July 2, 2020
Bobbitt Announces Appointees to UA System Task Force on Racial Equity
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LITTLE ROCK (July 2, 2020) — University of Arkansas System President Dr. Donald R. Bobbitt today announced appointments for a new systemwide task force that will consider issues around racial equity at the campuses, divisions and units within the UA System.
The UA System Task Force on Racial Equity is the result of a proposal made by John Goodson, chair of the Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas, at a special meeting of the board on June 17, when he announced plans to appoint a task force to address racial injustice and promote equitable practices within the System.
“The past several weeks in our country have brought to light the vital need for all institutions to increase efforts to combat racial injustice,” Goodson told Trustees and those attending the virtual special meeting. “Many people of color have spoken out, including many constituents of the UA System, about issues they face in their daily lives that we should all be concerned about.”
Goodson identified UA Trustee Stephen Broughton, M.D., to chair the task force, and fellow Trustee Ted Dickey to represent the Board, while setting expectations for the task force to make recommendations regarding policies, procedures and activities to help ensure the UA System and its campuses, divisions and units across the state promote an atmosphere that is “welcoming and attuned to the cultural and educational needs of all Arkansans,” he said.
“I see this as an opportunity to consider necessary changes across the UA System, highlighted by the chance to give everyone a voice and a seat at the table to discuss areas of concern and successes at individual campuses,” Broughton said. “It will be vitally important that we not only have a good ear and listen to what’s going on around us, but to also propose new ideas and policies and follow them up with appropriate actions to ensure progress is being made.”
Bobbitt said the task force is a welcomed addition to many efforts already underway at the system’s campuses, divisions and units to address issues of racial equity.
“There is an expectation from my office and the Board of Trustees that faculty, students, staff and visitors to our campuses should all be treated with respect and presented with an equitable environment to pursue their educational and scholarly goals,” Bobbitt said. “This is a well-respected and accomplished group, and I look forward to the UA System benefitting from its work immediately and well into the future.”
Among those named to the task force is Mark Cochran, vice president-agriculture for the system and head of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.
“I applaud the system for taking this step and see our work ahead as a means to continue our mission serving all Arkansans and fulfilling our social responsibilities,” he said.
The UA System Task Force on Racial Equity includes:
- Dr. Stephen Broughton, UA System Trustee, Committee Chair
- Mr. Ted Dickey, UA System Trustee
- Dr. Robert Carr, Provost, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
- Dr. Mark Cochran, Vice President, UA System Division of Agriculture
- Dr. Deacue Fields, Dean, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
- Mr. Marvin Caston, Senior Director of Development, Razorback Foundation, Inc.
- Dr. Moses Goldman, Vice Chancellor, University of Arkansas at Monticello
- Dr. Georgia Hale, Provost, University of Arkansas at Fort Smith
- Dr. Keith Pinchback, Chancellor, Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas
- Dr. Terisa Riley, Chancellor, University of Arkansas at Fort Smith
- Dr. Charles Robinson, Provost, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
- Dr. Chris Smith, Dean, University of Arkansas Community College at Hope-Texarkana
- Ms. Kristi Smith, Director, UA Little Rock Alumni Association
- Ms. Christina Clark, Vice Chancellor/COO, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
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Director of Communications
University of Arkansas System