Human Relations Committee, the Humane Animal Care Committee, the Sustainability Committee, and the Student Affairs Committee.
Collaboration and communication are supposed to be promoted throughout the University through various administrative groups that meet on a regular basis. The majority of these groups include people from across the University to ensure that each college and unit is aware of what other groups on campus are doing. However, during the self-study process it became apparent the information does not always flow as intended. For example, although progress on the goals and objectives of UALR Fast Forward are discussed annually at the Chancellor’s Leadership Group retreat, most faculty and staff remain unaware of this progress.
The organization evaluates its structures and processes regularly and strengthens as needed.
Despite issues with information flow, the administrative structure provides an effective framework for productive collaborative work. Group representation is often made up of cross-college or unit members, thus giving people a chance to meet and work with each other. One example of such collaboration is the University’s work during the past 18 months on five retention initiatives.
In Fall 2007, Chancellor Anderson asked Provost Belcher and Vice Chancellor Donaldson to review the findings of University ad hoc committees, such as the Task Force on Retention, as well as the recommendations from the Foundations of Excellence initiative in order to make progress on Goal Two, Objective Three of UALR Fast Forward: “The University will implement research-based strategies for increasing persistence (retention) and graduation rates of UALR undergraduate students by 20 percent in five years.” This review resulted in six initiatives that were presented to UALR faculty and staff in December 2007 at the Retention Summit.
A task force, comprised of faculty, administrators, staff, and students, was formed for each initiative. Each task force researched best practices, explored needed changes in policy, and created a plan for implementation. (All initiatives are discussed in detail in Chapter 3, “The Learning-Focused Organization.”)
The first initiative required all freshmen to attend student orientation. This initiative did not need any changes in policy. Members of the task force reviewed the existing orientation and made revisions that increased academic unit participation. One issue identified was access due to the diversity of the student body. The final plan included providing day, evening, weekend, and online orientation sessions. Implemented in Fall 2008, this initiative has been successful.
The second initiative focused on developing processes to support and retain developmental students. Members of the task force reviewed existing practices and policies. They found that some of the policy needed for implementation already existed but was not being enforced. They also found that new policy needed to be adopted. The new policy recommendations were taken to Faculty Senate and approved. Implemented in Fall 2008, this initiative has been successful.
The original third and fourth initiatives were merged into one developing processes to strengthen student advising and encourage early declaration of a major. Members of the task force found that implementing this initiative required several policy changes as well as financial resources. One recommendation—the creation of an office dedicated to articulating transfer credit—was approved during the budget hearings in Spring 2009. Work on this initiative is continuing with further need for policy change and resources.
The fourth initiative required all freshmen to complete the First Year Experience course. In Spring 2008, Faculty Senate approved a policy requiring the course for all freshmen and tasked the Undergraduate Council with formulating course requirements and processes for having courses approved. In Fall 2008, the ad hoc committee formed by the Undergraduate Council completed a proposal which included a budget for resources. During spring budget hearings, due to financial constraints, these resources were not included on the priority list for funding. The proposal will go back to the Undergraduate Council for reconsideration during the 2009–2010 academic year.
The fifth initiative required faculty to report mid-term grades to students in all lower-level courses. The purpose was for students and their advisors to be aware of problems early in the semester. After much discussion in Faculty Senate, a policy passed that required faculty to report mid-term grades to students in the manner the faculty member chose as opposed to requiring that the grades be posted in the Banner system where they could be accessed by advisors.
This example illustrates how University governance structures allow for productive collaboration on campus-wide initiatives.
The distribution of responsibilities as defined in governance structures, processes, and activities is understood and is implemented through delegated authority.
According to UA Board of Trustees Policy 100.4, each campus
shall develop a system of campus government to establish policies and procedures for campus governance. The purposes shall be to provide a system that permits a broad base of governance of that campus through appropriate participation involvement of the administration, students, faculty, and staff in the determination of guidelines and policies for campus affairs and to generate and promote understanding, collaboration, and a sense of community on the campus.
Within this framework, the University Assembly, whose authority is delegated by the UA Board of Trustees, is the legislative and advisory body on educational policies and programs on campus. All legislative functions of the University Assembly are assigned to the Faculty Senate subject only to the right of the University Assembly to amend or rescind legislative actions of the Faculty Senate.
The University Assembly is composed of the President of the UA System and the following UALR personnel: the Chancellor; the Provost; all vice chancellors, associate vice chancellors, deans, and directors; the registrar; all full-time employees with the academic rank of university professor, distinguished professor, professor, associate professor, assistant professor, and instructor; elected members of the Staff Senate; and one student for every 400 students enrolled in the fall term of each academic year selected by the Student Government Association55 to be broadly representative of the various student groups.
Professors emeriti, persons with adjunct or visiting academic rank, lecturers, and part-time faculty members also have voice but may not vote in the University Assembly and are not eligible for election to the Faculty Senate or any standing committee or council of the University Assembly or the Faculty Senate.
The University Assembly has a wide variety of committees that deal with all aspects of matters within its purview. A complete list is available via Faculty Senate website.56
People within the governance and administrative structures are committed to the mission and appropriately qualified to carry out their defined responsibilities.
Three elected bodies, the Faculty Senate, the Staff Senate, and the Student Government Association, are authorized by the University Assembly. Each has its own constitution that empowers the bodies within their specified roles. The University Assembly serves as an oversight body and also reserves some responsibilities to itself, including the election of the president of the University Assembly, who also serves as president of the Faculty Senate. In addition to making recommendations on initiatives that affect the entire campus, the University Assembly also may make recommendations to the Faculty Senate, may nullify or amend legislation passed by the Faculty Senate, and may amend the constitution and the University Assembly bylaws. The new non-smoking policy, for example, was within the purview of the University Assembly.
In the 2007–2008 academic year, a member of the Student Government Association began an initiative to change the campus smoking policy to make UALR a smoke-free campus. At the time, smoking was permitted outside and away from the entrances to campus buildings.
The proposal was submitted to the University Assembly Committee on Health and Wellness, which held several meetings and invited comment from the campus community to the proposal to ban smoking. Following a series of discussions and lively campus debate both online and face-to-face, the committee voted to recommend a change in the policy to support the smoke-free resolution.
This resolution was then offered to the Faculty Senate and to the Staff Senate for review, comment and recommendation. Although such policies are not within the legislative authority of any campus governance unit, it is practice for votes on University Assembly resolutions affecting the entire campus to be informed by the votes of the appropriate Senate bodies if the bodies choose to take action. In this case, the Staff Senate voted in favor of the motion and referred it to the University Assembly. At the May 2008 meeting, the University Assembly approved the resolution to recommend to the Chancellor that UALR become a smoke-free campus.
Clearly, there were a number of students and employees who did not concur with approval of the resolution. Subsequently, the Chancellor held a series of meetings with those who supported and who opposed the resolution to provide additional input to him directly. Following those meetings and after consideration, the Chancellor informed the campus community during the Summer 2008 that he would approve the resolution to take effect beginning August 16, 2009, allowing over a year to plan implementation of the new policy. Along with approval, he also announced that a number of initiatives in smoking cessation would be offered.
The Faculty Senate is made up of full-time faculty members who hold the ranks of university professor, distinguished professor, professor, associate professor, assistant professor, or instructor. These members are elected by the full-time faculty members of the Ottenheimer Library and all academic colleges and schools that report directly to the Provost. Schools that administratively report to a college dean are considered part of that college for purposes of representation in the Faculty Senate. All questions concerning representation of an academic college or school in the Faculty Senate are resolved by the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate, subject to appeal to the Faculty Senate.
Faculty who are serving as department chairpersons are also eligible for election to the Faculty Senate. Faculty members holding appointments that require them to devote more than half their time to administrative work may not serve in the Faculty Senate. The Chancellor and the Provost are exempt from this requirement and serve as ex officio members (with vote) of the Faculty Senate. The president of the Staff Senate and the president of the Student Government Association serve as ex officio (with vote) members of the Faculty Senate.
The faculty of each college or school with ten or more faculty can elect a minimum of one senator, with additional Faculty Senate seats apportioned on the following basis: a second Faculty Senate seat for those colleges or schools with 20 to 29 full-time faculty; a third Faculty Senate seat for those colleges and schools with 30 to 39 full-time faculty members; a fourth Faculty Senate seat for those colleges and schools with 40 to 49 full-time faculty members; a fifth Faculty Senate seat for those colleges and schools with 50 to 59 full-time faculty members; and so forth for each additional ten full-time faculty.
The Faculty Senate is reapportioned every two years, prior to Faculty Senate elections, by the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate, based on the current information as to the number of full-time faculty members in each college or school. The Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate assigns faculty members of units not otherwise represented in the Faculty Senate to a single unit solely for purposes of representation in the Faculty Senate provided that such full-time faculty members number 20 or greater; otherwise, the executive committee assigns such faculty to one or more units that are represented in the Faculty Senate. When a single unit is created for purposes of representing faculty members of units not otherwise represented in the Faculty Senate, the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate has the responsibility for supervising elections to the Faculty Senate from this unit.
Colleges and schools that have academic departments and that are represented by three or fewer Faculty Senators may not have more than one Faculty Senator from the same academic department. Colleges and schools that have academic departments and that are represented by more than three but fewer than nine Faculty Senators may not have more than two Faculty Senators from the same academic department. Colleges and schools that have academic departments and that are represented by nine or more Faculty Senators, shall not have more than three Faculty Senators from the same academic department. This requirement may be waived by the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate only when the executive committee has determined that following the requirement would make it impossible for a college or school to elect its full complement of Faculty Senators. In all instances the executive committee and the faculty of each college or school should be sensitive to the need to have Faculty Senators from as many different academic departments as possible.
The University Assembly and the Faculty Senate have the right to make recommendations on all matters that concern the educational mission and effectiveness of the University. More specifically, all legislative functions of the University Assembly have been assigned to the UALR Faculty Senate, as described in Article III of the Constitution of the University Assembly of UALR, subject only to the right of the University Assembly to amend or rescind legislative actions of the Faculty Senate.
Specifically, the Faculty Senate has legislative authority over admissions requirements, curriculum and courses, degrees and requirements for degrees, calendars and schedules, awards, honors and honorary degrees, and interpretation of its own legislation. These include committees such as the Committee on Tenure, Academic Calendar and Schedules Committee, Academic Technology and Computing Committee, and the Admission and Transfer of Credits Committee (a complete list is available online).57
Faculty and other academic leaders share responsibility for the coherence of the curriculum and the integrity of academic processes.
An example of how the Faculty Senate delegates its authority to elected councils to perform tasks within its legislative authority are the Graduate and Undergraduate councils, which review curriculum proposals and monitor program performance, on behalf of and subject to the authority of the Faculty Senate. Representation on both councils comes from the colleges, the Ottenheimer Library, and the Student Government Association. (Members are elected to the councils.) To support faculty oversight of curricular coherence, representatives from the councils sit on program review committees to assure that the state’s mandate for substantive program review is accomplished through faculty governance. When the department being reviewed has both Graduate and Undergraduate programs, members of both councils sit together to develop the program review documents.
Any five faculty members, any single faculty senator, the Staff Senate, the Student Government Association, the Chancellor, or the Provost may place an item on the Faculty Senate agenda.
Staff Senate is composed of classified employees. Two members of the Staff Senate are elected for each 25 full-time staff positions. The Staff Senate makes recommendations on matters of general campus-wide concern, including salaries, work schedules and working conditions, job evaluations, grievances and appeals, fringe benefits, health services, safety, traffic, and security. These recommendations may be sent directly to the Chancellor or to the Faculty Senate for concurrent action before being sent to the Chancellor. The Staff Senate is also actively engaged in service projects to benefit employees, the campus, and the community.
Student Government Association
The Student Government Association provides opportunities for students to participate in the affairs of the University. Through the Student Government Association, students get information about campus policies, events, and organizations. The Student Government Association provides a place for students to express their views about campus policies. Members of the Student Government Association also work on committees and organize promotions and special events. Student representatives are full-voting members of the University Assembly, and the president of the Student Government Association is an ex-officio, voting member of the Faculty Senate. Elected officers of the Student Government Association serve as members of the University Assembly’s Committee on Committees and meet with the Executive Committees of the Faculty Senate and the Staff Senate on a scheduled basis.
The organization’s required codes of belief or expected behavior are congruent with its mission.
The University’s codes of conduct and expected behavior as well as statements of rights and responsibility are explicated in the handbooks for faculty, staff, and students. In keeping with the University’s mission objectives of excellence in instruction, scholarly inquiry, service to society, community of learning, accessibility, and responsiveness, these codes create an environment where diversity is valued and rights are protected. This is evinced in the UALR Policy on Discriminatory Harassment and Equal Opportunity.
UALR adheres to a policy that enables all individuals, regardless of race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, sexual orientation, veteran’s status, or disability, to work and study in an environment unfettered by discriminatory behavior or acts. Harassment of an individual or group will not be condoned, and any person—student, faculty, or staff member—who violates this policy will be subject to disciplinary action.
Harassment that is considered discriminatory includes actions or conduct (verbal, graphic, gestural, or written) directed against any person or group with the intent to demean or create a hostile or threatening environment. It is not the intent of this policy to infringe upon or limit educational, scholarly, or artistic expression.
Any person who believes he or she has been discriminated against should contact the Office of Human Relations to obtain assistance and information concerning the filing of complaints. At the same time the University prohibits discriminatory practices, it promotes equal opportunity through affirmative action. Nondiscriminatory affirmative action equal opportunity policies apply to recruitment, hiring, job classification and placement, work conditions, promotional opportunities, demotions/transfers, terminations, training, compensation, choice of contractors and suppliers of goods and services, educational opportunities, disciplinary actions, recreational and social activities, use of facilities, housing, and university-sponsored programs.
The organization consistently implements clear and fair policies regarding the rights and responsibilities of each of its internal constituencies.
The Faculty Handbook,59 Part-time Faculty Handbook, Classified (Staff) Employees Handbook,60 Student Handbook,61 UnderGraduate Catalog,62 Graduate Catalog,63 and Law School Catalog64 contain the policies and procedures that apply to the rights and responsibilities of all internal constituents. The policies and procedures in these publications require and receive continuing evaluation, review, and approval by appropriate governing bodies. Many of the policies included in the Faculty Handbook derive from UA System policies that originate with the UA Board of Trustees. Copies of the UA Board of Trustees policies are available in the deans’ offices and in the Provost’s office. The Student Handbook is available in the Dean of Students’ office. All of these documents are also available online65 and, in accordance with the Americans With Disabilities Act, are also available in alternative format upon request.
The Faculty Handbook contains information for faculty on the organizational structure, governing documents, and policies of the University. It clearly defines the rights and responsibilities of members of the faculty. The Faculty Handbook also outlines structures and processes related to the integrity of co-curricular and auxiliary activities.
The Part-time Faculty Handbook is a simplified guide to the policies and procedures of the campus that addresses issues such as the role of part-time faculty on campus, the nature of appointments, paperwork, and important policies and procedures. This handbook directs part-time faculty to the Faculty Handbook for more detailed descriptions of policies.
The Classified Employees Handbook provides information to classified employees on the appropriate university policies and procedures that apply to the entire UA System and are included along with those that have been adopted for the UALR campus only. Included is information such as the nondiscrimination policies, employment and leave policies, benefits, classification and compensation, and privileges.
Information for students is available in the course catalogs and the Student Handbook. The UnderGraduate Catalog, Graduate Catalog, and the Law School Catalog state the University’s authority to grant degrees within the UA System and provide information on the mission and scope statements, accreditation and affiliations, degrees and their requirements, admission criteria, expenses, academic policies and procedures, and descriptions of academic resources. Members of the administration and faculty are listed along with the institutions of higher education where they earned their degrees.
The Student Handbook includes UALR’s statement on nondiscrimination, sexual harassment policy, sexual assault policy, academic adjustment policy for students with disabilities, smoking policy, computer systems acceptable use policy, distribution of printed materials policy, university housing rules and regulations, and regulations governing student organizations. In addition, the code of student rights, responsibilities, and behavior includes the policy covering student discipline and appeal procedures.
The organization understands and abides by local, state, and federal laws and regulations applicable to it (or bylaws and regulations established by federally recognized sovereign entities).
Blanket policies of the University include the following:
- Sexual Harassment Policy. UALR prohibits sexual harassment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Initial complaints may be filed with any of three offices: the Office of Human Relations, the Department of Public Safety, or the Office of Campus Life.
- Americans With Disabilities Act Policy. UALR commits to make every effort to meet special accommodation and access needs, complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Questions, comments, or concerns regarding accommodations and accessibility are directed to the Office of Disability Support Services. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 protects people infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from discrimination, and UALR accords all rights of access and responsibilities in every aspect of university life as available to uninfected persons. UALR neither screens nor inquires regarding HIV status in admission or employment.
- Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (summarized). FERPA (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.
FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students at UALR who are 18 years old or older have various rights with regard to their educational records, including the right to inspect and review all educational records and a valid expectation of privacy.
- Computer Systems Appropriate/Acceptable Use Policy (summarized). The use of information technology systems is restricted to authorized faculty, staff, alumni, and students. Information technology systems and network may be used only for the intended authorized purposes.
Students are directed to the Department of Public Safety and the Office of Campus Life66 to obtain the Campus Security Report in compliance with the Student Right-to-Know and the Campus Security Act of 1990, revised as The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act of 1998.
The organization documents timely response to complaints and grievances, particularly those of students.
The University maintains an extensive and thoroughly developed set of grievance committees to assure both due process and fair hearings on a variety of issues relating to both behavior and professional standards. Those committees include the following:
- Academic Integrity and Grievance. The Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee hears specific grade appeals and hears, on appeal and referral, cases involving certain alleged academic offenses. The Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee comprises 15 faculty and three faculty alternates to be appointed annually in the spring by the Committee on Committees and 15 students and three alternates to be appointed no later than the beginning of the fall semester by the Student Government Association. The term of office begins with the fall semester and continues for twelve months. The purpose of the committee is twofold: (1) it affords the student an opportunity to appeal a grade if he or she feels the grade was inequitably awarded in that it violated a faculty member’s own specified grading standards, and (2) it affords a student a hearing in cases where disputes over alleged cheating, plagiarism, collusion, and the like cannot be resolved (where the student does not admit that he/she violated an academic offense standard or the student admits that he/she did violate an academic offense standard and the Dean of Students (or designee) refers the case for sanctioning). Students and faculty members are urged, however, to make all attempts possible to resolve a grievance before initiating formal appeal. The administrative officer shall assign two faculty members and two students to hear academic offenses by rotation according to alphabet if possible.
- Behavioral Standards. The Behavioral Standards Committee of the Faculty Senate is a disciplinary agent of the University and hears cases referred to it by the Dean of Students or by the Dean of the Graduate School whenever the behavior of a student (or group) is in violation of the University’s nonacademic behavioral standards. The committee hears cases involving student organizations upon referral from the Dean of Students (or designee) when no governing body judicial board exists. It also has jurisdiction over appeals by a student of an adverse decision of a faculty member regarding disruptive behavior in the classroom. The committee is composed of four faculty members and two faculty alternates appointed by the Faculty Senate president; three students and two student alternates are appointed by the Student Government Association.
- Faculty/Staff Appeals. All appeals and grievances involving faculty are made to the Faculty Appeals Council. This includes but is not limited to appeals and grievances about dismissal, tenure, promotion, salary, fringe benefits, working conditions, and discrimination based upon race, sex, or physical handicap. Membership of this committee shall include the Committee on Tenure; one full-time faculty member, with tenure, elected from each academic unit represented in the Faculty Senate; and two academic administrators below the level of dean who shall be elected by the Faculty Senate. Should the composition of the Faculty Appeals Council not, in the opinion of the president of the Faculty Senate, include adequate representation of women and/or minorities, the Faculty Senate president may appoint up to five additional full-time faculty members to provide such representation. Elections shall be conducted in the spring, and members shall serve two-year staggered terms.
- University Judicial Appeals. The University Judicial Appeals Committee is an administrative committee that reviews and hears appeals on the record of decisions made by the Behavioral Standards Committee, the Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee, the judicial boards of the Greek governing bodies for organizational offenses, and the Dean of Students or his or her designee as part of the informal system of adjudication. The committee is composed of one faculty member and one faculty alternate, one student and one student alternate, and one academic or nonacademic administrator and one alternate. This process ensures that students are provided due process.
Grievance processes are specific to the grievance and the committee to which it is addressed. All committees’ policies include information with respect to timelines, hearing guidelines, and appellate procedures.
UALR’s expectations for student academic behavior are outlined by Dean of Students’ Academic Integrity Policy, with examples of academic offenses such as student misconduct and plagiarism. The Dean of Students is also responsible for the Student Handbook. This handbook defines academic misconduct and provides specific examples. All policies related to students include everything from the admission process through graduation. The University reserves the right to change policies at any time and without prior notice as deemed necessary for mission accomplishment or the health and welfare of faculty, staff, and students.
Student complaints and dispositions of grievances are recorded in one of the following offices: the Offices of the Chancellor, Provost, and Vice Chancellor for Educational and Student Services.
The organization understands and abides by local, state, and federal laws and regulations applicable to it (or bylaws and regulations established by federally recognized sovereign entities).
The Director of Human Relations67 reports to the Chancellor and is responsible for monitoring federal compliance, Equal Employment Opportunity, and Affirmative Action on campus. The Director also serves as a member of both the Chancellor’s Leadership Group and Direct Reports Group. The Chancellor implements policies on these issues and maintains oversight of compliance through the Office of Human Relations.
The organization creates, disseminates, and enforces clear policies on practices involving intellectual property rights.
The UALR Intellectual Property Policy68 is adapted from Policy 210.2, adopted by the UA Board of Trustees in 2001. This policy governs issues of copyright and use of technology-enhanced course materials (TECMs). (Please refer to that policy for complete details.) The policy creates five categories, dependent on the amount of technological support that is provided by the University into the development of the course, that are used to classify TECMs and determine copyright, revenue allocation, and use. A more detailed discussion of the categories is available online.69 The Intellectual Property Policy was approved by the Faculty Senate April 19, 2002, and by Chancellor Hathaway May 2, 2002.
To support faculty and students, Copyright Central70 was developed in 2005. Copyright Central provides a centralized location for information about copyright law and fair use for faculty and students, information about copyright protection for students, information about the UALR Intellectual Property Policy, and additional resources regarding copyright, plagiarism, and intellectual property.
The organization provides effective oversight and support services to ensure the integrity of research and practice conducted by its faculty and students.
The organizational structure of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs71 has shifted a number of times over the past ten years as the type of research conducted at UALR has shifted. Because of the emerging role of research on campus, the University has re-assessed the function of ORSP. This assessment revealed the office had an inadequate infrastructure to nurture and support faculty doing research and to oversee all of the administrative functions of grants. To address this, the administrative structure of the office was changed. The position of Dean of the Graduate School was expanded to include additional responsibilities for the oversight and support of research activities. This position, now titled Vice Provost for Research and Dean of the Graduate School, directly supervises the Director of ORSP.
ORSP ensures accountability, compliance, and stewardship for sponsored research as directed by all applicable federal, state, and university policies, procedures, and regulations. It also supports the fiscal management of funded projects to reduce the administrative load on researchers, project directors, and departmental support staff. It functions as the single point of contact for all activities between UALR and external sponsors.
The Director of ORSP is responsible for the development and administration of grant dollars on campus. This description covers a wide range of duties, such as encouraging and helping the faculty to apply for grants, administering awarded grants, and ensuring that the University is in compliance with all federal and state regulations that affect grants and contracts.
ORSP also provides administrative support to the Institutional Research Board72 (IRB). ORSP maintains all the official records of business conducted by or in support of the IRB. ORSP staffs the IRB meetings and takes and retains minutes. The office maintains current IRB Review Request forms (both hard copy and electronic), distributes them, receives completed review requests and processes them for IRB review.
Currently, UALR is guided by the ethical principles set forth by the Belmont Report of Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Participants of Research73 with regard to research involving human participants. This policy covers all research conducted by the faculty, staff, and students of the University regardless of the source of support (internal or external).
The organization understands and abides by local, state, and federal laws and regulations applicable to it (or bylaws and regulations established by federally recognized sovereign entities).
All research involving human participants conducted by UALR researchers must be reviewed and approved by the IRB before data collection begins. The IRB operates according to the guidelines in Title 45, Part 46 of the Code of Federal Regulations (45CFR46) and other applicable state and institutional guidelines.
UALR has filed an assurance (FWA 00002205) with the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Human Research Protections stating its intent to adhere to these principles and follow the federal guidelines set forth for conducting research with human participants.
This policy applies if the following is true:
- The research is sponsored by UALR
- The research is conducted by or under the direction of any employee or agent of UALR in connection with his or her institutional duties—or
- The research is conducted by or under the direction of any employee or agent of UALR using any property or facilities of UALR
Researchers (including students) must seek IRB review and approval of each research protocol prior to conducting the research. It is also the researcher’s responsibility to seek review and approval of any proposed modifications to an ongoing study and to initiate continuing review at least annually for the duration of the research project.
UALR requires that all investigators who wish to conduct research with human subjects complete a human research training course hosted by the University of Miami.74 The training is valid for three years. Investigators must also read the Belmont Report of Ethical Principles prior to initiation of the research. The IRB has the authority to approve, disapprove, or request modifications to research protocols involving human participants conducted by UALR researchers (including students) or conducted at UALR facilities.
Over the past three years, the IRB has conducted a full review of its protocol to ensure that UALR is in full compliance with all federal, state, and local laws and regulations. In Spring 2009, the IRB submitted the revised protocol to the Provost and Faculty Senate. This project is an example of administrative and faculty bodies working collaboratively to develop policies that support UALR’s integrity and metropolitan mission. An additional goal of this project is to make the policy document more accessible to researchers. The project has involved faculty from across the campus and disciplines, administrators, and staff.
Researchers (faculty, staff, and students) at UALR accept their responsibility to conduct research in an ethical and responsible manner and acknowledge their obligation to protect the rights and welfare of any human participant involved in a research activity. The primary investigator and other key researchers are responsible for designing a sound study in accordance with the standards of the discipline and for disclosing any perceived or potential conflict of interest that would reasonably appear to be affected by the proposed research.
All research or teaching that involves animal subjects must be reviewed and approved by the University’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.75 The committee ensures that faculty and students are properly trained to perform or conduct any procedures pertaining to the use of animals. UALR faculty and students must have an approved protocol on file even if they are conducting research outside of the campus. The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee meets every six months.
Work done with radiation is overseen by the Radiation Safety Committee76 and the Radiation Safety Office, located in the Graduate Institute of Technology, which was established to assure compliance with state regulations and the conditions set forth by the license and to promote best practices. The UALR Radiation Safety Program assists management at all levels in fulfilling the UALR commitment to furnish a place of employment and learning which is as free as possible from recognized radiation hazards that cause or are likely to cause harm or death to personnel and the surrounding community. In the name of UALR, the Radiation Safety Committee has obtained an academic institution license from the Arkansas Department of Health for the use of radioactive materials. The Radiation Safety Office/Committee approves internal permits for responsible and qualified individuals to use radioactive materials within UALR after the permission has been approved by the Health Department. The permits are approved for the purchase, transfer, use, and disposal of specific amounts of a particular nuclide within the educational and research facilities of UALR. Appropriate application forms must be completed and approved before permission can be granted.
The board exercises its responsibility to the public to ensure that the organization operates legally, responsibly, and with fiscal honesty.
To ensure financial integrity, the UA Board of Trustees requires internal and external audits performed annually. The Internal Audit Department is responsible for providing the UA Board of Trustees and the President of the UA System with information about the adequacy and effectiveness of the internal administrative and accounting controls and the quality of operating performance when compared with established standards. To accomplish this, the Internal Audit Department is authorized to have full, free, and unrestricted access to all property, personnel, and records.
The internal auditor retains a high degree of independence, unhindered by the UA Board of Trustees or University officials in their audits. The auditors use nationally recognized guidelines such as Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing, published by the Institute of Internal Auditors, Inc., and College & University Business Administration, published by the National Association of College and University Business Officers for internal audit activities. Internal auditors also coordinate external audit activities.
External auditors evaluate whether or not the University practices generally acceptable accounting principles and is free from fraud or any other financial improprieties. UALR’s audits for the past ten years have found no violations or misappropriations.
- UALR has clear mission and values documents that are available to constituencies.
- UALR has articulated mission goals and objectives that drive institutional decisions.
- Policy documents have been or are being updated in response to environmental scanning.
- Communication within and among campus units needs to be improved. This will enhance collaboration across campus.