Dr. Lawrence Whitman, dean of the UA Little Rock College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), has joined the Little Rock Technology Park Board of Directors.
The Little Rock Tech Park is meant to become an innovation center that will accelerate the location of technology-based ventures and the formation of new ventures. Its goal is to provide quality job opportunities and economic development in Central Arkansas.
“This is a great honor, and the tech park is a vital economic driver for our community,” Whitman said. “It is exciting to represent the university as part of the greater regional entrepreneurial community. I want to work to better align the ideas of faculty and students with the purpose of the tech park as to how we can promote the great ideas on campus.”
Members of the seven-person board of directors serve five-year terms and can serve a maximum of two terms. Whitman is replacing Darrin Williams, CEO of Southern Bancorp, who has just finished his second term on the board.
Brent Birch, executive director of the Little Rock Tech Park, said Whitman’s expertise in STEM-related ventures “will be a substantial asset to the board as we move into future phases.”
“My role will be to ensure that UA Little Rock’s needs are represented in the tech park,” Whitman said. “We desire to have an entrepreneurial mindset on our campus. I will represent UA Little Rock and enhance opportunities for faculty and students to consider startups and investigate options for taking it to the next level. I have been meeting with people on campus who have been part of startups in the past, present, and future. If any others would like to meet with me to discuss their ideas, I am happy to do so.”
Whitman earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering design technology and a master’s degree in industrial engineering and management from Oklahoma State University. He then spent a decade in the aerospace industry as a practicing engineer in Texas where he earned his Professional Engineers license.
After earning his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington, Whitman served as a professor in the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering and associate dean of undergraduate education at Wichita State University. He joined UA Little Rock in 2015 as dean of the former Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology.