|Robert V. Smith, Editor|
If we build the best honors college in the nation will they come?
Build it and they will come. It seems like a trite statement; however, the announcement earlier this year that The University of Arkansas (U of A or UA) would develop an Honors College has already sounded a clarion call that is resulting in expressions of great interest by prospective students and their parents. Interest by faculty members has also been robust.
The purpose of this paper is to propose a vision for the organizational structure and operations of the new UA Honors College. Included in this discussion are proposals for modes of interactions among the Honors College and other collegiate-level units and faculty across the University.
The proposals contained herein were developed following visits to seven top-rated honors programs and colleges throughout the nation (1). Additionally, we have surveyed 33 other programs and colleges (2). As a result of this research, and the marvelous $300 million gift of the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation, we believe that the University should aspire to be and achieve status as the best Honors College in the nation by 2010. Following are arguments and proposals that could make this happen.
Building on an Honorable Past
The University of Arkansas has a long, distinguished Honors history. In 1954, Philosophy Professor Harold Hantz and English Professor Ben Kimpel established the University's first honors program, which was named the College of Arts and Sciences Honors Studies Program (3). Its first two students received their baccalaureate degrees with Honors in 1956: Dorothy Jeffus graduated with Honors in English and John Robert Stallings graduated with High Honors in Mathematical Sciences. In 1959, John Stallings completed a Ph.D. at Princeton and is still an active faculty member in the University of California Berkeley mathematics department.
From the very beginning, departments in the Fulbright College created special honors course offerings and required students to pursue individualized research or creative projects. In 1985, the Fulbright College developed a new general honors core curriculum. In a related effort in 1997, the Walton College of Business designed its own honors core tailored to business student needs. These curricula have been incorporated into Four-Year Scholars Programs, which are the most ambitious the university has to offer, and among the most challenging programs in the country.
Honors students in the humanities and the social sciences earn approximately 54 hours of honors credit, while students in the sciences earn 45 hours of honors credit. Students in business earn 29 honors hours. And in the tradition of the 1956-class, all students graduating with Honors (now signified by Cum Laude , Magna Cum Laude , and Summa Cum Laude ) are required to complete an Honors (research, scholarly or creative) project.
Students are encouraged, but not required to study abroad. In any case, more than 12% of the 2002 graduating class studied abroad, the vast majority of whom were enrolled in UA honors programs.
In 1990, eight students graduated as Four-Year Honors Scholars in Fulbright College; four were Sturgis Fellows. A total of 140 students have participated in Fulbright Honors Studies both as Departmental Scholars and as Four-Year Scholars. In 2001, approximately 1000 students participated in Honors in the Fulbright College and 239 participated in a parallel program in the Walton College of Business. The Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food, and Life Sciences and the College of Education and Health Professions (COEHP) also have active honors programs, and both are eager to expand their recruitment of high-achieving students.
In the fall of 2002, new Honors College students came in large numbers and overall, the Honors College witnessed an enrollment increase of nearly 400 students. The scores and incoming grade point averages for the 2002 class are also impressive—as noted below.
NEW HONORS COLLEGE FRESHMEN, Fall, 2002
TOTAL HONORS COLLEGE PARTICIPATION, Fall 2002
The Sturgis Fellowship Program, created in 1985 with a $2 million endowment from the Roy and Christine Sturgis Charitable Trust and supplemented by gifts of $3 million in 1991 (additional fellowship support) and $2.5 million in 1998 (for study abroad grants), set the standard for scholarship development in what is now the Honors College. The first five scholars created a core of students that attracted other outstanding scholars to the program. In later years, the Sturgis Fellowships became a model for the Bodenhamer Fellowships, which followed in 1998, and the Boyer Fellowships, developed in 1999. And, all of these fine programs served as models for the Honors College Fellows created in 2002 as a result of the Walton gift.
Assessing Best Practices
Our assessment of the best practices in honors education begins with guidelines promulgated by the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) and continues with assessments developed during visits to seven public research universities across the United States, as well as results of surveys conducted nationally during 2002.
The NCHC has developed well-respected guidelines for honors programs or colleges (referred to collectively as “honors”) (4). These guidelines are briefly summarized as follows:
All the honors colleges we visited or surveyed have various options for honors participation, including financial support (though some are quite limited) and credit for study abroad experiences. Many units or programs support the idea of undergraduate research, although not all programs make it a specific requirement, and none finance it. Ohio University provides separate tutorials on the Cambridge model but has limited honors participation.
Faculty support is deemed a critical honors issue in every program and college. Accordingly, two universities have crafted honors professor positions: Michigan State University (MSU) and the University of New Mexico (UNM). But, only the University of Oregon, of all the universities or other educational institutions we visited or surveyed, has a tenure-granting process in its Honors College that functions only after tenure has been earned (in the faculty members’ departments) by Honors applicant faulty. None of the colleges studied have a separate faculty.
Louisiana State University (LSU) and Penn State University (PSU) provide departmental allocations ($500-1,000 per credit hour) for honors college classes. None of the schools we visited or studied, however, are able to directly reward faculty for participation in their honors programs or colleges.
Many of the colleges visited or surveyed have innovative programs to assist with recruitment and retention of honors students. Several of the colleges had vibrant parents-of-honors-students organizations that made significant contributions. LSU grants Sophomore Honors Distinction to students who complete 24 hours of honors credit at the end of the sophomore year.
Most honors colleges and honors programs across the country provide honors housing with special programs and activities. And, most offer separate honors summer orientation sessions and have special honors advising sessions.
Many honors colleges and programs are able to provide some limited scholarship support for entering freshmen. But, none have the resources approaching those made available through the Walton gift.
A Model for the Best Honors College in the Nation
We have already come a long way since the UA Honors College was formally opened on July 1, 2002. We have established an Honors College Office in Suite 418 in the Administration Building. Office manager, Jerilyn Frentress joined the office during the fall of 2002.
Student study lounges have also been developed on the fourth floor of the Administration Building. These study areas offer a home-away-from-home feel with their Mission Style décor and comfortable seating.
Student use of the study lounges has been high during the fall of 2002. Additionally, faculty members who are leading honors discussion groups and honors interns have reserved the Cambridge-style reading room several afternoons each week during the first few months of operation.
Honors College Faculty
The most important element of any collegiate enterprise is the faculty. Our visits and survey work confirm this fact overwhelmingly relative to honors programs and honors colleges. Yet faculty involvement for honors colleges presents a vexing dilemma; namely, how do you effectively engage faculty in an honors college while respecting their traditional disciplinary and departmental roots? How do you account for tenure for faculty based in a department and an honors college? How do you develop strong bonds among faculty members and an honors college when tenure is based in home departments? And, how do you craft a system to guarantee significant and sustained involvement of your best faculty in an honors college when rewards are seemingly departmentally based? These are important questions to address as we anticipate the further development of the UA Honors College.
Before becoming overly anxious about the above questions, it is important to note how effectively UA faculty have been engaged in our honors programs for a period of nearly 50 years. But, if the Honors College is going to engage UA faculty in productive ways and in more extended efforts—as indicated by increased honors enrollments from the fall of 2001 to fall of 2002—then the ties of faculty members to the Honors College deserve attention.
As noted earlier, MSU and UNM have appointment mechanisms for honors faculty members. The UO evaluates and grants tenure in their Honors College selectively to faculty members who have already been tenured through a departmental unit. The honors tenure procedure involves a parallel and similarly rigorous process to those in departments, thus, essentially doubling efforts for selected faculty.
During our visit to LSU, we learned that faculty members affiliated with the Honors College are recognized through a simple roster system, which is complemented by the crafting of individualized bronze plaques. LSU Honors faculty members are known to proudly display these plaques—typically on their departmental office doors. And, following retirement, the plaques are displayed on a wall in the Honors College. The plaque use represents a fine gesture that could be reinforced with more formal alignments.
In the case of the UA Honors College, we propose that a variety of mechanisms be explored to engage the talents of many of our best integrated scholar faculty members.
In a recent article in All Things Academic (5), one of us described the concept of integrated scholars. Briefly, integrated scholar faculty members are ones who consistently promote active learning and infuse the fruits of their research or scholarship into courses they teach. These integrated scholar faculty members publish the results of their teaching innovations in peer reviewed journals; they continually think of ways in which their scholarly presentations, creative performances, and professional development experiences may be incorporated into courses or other instruction offered to students. Integrated scholar faculty members also plan and execute service commitments to complement teaching and research goals.
The types of mechanisms that might be used to engage integrated scholar faculty members might include:
1) Membership in the UA Honors College Council (see also below), which will serve as an academic advisory group to the Honors College Dean. The Honors College Council might also serve as a source of volunteers for committees organized through the Honors College.
2) Salary supplementation connected with faculty who hold endowed professorships established specifically to support the Honors College and Graduate School.
3) Academic support grants to enrich scholarly experiences and opportunities in honors courses.
4) Honors College funding to home departments of faculty teaching honors courses to assist the offering of courses normally taught by Honors College-assigned faculty members.
5) Eligibility for outstanding integrated scholar faculty awards that could be established by the Honors College.
6) Opportunities to lead honors student groups in study-abroad programs.
We suggest that the development of incentives for faculty salary and special opportunities such as those noted above will become a part of the responsibility of the Honors College Dean. Implementation could be coordinated with the availability of funds, but the setting and pursuit of ambitious goals such as those alluded to herein could provide wonderful opportunities for the Honors College to integrate its efforts across the University.
Besides the links of integrated scholar faculty members to the Honors College, governance structures, student admissions and advancement criteria, administrative units and facilities, infrastructure, and resources need to be in place to integrate the Honors College throughout the academic community of the University. First and foremost, the Honors College affiliated faculty members and staff must find ways to insure coherence among the Honors College and the individualized honors programs in the colleges and schools. Thus, while the Honors-affiliation staff and faculty members have worked hard during the past few months to insure a vibrant honors program in all colleges and schools in the University, continuing efforts will be needed to enhance and sustain this excellent foundation. Additionally, the Honors College should be working across honors programs to expand and enrich opportunities for honors students in interdisciplinary study, the development of multiple majors, internationalized curricula, faculty-guided research, scholarship and creative efforts, the competition for world-class scholarships and fellowships, and study abroad.
Following are descriptions of the governance structures, student admissions and advancement criteria, administrative units and facilities, infrastructure, and resources that we believe will help the Honors College become a powerful force for undergraduate excellence at the University.
It is anticipated that the formal search for an Honors College Dean will begin during the winter of 2003. The Honors College Dean will report to the Provost, who is now currently serving as the Interim Dean. Honors College development and funding decisions come under the purview of a Board of Governors composed of the UA Chancellor (Chair), Provost, Honors College Dean, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, and Vice Chancellor for University Advancement.
An Honors College Council, concerned primarily with academic policies and quality assurance and composed of Deans or their designees and honors faculty appointed by the Honors College Dean, will also be developed and will be chaired by the Dean of the Honors College.
An Advisory Board of Honors Directors, concerned primarily with procedural and special events coherence across honors programs, has been established including Kim Sexton (Assistant Professor, School of Architecture), Duane Wolf (University Professor, Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food, and Life Science), Lavonne Walter Kirkpatrick (Assistant Professor, College of Education and Health Professions), Bill Warnock (Assistant Dean, College of Engineering), Sidney Burris (Professor, Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences), and John Norwood, (Associate Professor, Walton College of Business). The Associate Dean of the Honors College serves as the Chair of this Board.
Each UA college and school has or is in the process of establishing a college honors council. College councils are being encouraged to include one or more student members. Additionally, plans are developing for an honors student council.
Honors College Students and Requirements Thereof
Consistent with the UA vision statement, the Honors College is becoming a highly student-centered collegiate unit of The University of Arkansas. The student-centeredness is enhanced by having many of the best and brightest students enrolled within the Honors College. Furthermore, Honors faculty members and staff have been gratified by the 32% growth in honors students that accompanied the formation of the Honors College in 2002. The recent notable growth in honors students, however, was accompanied by no reduction in academic expectations or requirements.
The University of Arkansas Honors College has established minimum requirements (28 ACT and 3.50 high school grade point average) for Honors participation across the University. Students who do not meet these requirements, but who are eager to participate are asked to wait one semester and may be admitted subsequently by meeting requirements.
UA students may enroll in honors through the sophomore year if they have a minimum 3.50-3.25 UA GPA (depending on the college). Transfer students are also eligible to participate if they have a transfer grade point average of 3.50 or greater. Transfer or upper class students who join honors are expected to participate in a departmental honors program.
All the colleges have agreed that honors students must earn a minimum of 12 honors credit hours, successfully complete a research or creative project, and maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.25. The grade point average may eventually be raised to 3.5 and this will be a matter of discussion with Honors faculty and directors.
Sophomore Honors Distinction
Several programs we visited included a reward system for Honors students at the half-way point in their academic work. We propose an initiative loosely based on those at LSU and University of Arizona. Students who have completed 18 hours of honors course work and 75 hours of campus or community service (30 hours concentrated with one organization) and who have a 3.5 grade point average would be eligible for Sophomore Honors Distinction. But the designation would not be automatic; an application would be required. After completing 60 hours of campus work (not including AP credit) students would need to submit a form listing service with signatures from supervisors, a résumé and two letters of recommendation—one from a supervisor and one from a faculty member.
The designation would be listed on the transcript, upon graduation from the Honors College. The purpose of this designation would be to reward students at the half-way point, to encourage community involvement (and consequently retention), to connect faculty with students, and to make students more competitive for grants, national awards, graduate school, medical school, law school, and post-graduate employment.
The Academic Scholarship Office and Scholarships
The Academic Scholarship Office, previously housed in Hunt Hall, has been merged with the Honors College and moved to Room 518 of Old Main. Moving this office from the Admissions Division of Enrollment Services to the Honors College is serving as a powerful reminder to students that with scholarship funding comes significant academic responsibility.
The Academic Scholarship Office will also play a vital role in Honors College student recruitment and retention. Maribeth Lynes, who was transferred from Enrollment Services to the Academic Scholarship Office during the summer of 2002, will assist these efforts.
Kelly Carter, Director of the Academic Scholarship Office, reports to the Associate Dean of the Honors College and coordinates all-University scholarship distribution efforts along with those of the Honors College.
Kelly and her team are also working hard to insure efficiency of scholarship distributions and to assist the University’s efforts to increase the recruitment of National Merit Scholars and other high achieving students. Scholarships, though not limited to honors students, will be a significant part of these recruitment efforts. Students applying for the Chancellor’s Scholarships, University Scholarships, Honors College Academy Scholarships, and Leadership Scholarships will simply apply for admission and then be reviewed by the Academic Scholarship Office team. The Office team will also work in collaboration with honors program faculty and staff in the colleges and schools to check students’ academic progress and send notices to students about any problems that might interfere with scholarship continuation or with Honors College success.
Already the Walton funds have made a difference in the lives of Arkansas students. Honors College Fellowships ($12,500 per year, renewable award) were awarded in fall 2002 to 65 incoming freshmen with an average ACT score of 33 and a 4.0 grade point average. A very talented group of seventy-five students, often from under-represented counties in the state, were awarded the Honors College Academy Scholarships ($4,000 per year, renewable award) during the fall of 2002.
College- and school-based scholarships are an important part of student retention. Accordingly, to assist with the awarding of these scholarships, the Academic Scholarship Office is adding a new professional who will be dedicated specifically to providing support for this important task. The most urgent specific need is the creation of a searchable database that will allow students and parents easy access to information about scholarship availability.
Prestigious UA Fellowships
A single application is now available for the University’s prestigious fellowships including the Sturgis, Bodenhamer, Boyer, and Honors College Fellowships ( www.honorscollege.uark.edu ). A special faculty committee will be selected to review these applications and participate in a process that will bring approximately 130 outstanding high school seniors to campus for interviews as part of a major recruitment weekend event during the first week of March 2003. Seven Sturgis, seven Bodenhamer, one Boyer, and seventy-five Honors College Fellowships will subsequently be awarded, with appropriate recommendations or confirmations by cognizant deans.
The Honors faculty members and staff are committed to continuing to develop these prestigious scholarship programs until they are simply unsurpassed and acknowledged nationally with other high profile scholarships such as the Jefferson Scholars at the University of Virginia and the Moorehead Scholars at the University of North Carolina. But we must work diligently to ensure that prestige, national reputation, and quality—of students, faculty, and programs—are melded into one overarching goal.
Undergraduate Research Grants
The Honors College endowment includes a $10 million portion that will make undergraduate research grants possible for the first time at the U of A. During 2003-2004, students will be encouraged to apply for State of Arkansas (SILO/SURF Student Undergraduate Research Fellowships) grants as prelude to applying for the Honors College grants. University of Arkansas faculty members will be required as mentors.
To be competitive, students will have to be active participants in the Honors College. Successful applicants will generally have a 3.5 or higher GPA and have completed at least thirty college hours, including six honors hours and be regularly enrolled in a full-time course of study at the University. Applications for these grants will be accepted in the fall of 2003 and awards up to $3,000 may be made to the students. Mentors will receive a maximum award of $1,000. Awards will vary and partial awards may be made.
Study Abroad Scholarships
The Walton gift to the Honors College includes a generous $4 million fund specifically designated to support international study experiences. This fund, when fully functional, will enable the Honors College to offer up to 40 supplemental grants for study abroad. The first of these competitive grants will be made in the spring of 2004. Students will be selected on the basis of academic accomplishments and financial need for study abroad experiences. Awards will vary based on need.
Student study abroad candidates must be active participants in the Honors College. Competitive students generally will have a 3.50 or higher GPA and have taken a minimum of six hours of honors credit prior to application.
Students who are planning to study in a non-English speaking country will be encouraged to complete the second semester of intermediate study or the equivalent of the target countries’ languages.
Last year 450 University of Arkansas students studied abroad. The Honors College Study Abroad Grants will provide needed assistance to honors students for such study and will encourage others, who could not previously afford such an experience or even consider the possibility.
The Office of Post-Graduate Fellowships is also now housed in the Honors College. The office provides information about and support for national scholarship applications. The success record has been remarkable.
During 2000-01, nine students received a nationally unique combination of top national and international awards, including Rhodes, Marshall, Goldwater, National Science Foundation, and Udall Scholarships and a Madison Fellowship. This success led the Chronicle of Higher Education (September 14, 2001) to report “ . . . when Harvard was shut out of the Rhodes and Yale was passed over for the Marshall, Arkansas won one of each.”
This past year, in many ways, surpassed the stellar performance of 2001. In 2002, a dozen students from Arkansas won an amazing array of awards:
Because of its record in assisting students with the Truman Scholarship, The University of Arkansas was selected as one of four institutions nationally to receive the 2002 Truman Foundation Honor Institution Award. On September 27, 2002, Louis Blair, the Executive Secretary of the Truman Foundation, presented Chancellor White with a plaque honoring this accomplishment. The award recognizes the University as one of the highest performing institutions in the 27-year history of the scholarship program, which is designed to recognize and encourage the nation's most outstanding students who aspire to careers in government and public service. In presenting the award, Louis Blair stated, “I have visited more than 230 college campuses in the past dozen years. I have met with more than a thousand college presidents, provosts, deans and department chairs. I state confidently that the commitment to excellence at the University of Arkansas and to the development of your best students is exceptional among America’s higher education system. I look forward to following the ascent of the University and to tracking the contributions of your students and your research staff.” The Honors College—working in collaboration with colleges and schools at the U of A—takes this ascent as its charge.
The Office of Post-Graduate Fellowships will continue to work to create opportunities for students that rival those available at any institution in the country. In September of 2002, the Office hosted a Marshall, Rhodes, and Truman applicant retreat. For two days faculty members gave lectures on current events. Students participated in mock interviews, writing workshops, and resume sessions. Students meet subsequently on Sunday afternoons to go over applications, ask questions, and meet with faculty on important issues in the news.
The Walton Gift included $5 million for technology upgrades to improve access to Internet 2 and to upgrade classrooms, laboratories, and other learning sites into state-of-the-art instructional spaces. Work has already begun. Under the leadership of Chair Fred Davis (Information Systems) and University Information Technology Services (UITS) Director Bob Zimmerman, a technology upgrade committee (members include: Carolyn Allen [Libraries], Dennis Brewer [Computer Science and Computer Engineering], Dave Fredrick [Classics Program], Frank Graham [Physical Plant], John Hehr [Fulbright Dean’s Office], Suzanne McCray [Honors College], and Jim Swartz [Educational Leadership, Counseling and Foundations]) was organized and expeditiously put forward a plan to transform several classrooms and auditoria into multimedia centers of learning.
Kimpel Hall, Old Main, Science Engineering, Ozark Hall, Memorial Hall, the Animal Science Building, the Science Engineering Auditorium, and Mullins Library were identified as areas most in need of immediate attention. Infrastructure (e.g., cabling) is being installed during the fall of 2002 and installation of “smart” equipment is scheduled to begin by early 2003.
The committee has also recommended that site licenses for critical software be purchased and that faculty training and the creation of a training space be included as part of the implementation plan. A detailed update of the progress of these projects will soon be available on the Honors College web site ( www.honorscollege.uark.edu ).
As a part of the recent Walton gift to endow the Honors College and the Graduate School, the library received $28 million. An immediate acquisition fund of $5 million from the $300-million gift is being used to update and acquire library materials. The remaining $23 million will be used as a permanent endowment for the Library’s support of the Honors College and Graduate School . Recent purchases from the $5 million acquisition fund include approximately 217 titles as well as various memberships, journals, and indices including the American Theological Library Association (ATLA) Religion Index, the Bibliography of Asian Studies, Black Drama, Western Americana, access to the Center for Library Information Resource and the Center for Research Libraries resources, Current Protocols Series (in science), Early Encounters (anthropology), Index to Engineering Online (IEL Online), Journal Storage (JSTOR; Ecology and Botany), Market Research Monitor (Business and Economics), Refworks Bibliographic Citation Manager, and more.
In Interlibrary loan, the ILLiad system (to facilitate and enhance interlibrary loans) has been purchased. Carolyn Allen, Dean of the Libraries, reports that the system will be operational in January. The Library’s staff is now loading the data, insuring its operation, writing guidelines and developing forms for its use.
The Library’s focus is in building collections to provide adequate support for the University’s honors and graduate programs and to bring the depth and scope to the collections defined by national guidelines. The Libraries are also developing a systematic collections development plan—focusing on the strengthening of graduate research and supporting collections and Honors College interdisciplinary studies. Additionally, Library staff and faculty members will work with honors faculty members to provide tailored instruction to honors students to ensure that they are able to locate and efficiently use the varied resources they will need for their classes and research.
To attract high achieving students in large numbers, honors designated housing must be available. When LSU moved to an Honors College, Laville Hall became an Honors College residential facility. Similarly, the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State University is physically integrated with the University’s honors resident hall.
During one of our recent visits, Sheldon Olson, Provost at The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin), stressed that the UT Austin Honors Hall is an essential element for both recruitment and retention. He further noted that without a quality honors residence facility, attracting the best students remains elusive.
The UA’s Pomfret Residence Hall (760 student spaces) is now an honors residence facility and is associated with The University of Arkansas Honors College. This addition should enhance our ability to recruit honors quality students. Innovative “living, learning programs” have already been created and Honors College staff members are keeping office hours in the facility. More information on the facility is available at the Honors College web site noted earlier.
The Walton Gift and Economic Development in the State
While it is too early to tell the real impact of the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation Gift, we do know the recipients of the scholarship funds, and have some sense of the impact these funds have already made on individual Arkansans with need; as well as on underrepresented and poorer counties in the state.
The Walton gift contributed directly this year to the academic funding for 65 Honors College Fellow at $12,500 per year, which provides for tuition, room and board and flexible monies for study abroad and undergraduate research. Seventy-five students received the Honors College Academy Scholarship, also a direct result of the Walton gift, which provides $4,000 per year in academic support. Providing these fellowships and scholarships allowed for a wider distribution of support than was previously possible with Chancellor's, University, and Leadership scholarships, thereby providing an indirect and additionally important impact of the gift.
To elaborate just a bit further, the above-noted scholarships (directly and indirectly connected to the Walton gift) in 2002-2003 provided $297,921 in scholarship support to students in Arkansas counties where the average per capita income is less than $19,999 per year. Additionally, these scholarships provided $407,362 in support to individuals whose families could not contribute even half of the monies needed for one year's support. These scholarship funds have also helped support 127 students from underrepresented counties in the state.
During the past six months, we have visited honors colleges and honors programs throughout the United States. Additionally, we have surveyed more than 30 other honors colleges and programs, and spoken with countless UA faculty members, students, and administrators about the launching and further development of the UA Honors College. Through all of these efforts, it has become apparent that given our history in honors, given the passionate commitments of our faculty, students and staff, and given the extraordinary resources generously made available to the U of A by the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation, the University has the opportunity to develop one of—if not—the best Honors College in the nation.
In this paper, we have provided background to this ambitious potential goal. We have also reviewed faculty affiliations and governance structures, student admissions and advancement criteria, administrative units and facilities, infrastructure, and resources necessary to meet our goal of excellence in honors education.
From all that has been written and discussed with colleagues and students, we hope that a compelling argument will emerge for the future preeminence of the UA Honors College. And, it is our sincere wish that the goal of crafting the best Honors College in the nation be adopted enthusiastically by our academic community.
Notes and Bibliography
*Suzanne McCray is Associate Dean, Honors College and Bob Smith is Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Interim Dean of the Honors College at The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR.
Last updated: September 5, 2005