Page 1

Five -Year Strategic Plan


2010 - 2015 4

Year Two Update




EXECUTIVE SUMMARY In August 2010 we proudly unveiled a strategic plan that recast the university’s vision and mission and laid out broad initiatives to guide efforts through 2015. Today we are pleased to provide you with this summary report of accomplishments to date under the plan. Much has been done since the plan was rolled out, largely because the vision and mission have gone from mere words on paper to a concept intertwined with the UAFS culture and embraced by the faculty and staff. I believe you’ll see evidence in this report that the decisions we’ve made have been centered on the plan and the initiatives and actions defined within the plan’s six strategic pillars. We note that the second year of the UAFS Strategic Plan coincides with the 10th anniversary of the institution’s January 2002 merger with the University of Arkansas System and the first offering of baccalaureate degrees under the UAFS flag in August 2002. We regard both milestones with a sense of pride in what has been accomplished and excitement at the possibilities and potential in front of us. Great successes have already been created, and the groundwork has been laid for further advancement and goal achievement. The scope of accomplishments over the first two years of the strategic plan is impressive. It is a tribute to the unity, vigor and dedication of our faculty and staff. Needless to say, we are proud of our past, but our sights are on what lies ahead, where we need to head, what we need to do. We hope you’ll continue to support UAFS as we continue weaving our history and plans together to create a future that we can all be proud of. Collegially,

Paul B. Beran, Ph.D. Chancellor

Vision UAFS will be a premier regional university, connecting education with careers.

Mission UAFS prepares students to succeed in an everchanging global world while advancing economic development and quality of place.


Job-specific degrees, customized training aimed at directly helping business, and programs to help displaced workers get back in the game point to a core value that makes UAFS a leader and valuable partner in the region’s ongoing efforts to attract new industry and pursue economic development opportunities. •

Acknowledged publicly by the governor, the director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, legislators and the Chamber of Commerce as a responsive, essential and committed entity in raising the region’s economic development prospects.

In the face of numerous manufacturing layoffs, UAFS provided hope to nearly 500 displaced workers through its extensive and personal involvement intended to get these nontraditional students “back in the game” as wage-earning, taxpaying citizens.

The university is the heartbeat of city and chamber efforts to attract jobs through company expansion and new industry choosing Fort Smith. The chancellor and others have personally engaged company officials in building the case for support for the Arkansas River Valley as a place to live and work.

The Center for Business Research and Economic Development in the College of Business was created in 2010 to track important information about the local economy – a valuable resource and tool for use by business and media decision-makers in the Fort Smith region.

Quarterly luncheons and educational seminars were hosted by the Family Enterprise Center, the Center for Professional and Business Development, and the Center for Business Research and Economic Development on campus to meet the varied needs of the local economy.

Success and growth pushed the institution’s economic impact on the region to $222 million in 2011 – a 31 percent increase from the $169 million economic impact calculated for 2006 by economists in the College of Business.

UAFS is one of the largest employers in the Fort Smith region, with more than 1,200 full- and part-time employees on payroll.

Recognized by Arkansas Business with an award for its employee benefit programs, which lend stability to the work force in times of high-velocity change and growth.


Community involvement, through work and volunteer efforts, is an institutional core value and an important aspect of a UAFS education. Each student is encouraged and supported in pursuing meaningful activities, both on and off campus, to lead them to become work-ready citizens contributing to healthy communities. •

Faculty and students partnering with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ American Democracy Project hosted a weeklong celebration of Constitution Week that advanced undergraduates committed to meaningful civic engagement.

More than 90 students contributed to Lion Community Outreach Day, offering services to multiple area nonprofit agencies.

Distinguished visitors from around the world, including Ichiro Fukue, president of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and Mark W. Harris, CEO of ELS Educational Services, shared their perspectives with students in a number of forums.

Marked growth in student internships continued with approximately 470 students participating.

Efforts to support internship opportunities for students majoring in areas not traditionally available are increasing.

The nursing, radiology and dental hygiene programs have provided medical and dental services to the community at local events, schools and outreach activities.

Innovation and entrepreneurship find traction in the university’s support of the BEST Robotics Competition, high school business plan competition, the “Gone in 60 Seconds” business pitch competition, and more formally, the development of the Babb Center for Student Professional Development.

Planned and hosted more than 500 in a communitywide on-campus event to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. and his impact on civil rights and equality under the law, and to build unity through participation of all in a symbolic Selma Freedom March.

Guest lectures by Rebecca Costa, author of “The Watchman’s Rattle,” and Eva Kor, author of “Surviving the Angel of Death,” challenged students to consider their ethical leadership and civic engagement responsibilities.

Student government elections moved online and voting participation skyrocketed.


Proceeding from the perspective that technology is a tool, a means to an end and not an end in itself, UAFS effectively dealt with high-velocity change in technological innovation and rising expectations from faculty, staff and students for a robust, technologically advanced campus. •

UAFS continues to expand its use of cutting-edge technology in instruction. The state-of-the-art health science and technology labs provide students with real opportunities to prepare for careers.

Completed the installation of the ARE-ON node and connection of all facilities on campus to the Arkansas Research and Education Optical Network, greatly expanding the computing and collaborative power available to the academic researcher as well as the everyday user.

The adoption of “clicker” technology in some classrooms is allowing professors to instantly assess students’ knowledge.

The introduction of the Service Now platform provides paperless solutions for students, faculty and staff requiring technical or staff assistance, making facility requests or vehicle reservations, or accessing the university knowledge base.

Campuswide wireless access became available in fall 2010 for all students and faculty.

The 40,000-square-foot Boreham Library addition completed in August 2012 provides students with 24-hour access to computer labs for study and research.

Paperless, online departmental processing is underway to improve campus efficiencies.

The website was launched in the fall 2011 complete with a new look, expanded functionality and improved access to information for current and prospective students.

New logo, branding campaign and marketing strategy was unveiled in tandem with new website.

The university embraced and expanded its presence in social media – Facebook, Twitter and YouTube – to respond to a changing marketplace and enrollment demands.

Increased security measures including a more robust Lions Alert text messaging system, installation of cameras and monitors, and keyless entry systems were implemented.

A private gift made possible the distribution of iPads to sections of accounting students, allowing both the instructor and student to explore new applications and teaching methods that incorporate this increasingly ubiquitous tool.

Hybrid and web-assisted programs are increasingly the norm for delivery of instruction in all colleges.

The practical application of technology is found in the electric vehicles developed and built by engineering students, solar panels and green technology instruction offered in the College of Applied Science and Technology, and enhanced security afforded by a network of security cameras.


Through valued partnerships and effective stewardship, UAFS enhanced facilities, secured more grants and private dollars, and produced positive bottom-line results – all while preserving affordability for the student in a period of economic turbulence and declining state financial support. •

More than $45 million has been raised against the $50 million Giving Opportunity campaign on the strength of friendships and goodwill nurtured over the years, a strong case for support, and the effectiveness of campaign communication and organization.

Wisely stewarded institutional resources and managed growth within the operating budget while finishing in the black and adding to reserves each year with accountability documented in successive clean audits.

Engaged community members and alumni, resulting in the addition of more than 250 new donors, the formation of six college advisory committees, and the involvement of 30 leaders and volunteers dedicated to completion of the Giving Opportunity campaign.

UAFS alumni operations grew in influence and visibility with the opening of the Alumni Center at a prominent and accessible location. It serves as a “front door” to connect and strengthen the university’s connection with its alumni.

The Alumni Association created a number of avenues to engage new and former students including the Student Alumni Association, the Traditions Book, the Bell Tower magazine and Alumni Weekend.

To strategically grow its resources, the UAFS Foundation engaged a new investment consultant to revise its investment policies, provide active asset allocation advice and capitalize on broader investment opportunities.

Under the direction of the chancellor, the entire university community worked to identify and explore ways to be more efficient across campus offices through initiatives in areas ranging from utility consumption to credit card processing fees. Estimated cost avoidance exceeds $500,000 per year.

UAFS expanded its investment in professional development and training opportunities for faculty through the creation of a Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence.

The $25 million Lion’s Den student housing facility was completed and occupied, and was awarded prestigious LEED Silver Certification for energy efficiency measures used in design, construction and operation.

The expansion and renovation of Boreham Library was launched with the assistance of $4 million of federal funds and nearly $1 million in state funds made possible by area legislators.

Sustainability was enhanced by several energy conservation projects including a central chiller system to support six buildings. Projects were validated for savings and funded by Arkansas Building Authority with more than $1.5 million of state funds

Partnered with the Central Business Improvement District to extend the presence of UAFS into downtown Fort Smith with the acquisition of the Second Street property that would become The Blue Lion at UAFS Downtown.

Preservation and restoration of the historic Drennen-Scott house was completed with the assistance of over $4 million in grant funds from the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council and funds raised by the Friends of Drennen-Scott Historic Site.


Relationships forged with international higher-education institutions, global business and industry, and government officials have led to an ever-increasing number of opportunities for students to experience other cultures, to study abroad and to gain an international perspective necessary to succeed in an ever-changing global world. •

Maymester classes launched in 2010 have provided more than 220 UAFS students with international travel and learning opportunities around the world, with classes in 11 different foreign locations ranging from Belize to Peru to China.

The number of international students enrolled at UAFS has steadily climbed from zero in 2009 to 33 students from 14 countries enrolled for fall 2012.

The International Festival has grown larger each year and has developed into a muchanticipated annual event with more than 30 cultures represented and more than 1,200 campus and community members in attendance.

UAFS maintains reciprocal exchange relationships with 20 universities.

University personnel created an all-expense paid UAFS scholarship program for two Japanese students displaced by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Both began studying on campus in August 2011.

In August 2010, an on-campus English as a Second Language program was initiated at UAFS. Today the university hosts 20 to 30 international students in a year-round residence program – another avenue to enhance cultural awareness on and off campus.

UAFS has been enriched by the on-campus presence of nine Fulbright Scholars from six countries since 2007.

The Global Speaker Series, created in 2007, has hosted 12 speakers from 10 countries.

Two recently established Greek social organizations, along with a growing number of student clubs, promote multiculturalism, which provides students opportunities to become globally aware, informed and engaged world citizens.

Inaugurated an international student speech contest that engages students in campus life and has the payoff of enhanced global and cultural awareness for all involved.

UAFS students partnered with students from Bunkyo University in Japan to present a holiday concert via the newly installed ARE-ON connection.

The College of Languages and Communication enhanced Spanish language immersion opportunities through a program with an affiliated institution in Costa Rica.

The College of Business added depth to the business curriculum with the development of three new international business and finance courses and the requirement that all business majors take Introduction to International Business.

UAFS has been a key stop on the itinerary of a number of international business delegations visiting Fort Smith as part of their site selection process for new or expanded operations. The comment from the head of a German company in comparing sites: “Fort Smith ‘out-universitys’ the other sites.”

International interests were visible on campus when UAFS hosted the 2012 meeting of the multinational board of a Swiss-headquartered corporation with Fort Smith manufacturing interests.

The Honors International Studies program was created around a unique honors generaleducation curriculum in which each course is enriched with an international focus and embedded content that bring global perspective to the participants. It opens with an initial cohort of 36 students from four states and an average ACT score of 29.

In 2012, two representatives of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities spoke to faculty on the Global Challenges Project, which launched a yearlong discussion planned as part of the Higher Learning Commission Pathways Pioneer Quality Initiative.


As a prominent and accessible learning institution, UAFS forged positive relationships with diverse on- and off-campus segments, advanced the university as the academic and cultural focus of the community, and provided learners with intellectual tools and an array of opportunities, experiences and skills that enhance their participation in a democracy and in the workplace. •

Enrollment exceeding 7,000 students for three straight years – characterized by a shift to more fulltime students, higher average ACT scores, more female students and more students enrolled in upperdivision courses.

Standing as a regional university grew when the athletics program gained full membership in NCAA Division II in July 2011. Within the first year, the UAFS volleyball and men’s golf teams qualified for regional tournaments.

Nursing and education programs continue to grow, but more importantly, they continue to gain prestige as centers of excellence not only locally, but statewide. Both programs received laudatory comments from their accreditors.

Nine students from the College of Business scored in the top 10 percent on the national ETS Major Field Test administered to 15,900 senior business majors during the 2010-11 academic year.

The Undergraduate Research Symposium has grown in size and quality and gives a platform to attract and retain a critical mass of highly motivated, engaged students.

Development and approval of the university’s first master’s degree program is currently in progress.

Professors developed an early academic alert system to identify students who exhibit academic difficulties, provide them with assistance before they fall behind, and improve student retention.

Advising procedures have been modified to ensure that all students meet with an academic adviser each semester before registration.

UAFS successfully recruits and retains a faculty of expert educators. The number of full-time faculty members has grown to 245, nearly 40 percent over the past five years, and a 7 percent growth since 2010.

Full-time faculty members hold 670 degrees from 260 institutions in 43 states and 19 countries. This breadth brings a richness and depth of background and thought to the UAFS classroom.

Over 52 percent of full-time faculty members hold doctoral and professional degrees, a 100 percent increase since 2006, which bolsters the UAFS vision to have standing as a regional university.

The intellectual climate is enriched by increased diversity in faculty ranks, which has more than doubled since fall 2006 from 7 percent of faculty to 19.2 percent.

UAFS meets the working adult student at the point of need with programs such as the Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership that offer timing and schedule flexibility.

University support of the Academy of the Arts, BEST Robotics, Upward Bound and the Western Arkansas Technical Center engages and encourages hundreds of youth to become lifelong learners and first-generation college students.

Partnerships with six high schools opened the door for UAFS to engage pre-college students with tailored on-site credit instruction.

Innovative delivery and agreements entered into with nine technical colleges across the state allow UAFS to meet the baccalaureate education needs of place-bound students across the state.

The addition of the Lion’s Den Residence Hall increased on-campus housing by 460 beds, but more importantly, brought new energy to the campus and strengthened the residential life program as a student retention tool.

Greek Life with eight fraternities and sororities has grown in popularity, impact and visibility on campus and has gained identity through dedicated areas in both Sebastian Commons and Lion’s Den housing.

The carillon, the magnificent Numa statue, student sculpture on campus, the arboretum and gardens, and the art galleries in Fullerton Administration and the Campus Center contribute mightily to quality of place, student education and the ability to attract and recruit.

Programs for area and state youth are being expanded through overnight music and theater camps and through programs of the Academy for the Arts, which serves 500 young people a year.

UAFS Strategic Plan Year Two Update  
UAFS Strategic Plan Year Two Update  

University of Arkansas - Fort Smith Five-Year Strategic Plan Year Two Update