The University of Arkansas at Little Rock Institute on Race and Ethnicity will be renamed in honor of retiring Chancellor Joel E. Anderson, who was instrumental in the establishment of the institute in July 2011.
“I am truly honored,” Anderson said. “It pleases me that my name will be associated with an ongoing work to understand and eliminate racial and ethnic prejudice and discrimination in Arkansas.”
Institute Director John Kirk requested the name change, which was approved by the institute’s advisory council. The University of Arkansas System Board of Trustees approved the request at its May 26 meeting.
“Dr. Anderson’s 45 years at UALR, with some 39 of those years spent in various leadership positions, has allowed the young man from Swifton to live out his commitment to see UALR achieve a pivotal role in pursuing racial and ethnic justice in Arkansas,” Kirk said. “I can think of no more fitting and rightful tribute to this distinguished career than for the Institute to be renamed the Joel E. Anderson Institute on Race and Ethnicity.”
Anderson is retiring from UALR at the end of June after a 13-year tenure as chancellor. He created the Chancellor’s Committee on Race and Ethnicity in 2006. Out of the committee’s work, the Institute on Race and Ethnicity was created to work with Arkansas communities to end racial and ethnic injustice.
The institute has recently been recognized for its work by the Arkansas Historical Association. It received the Diamond Award for theArkansas Civil Rights Heritage Trail in recognition of its excellence in public history engagement and an award of merit for the Arkansas Civil Rights History Tour App created with the City of Little Rock, which offers residents and visitors a new way to explore the city’s rich civil rights history.
In addition, the institute also oversees the annual Racial Attitudes in Pulaski County Conference.