UALR Chancellor featured in Arkansas Times
UALR Chancellor Joel Anderson was featured in a Sept. 5 issue of Arkansas Times along with 49 other Arkansans who have made their mark on the state in recent years.
The piece, titled “Influential Arkansans,” highlights “more than 50 who shape our state,” and includes and recognizes Anderson for his influence in higher education and community building.
“Some universities and the towns they’re located in largely go their separate ways,” according to the story. “More is expected of the university in a large metropolitan area. Under Chancellor Joel Anderson, UALR tries to provide.”
The short section devoted to Anderson, which is just under 200 words, focuses on his work with UALR and the community, including a recommendation to merge Little Rock and North Little Rock utilities in 2000, the creation of the Institute of Race and Ethnicity and the university district development corporation’s work to improve neighborhoods around the metropolitan campus.
“Well, it’s gratifying,” Anderson said, “and I was in good company that included some other UALR people. I am also very proud to see that they were included.”
Some of the “UALR people” that Anderson referred to are Haydar Al-Shukri, director of UALR’s Arkansas Earthquake Center and the chair of the applied science department, as well as James Parins, J.W. Wiggins and Daniel Littlefield of UALR’s Sequoyah National Research Center.
The story also announces that Arkansas Times will be “hosting a weekend later in September in honor of these men and women who’ve left their mark on Arkansas.” The event will take place Sept. 21 at the Old Statehouse on President Clinton Avenue in downtown Little Rock and will include a public cocktail reception at which some of the featured honorees will be present. Throughout the next day, Sept. 22, the local publication will host the Arkansas Times Festival of Ideas at locations such as the Old Statehouse, the Historic Arkansas Museum, the Central Arkansas Library and the Clinton School of Public Service.
“Several years ago, the Arkansas Times began publishing a Big Ideas issue, an annual showcase of ideas that would make Arkansas a better place to live,” according to the story. “It’s always an inspiring endeavor, a rare opportunity for cynical editors to focus on promise rather than shortcomings. In that spirit, we decided to survey some of the people behind the ideas and initiatives that are shaping Arkansas today.”
According to the story, the festival will include presentations and demonstrations by nearly 20 of the featured influential Arkansans. “It’ll be like our own version of TED Talks,”the story states. Presenters are scheduled from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will include such notable locals as Oxford American publisher Warwick Sabin, University of Arkansas System President Donald Bobbitt, and “Project Runway” fashion designer Korto Momolu, among others.
Anderson said that unlike Bobbitt, he will not be able to attend the Festival of Ideas this weekend because of a prior commitment. He also said that he reads the local weekly “fairly regularly, depending on the stories.”