History of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) is a post-secondary educational institution whose origin in 1873 was embedded in an Act of the Arkansas State Legislature. The purpose of the legislation was to provide education for the state’s African-American population.
In 1875, Branch Normal College, a branch of the Arkansas Industrial University (now the University of Arkansas) opened its doors to seven (7) students in a one-story frame house on the corner of Lindsey and Sevier streets in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. As a branch of the Normal Department of the Arkansas Industrial University, its primary goal was the preparation of teachers. J. C. Corbin, former State Superintendent of Instruction and Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Arkansas Industrial University, was named Superintendent of the newly created institution. With the passage of the Second Morrill Act of 1890, Branch Normal became a land-grant institution and its curriculum was expanded to include instruction in agriculture and the mechanical arts and associated trades.
Between 1911 and 1915, the curriculum was reduced to instruction in elementary and secondary coursework. During this time, the institution was called Branch Normal School. Jefferson Ish, a native Arkansan, succeeded several leaders that followed J. C. Corbin in 1915. He re-established programs that were lost under prior administrations, and the institution was reorganized to align its programs with its designation as an 1890 land-grant institution. Ish developed a strong agriculture program to accompany the teaching component and initiated training in allied trades; thus, establishing a strong foundation for the college. In 1921, the name of the school was changed to the Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal (AM&N) School to reflect the 1890 land-grant focus as well as its original goal of training teachers. In 1925-1926, AM&N School advanced to become a two-year junior college and in 1927, AM&N School which was renamed Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal College, expanded its curriculum to four years, and was made independent of Arkansas Industrial University. Dr. John Brown Watson became the institution’s first president in 1929.
AM&N College operated as an independent institution for 47 years from 1927-1972. Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal College was merged with the University of Arkansas System in 1972 and renamed the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB).
UAPB is the only Historically Black College/University (HBCU) in the University of Arkansas System. In addition, it is the second oldest educational institution in Arkansas and it is the state’s oldest HBCU.
Currently, the institution’s student population is 91.23% Black or African American; 4.93% White; 1.81% Non-Resident Alien; 0.41% Asian; 1.39% Hispanic; 0.19% American/Alaska Native; and 0.04% two or more races.
Since its creation in 1873, the institution has been led by the following dynamic educational leaders:
||Joseph Carter Corbin, Principal
||Isaac Fisher, Principal
||W. S. Harris, Superintendent* and F. T. Venegar, Principal
||Jefferson Ish, Superintendent
||Charles Smith, Superintendent
||Robert E. Malone, Superintendent
||Dr. John B. Watson, President
||Dr. Lawrence A. Davis, Sr. President
||Dr. Earl Evans, Acting President
||Dr. Lawrence A. Davis, Sr. President
||Dr. Lawrence A. Davis, Sr. Chancellor
||Dr. Johnny B. Johnson, Sr., Interim Chancellor
||Dr. Herman B. Smith, Jr., Chancellor
||Dr. Lloyd V. Hackley, Chancellor
||Dr. Charles A. Walker, Chancellor
||Dr. Carolyn F. Blakely, Interim Chancellor
||Dr. Lawrence A. Davis, Jr., Chancellor
||Dr. Calvin Johnson, Interim Chancellor
||Dr. Laurence B. Alexander, Chancellor
Mission, Vision, Values
The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff is a public comprehensive HBCU 1890 Land-Grant institution. The University embraces its land-grant mission of providing cutting edge research, teaching, outreach, and service programs that respond to social and economic needs of the state and region. Its mission is to promote and sustain excellent academic programs that integrate quality instruction, research, and student learning experiences responsive to the needs of a racially, culturally, and economically diverse student population. Ultimately, the University is dedicated to providing access and opportunity to academically deserving students and producing graduates who are equipped to excel through their contributions and leadership in a 21st century national and global community.
The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff will be widely recognized as the University of choice for students, faculty, staff, and future employers of our students. UAPB will be renowned nationally and internationally for excellence in teaching, research, service, and outreach with exceptional academic programs and globally competitive students. As a pre-eminent land-grant institution, UAPB will enrich the lives of people in the Arkansas Delta and beyond.
Student Focused: UAPB promotes the intellectual, physical, social, and professional development of students in all facets of University life.
Excellence: UAPB is committed to the highest levels of achievement in all aspects of operations.
Integrity: UAPB maintains the highest standards of ethical, professional practices in all that it does.
Engagement: UAPB extends its reach and impact in the region through partnerships and collaborations with individuals, public and nonprofit agencies, community groups, educational institutions, and businesses.
Quality Customer Service: UAPB provides an environment of respectful, polite, and consistently excellent service to its internal and external constituents.
Diversity: UAPB respects and embraces diversity and actively supports efforts that combat prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination.
Globalization: UAPB promotes internationalization and prepares globally aware and astute students for the 21st century.
Accountability: UAPB is a responsible steward of public and private resources and the public trust.
Priorities and Goals of the University
Create and Sustain a Culture of Academic Excellence, Success, and Renewal Necessary to Grow Enrollment
Goal 1: Strengthen and grow the University’s enrollment by enhancing access, flexibility, and responsiveness to meet the changing educational needs of students.
Goal 2: Recruit and retain gifted students by providing an academically challenging learning environment.
Goal 3: Promote excellence in teaching, scholarship, research, and service by rewarding faculty who are outstanding scholars and teachers who make significant contributions to student success.
Goal 4: Strengthen the capacity and quality of STEM-oriented degree programs.
Goal 5: Develop or enhance undergraduate and graduate programs in areas that address the social, economic, environmental, ethical, scientific, and political issues of the 21st century.
Increase the Effectiveness and Efficiency of University Operations and Systems
Goal 1: Improve the effectiveness and efficiency of University operations to sustain the transformation of the University.
Goal 2: Continue to improve programs and services through a systematic and ongoing process of planning, assessment, and review to create an environment that is accessible and welcoming to students, staff, faculty, alumni, and the greater community.
Modernize and Upgrade University Infrastructure and Facilities
Goal 1: Fully modernize campus facilities and infrastructure to create an environment that is accessible and inviting to students, staff, faculty, alumni, and the greater community.
Goal 2: Adopt a Comprehensive Campus Master Plan to improve and maintain the University’s physical facilities in order to enrich the teaching and learning environment.
Strengthen the Capacity to Attract Diverse Streams of Revenue and Resources
Goal 1: Expand the University’s resource base to generate revenue and build the financial resources vital to fulfilling its mission and vision.
Goal 2: Create additional streams of revenue by maximizing the University’s intellectual assets.
Goal 3: Expand and enhance a comprehensive fund-raising campaign to support the University’s goals and initiatives.
Enhance and Improve UAPB’s Reputation and Visibility
Goal 1: Communicate the role and the value of the University by the consistent messaging of the University’s mission, vision, goals, and core values.
Goal 2: Create internal and external awareness of the University’s outstanding contributions and its role as a critical resource and valuable partner in advancing cultural, economic, and educational aspirations.
The life of every student is enriched by traditions that have become a part of the University through the years. From its rich history, the campus observes the following traditions:
Annually, the Music Department presents the University Band in concert.
Black History Month
During the month of February, Black History Month is observed in order to pay tribute to noted African Americans who have made significant contributions to the progress of mankind as a whole and to African Americans in particular.
Chancellor’s Benefit for the Arts
This is a formal affair presented with elegance. The proceeds from this event support the visual and performing arts at UAPB, the “Keepers of the Spirit” Exhibit, an historical review of Branch Normal/AM&N College/University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
An all-school assembly, originally established by President L. A. Davis, Sr., as the “family chat hour,” is held at the beginning of each semester.
Founders Week Celebration
Each year the University pauses during the week closest to April 25th (the date of the founding of the institution) to pay tribute to those whose services and sacrifices have made the University’s achievements possible. In addition to other activities, standing events include the Memorial Sunrise and Alumni Breakfast (a family breakfast), the Founders and Honors Awards Convocation, the Mary E. Benjamin Conference on Educational Access, a UAPB Jazz Concert, NPHC activities, and the Chancellor’s Scholarship Gala.
Each year the University choir performs Handel’s Messiah during the Christmas season. The Vesper Choir is assisted by the University Concert Band and by a string ensemble from the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. The Messiah is considered to be the best oratorio in music history. Traditionally, the presentation of the Messiah marks the official opening of the Christmas season on the campus. The event is sponsored by the Department of Music.
Annually, the University sets one weekend during the Fall Semester for the celebration of its Homecoming activities. Plans are made under the direction of the Homecoming Committee, which consists of faculty, staff and students, to extend the traditional UAPB hospitality to alumni, former students, guests, friends and supporters.
Founders and Honors Awards Convocation
Traditionally held on the Thursday morning during Founders Week, the Convocation is held to pay tribute to those who services and sacrifices have made the University’s achievements possible. In addition, students are recognized for academic achievement and their contributions to the University through scholarships and awards. Classes are dismissed so the campus community can attend this occasion.
Lion Fever Day
During the Fall and Spring Semesters, high school students throughout the state of Arkansas and adjoining states are invited to the campus for a day of information and activities.
Spring Emphasis Week
Each spring, usually in March or April, one week is devoted to honoring different components of the University family: students, faculty, staff, the community, parents, women and all others who contribute to the life-line of the University.
Spring Unity Fest
This is an activity designed to bring together the University and the community through entertainment, food, games, vendors, information booths, novelty attractions and contests.
Vesper Choir Concert
On the Friday before Commencement, the University Vesper Choir performs its annual concert on the steps of the John Brown Watson Library.
Procedure for Disseminating Student Information
“Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) -A federal law designed to protect the privacy of educational records, to establish the right of students to inspect and review their education records, and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate and misleading data through informal and formal hearings.”
In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, certain information pertaining to students may not be released to a third party without the written consent of the student. Therefore, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff hereby designates the following categories of student information as public or “Directory Information”. Such information may be disclosed by the institution for any purpose, at its discretion:
Category I: Name, address, telephone number, dates of attendance, and classification.
Category II: Previous institution(s) attended, major field of study, awards, honors (includes Dean’s list), degree(s) conferred (including dates).
Category III: Past and present participation in officially recognized sports and activities, physical factors (height/weight of athletes), date and place of birth.
NOTE: Information pertaining to the student’s academic status is CONFIDENTIAL, and should not be released without the written consent of the student (Example: transcripts, grade reports, grade point average, ACT scores, class rank and academic status.)
Currently enrolled students may withhold disclosure of any category of information under the Family Educational rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. To withhold disclosure, written notification must be received in the Office of Academic Records/Registrar prior to the last day to complete registration. Forms requesting the withholding of “Directory Information” are available in the Office of Academic Records/Registrar.
The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff assumes that failure on the part of any student to specifically request the withholding of categories of “Directory Information” indicates individual approval for disclosure.
The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff may disclose educational records without written consent of students to the following groups who have a “legitimate educational interest”:
- Employees within the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff who maintain educational records and those with a legitimate educational interest, including faculty or staff who deal with the student and carry out education studies, and employees designated by them to assist in these tasks;
Any university employee, or person acting on behalf of the university, may have access to student records without the student’s written consent if that person needs the access to carry out his/her employment responsibilities.;
Officials of other colleges or universities in which the student seeks to enroll, with a notice of the disclosure being sent to the student’s last known address;
Organizations conducting studies approved by the University having educational value or concerning financial aid;
Accrediting organizations approved by the University carrying out their accrediting functions;
Parents who submit to the Registrar a copy of the first page of their most recent federal income tax form, indicating that their child/student is a dependent as defined by the internal revenue service;
Persons in compliance with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena, with a notice of the disclosure being sent to the last known address of the student;
Persons in an emergency if, in the judgment of an official in charge of the records, knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other person; and
In addition, the University would release education records if ordered by a subpoena.
The disclosure is to state or local educational authorities auditing or enforcing Federal or State supported educational programs or enforcing Federal laws which relate to those programs;
The disclosure is in connection with determining eligibility, amounts, and terms for financial aid or enforcing the terms and conditions of financial aid; and
The information disclosed has been appropriately designated as directory information by the school.
Provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended by the Higher Education Amendments of 1998, govern access to a student’s disciplinary file. The student and/or those College officials who demonstrate a legitimate educational need for disciplinary information may have access to the student’s disciplinary file. Parent(s), who provide proof that a student is a dependent as defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, can have access to the student’s disciplinary file without written consent of the student. An example of such proof would be a copy of the last federal income tax return listing the student as a dependent. In this case, parents may also have access to a disciplinary file, even if the student has requested otherwise.
In addition, parent(s) may be notified if a student under 21 years of age is found responsible for a violation involving use or possession of alcohol and drugs.
The Campus Security Act permits higher education institutions to disclose to alleged victims of any crime of violence (murder, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft) the results of the conduct proceedings conducted by the institution against an alleged perpetrator with respect to such crime. The Campus Security Act also requires that both the accused and the accuser must be informed of campus-conducted proceedings involving a sexual assault.
Additionally, the Higher Education Amendments of 1998 permit disclosure of the final results of disciplinary cases in which a student has been found responsible for a violation involving violence or for a sex offense.
Parental Access to Children’s Education Records
At the post-secondary level, parents have a right to inspect their dependent child’s education records. However, the University cannot assume the dependency status of all of our students and thus requires one of the following to release records to a student’s parents:
- Written consent of the student; and/or
- Submission of evidence that the parents declare the student as a dependent on their most recent Federal Income Tax form (IRS Code of 1954, Section 152).
The Office of Academic Records/Registrar has been designated as the official office to verify enrollment, release transcripts and grade reports, and to certify any information pertaining to the student’s academic record.
Annual Security Report-Campus Sex Crime Prevention Act
A list of current sex offenders associated with the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff is developed and maintained in the Department of Public Safety and Police, in the Campus Police Complex located at 1200 North University Drive, Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Questions may be addressed to the Office of Internal Review/Administrative Services, to the attention of Mr. Maxcie Thomas.
University Schedule Disclaimer
This schedule does not create a binding contract. While every effort will be made to carry out courses as described, this schedule of classes is issued early for the convenience of students in planning. The University reserves the right to cancel courses with insufficient enrollment. Further, the University reserves the right to revise the courses, locations, and personnel listed as justified. Every reasonable effort is made to honor the schedule once it is advertised. The University recognizes that changing the information can be problematic for our students, faculty, and staff.
Accreditation and Membership
The University of Arkansas Pine Bluff is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. It has program accreditation by the National Association for Schools of Music, National Association of Schools of Arts and Design, American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, International Association of Counseling Services, Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering (ATMAE), the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). The institution is a member of the American Council on Education, American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, Association of American Colleges, National Collegiate Honors Council, and the Council on Social Work Education.