• Recent News

  • Article 1: $10 Million Gifted to the University of the Ozarks to Establish the Frontier Scholarship Program

    Article 2: University of Arkansas Fort Smith, Industry Partners to Provide In-Demand Career Training

    Article 3: Clarksville Expands Water Capacity - Announces Major Upgrades to Water Treatment Plant

    Article 4: Clarksville Community Planning Workshop To Be Held Dec. 1


    Article 1:  $10 Million Gift Establishes Frontier Scholarship Program at Ozarks 


    by U of O on Friday, Oct. 03, 2016  9:24 am  

    "There has been much written and discussed about the escalating costs of higher education in our country, and for many families the cost exceeds their reach," said Dunsworth, as he shared information regarding the scholarship program. 

    Dunsworth told the audience the Frontier Scholarships would boost the private, four-year institution's ongoing efforts to provide a high quality liberal arts education to students who may otherwise struggle to afford it.  Initial Frontier Scholarships will be awarded to qualified students entering as freshmen in the fall of 2017.  Sixteen Frontier Scholars will be admitted in the program's first year, with about 60 students enrolled in the program by the fall of 2020.

    President Richard Dunsworth announces a $10 million gift from the Walton Family Foundation.

    U of O President Richard Dunsworth announced a $10 million gift from the Walton Family Foundation on Monday for the new Frontier Scholarship Program.

    Dr. Judy P. Boreham, chair of the University's board of trustees, said that the Frontier Scholarship Program would add tremendous support to the University's strategic plan, "Renewing Our Place," adopted by the board last fall. 

    "At the heart of the plan is the belief that the University, building on its legacy, should be accessible regardless of economic means," Boreham said. "We see this gift as wholly consistent with our mission and long history of social and educational leadership."

    Dr. Dave Daily, moderator of the Faculty Senate and professor of religion, commented, "We are proud of the quality of education we provide to our students, especially at a cost that defies national trends. We've already eliminated hundreds of dollars in fees while not raising the cost of tuition, room and board. With this generous gift, we will be able to extend the reach of an Ozarks education even further."
    Dunsworth expressed deep appreciation to the Bentonville-based foundation established by the late Sam and Helen Walton for furthering the University's "pioneering spirit in higher education."  Noting that Ozarks is the oldest institution of higher education in the Arkansas-Oklahoma Territory (founded in 1834), he enumerated many "firsts" that he said demonstrated "the unflagging frontier spirit at the University."
    The list included Ozarks' status as the first college in Arkansas to admit women in 1875, the first historically white institution of higher education in Arkansas to admit African-American undergraduates in 1957, the first historically white college in the state to integrate its varsity athletics program, and the first in the nation to establish a program to assist college students with specific learning disabilities.

    Helen Walton joined the University's board of trustees in 1974, was a former chair of the board, and was named honorary lifetime chair of the board in 1985. Ozarks is a host school for the Walton International Scholars Program, and is the home of the Walton Fine Arts Center and Robson Memorial Library (named in memory of Mrs. Walton's parents).  Other endowed scholarships and professorships have been established at Ozarks by the family.

    Ozarks' Fall 2016 enrollment is 686, up 5.4 percent, and the University will provide over $8.8 million in institutional financial aid to students this school year.  This amount does not include additional state or federal grants for which Ozarks students may qualify.

    For the second consecutive year, the University has been ranked number one in the "Great Schools, Great Prices" value category among universities in the South by "U.S. News & World Report," and was ranked third overall among 75 colleges in the publication's South Region.

    The Frontier Scholarship endowment is the latest in a string of major gifts and commitments to the University that includes funding for the complete restoration of the University's Munger-Wilson Memorial Chapel, the $2 million McElree Faculty Enrichment Endowment, a $1 million endowed math professorship, an $800,000 endowment for study abroad scholarships, and funding to construct and support a new competition tennis complex and associated facilities


    Article 2: University of Arkansas Fort Smith, Industry Partners to Provide In-Demand Career Training


    Two workforce development grants totaling more than $110,000 from the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet to the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith will create career paths at the university for in-demand jobs both locally and across the state.

    The planning grants will fund an Automation Academy and a Data Analytics Academy, with the potential for an additional $2 million in funding per grant. The two industry-driven programs were developed in partnership with local employers and educators to address current and emerging skills gaps in the region’s workforce.

    A skills gap refers to a career field with a disparity between preferred qualifications of employers and the actual qualifications of employees seeking jobs in the field

    “Skill gaps in the workforce can be threatening to an area’s economic well-being,” said Dr. Paul B. Beran, UAFS chancellor. “As one of the main drivers of economic development in the greater Fort Smith region, UAFS has prioritized partnering with local institutions to ensure we are filling the skills gaps of the area and creating more opportunity for the residents in our service area.”

    Both academies offer students seamless yet flexible paths to earn degrees or certifications, with opportunities to earn a certificate of proficiency, technical certificate, associate degree or bachelor’s degree. High school students can also enter the programs and earn concurrent credit to provide an easy transition to college following graduation.

    UAFS will offer these programs in collaboration with local businesses and organizations including Walmart, Baldor Electric Co., Pernod Ricard USA, the 188th Wing of the Arkansas Air National Guard, Hickory Springs Manufacturing Co., and the Western Arkansas Workforce Development Board, in addition to several area public schools. Industry partners will assist the university in student recruitment and engagement, business partner recruitment and curriculum design.

    Col. Bobbi Doorenbos, commander of the 188th Wing of the Arkansas Air National Guard, said she looks forward to working with UAFS. “The 188th has always had deep roots in the western Arkansas community, and we are looking forward to collaborating with UAFS as the university responds to the workforce needs of the 188th,” Doorenbos said. “Residents, and 188th members alike, will certainly benefit from this partnership.”

    The Automation Academy will prepare students for manufacturing careers in automation and robotics. To help introduce students to manufacturing career fields, UAFS will host two-week summer camps for students entering their senior year of high school. Through these camps, students will take industry tours, talk to workers in the students’ areas of interest, and learn about career opportunities in the manufacturing field.

    Additionally, UAFS will coordinate mentorships between students and successful manufacturing professionals to help students apply their studies to a career and build connections in the community. The Data Analytics Academy will educate students for careers in data analytics, the science of reviewing data to influence decision-making within an organization, oftentimes referred to as Big Data. Students trained in data analytics can enter a range of fields, including information technologies, manufacturing and retail.

    With both programs, the university will collaborate with area schools including Charleston, Fort Smith, Greenwood, and Van Buren Public Schools to identify, recruit and help educate students. The university will also collaborate with the Western Arkansas Education Service Cooperative. Both programs will be open to traditional and non-traditional students, according to Dr. Ken Warden, dean of the College of Applied Science and Technology. “This is an all-inclusive program in which students from all walks of life can participate,” Warden said. “We are excited to partner with local industry and educational institutions to create a pipeline for individuals to move seamlessly from education to rewarding careers in challenging, high-demand fields. We anticipate this process will make a huge impact on the development of talent in our workforce locally and across the state.”

     Date Posted: Wednesday, October 7, 2015


    Article 3: Clarksville Expands Water Capacity - Announces Major Upgrades to Water Treatment Plant

    Clarksville Light & Water, the municipally owned utility, in Clarksville, Arkansas has just completed a $10 million dollar expansion to its water treatment plant.

    CLW’s water system was already a leader in the state of Arkansas by being one of the first municipal water systems to use Ozone as its primary disinfection method for treatment, but with this expansion it has increased its Ozone injection process using a state of the art HyDOZ® system by Blue-In-Green based in Fayetteville, Arkansas http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/09/prweb12959954.htm.

    Overall the expansion will increase the output capacity from 12 million gallons a day (MGD) to 16 MGD. As a part of the design/build planning process many of the key components in this expansion project have been sized for the eventual capacity of 24 MGD. This will allow Clarksville Light & Water to make improvements as demand and local economic growth warrants with minimal additional investments.

    CL&W is a municipally owned utility providing electric, water and wastewater to the Clarksville, Arkansas community at not for profit rates since 1913. The utility is managed under a separate and autonomous utility commission appointed by the Clarksville city council.

     Date posted: October 2, 2015


    Article 4: Clarksville Community Planning Workshop To Be Held Dec. 1

    Submitted by The Johnson County Graphic on Wed, Nov. 23, 2016

    Clarksville Mayor Mark Simpson has announced plans for a workshop for the new comprehensive plan for the Clarksville community. The workshop will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday Dec. 1, in Hanna and Bruning Rooms in the Rogers Conference Center in Seay Student Center at the University of the Ozarks. 

    According to James Walden, planner for the project, the workshop will focus on identifying the issues the community is facing, particularly the critical issues that will play a significant role in shaping Clarksville's future. "This workshop will be about the planning team listening rather than talking. We want to hear from folks in the community about their ideas and dreams for the future of Clarksville," Walden said. "To plan a bright future, we need to know where Clarksville currently stands and there is no better expert than the people that live and work here."

    Walden said, "The meeting will be set up to allow us to hear from everyone in the room." He added, "It's always interesting and fun for everyone to hear the ideas that come forward." The planning team will take down the ideas and visions developed and formulate a consensus vision based on the input received. That information will form a foundation for the plan. 

    The mayor, city council, staff, planning commission and community leaders began working on the plan in response to a need to pot a course for the city's future. Slowing growth, economic shifts and concern over recent developments have highlighted the need and interest in developing new strategies for the community's development.

    This meeting is one in a series of meetings in which the community will have an opportunity to provide input on the plan.  "For this plan to be successful, we need community buy-in. As a result, we are working to engage the community in a big way as part of the project," Walden said. Other meetings have included a kick-off meeting, key person interviews, stakeholder group meetings, etc. 

    The final plan will propose ideas to strategically guide the city over the next 15 to 25 years and be finished in the summer of 2017. Planning will affect all residents in the area as well as the business community. For this reason, local officials stress the importance of involving as many area people in the process as possible.