Rich Mountain Community College became the seventh two-year college within the University of Arkansas System when a merger became official Feb. 1.
Renamed the University of Arkansas Community College at Rich Mountain, it will also be known as the University of Arkansas Rich Mountain and UA-Rich Mountain.
Merger talks began in April 2016 with the Rich Mountain Community College Board of Trustees approval to request joining the UA System. The University of Arkansas System Board of Trustees approved the request for merger in May 2016. Formal approval for the merger was granted by the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board on July 29 with approval for the change of governance by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association following and effective Feb. 1.
“This institution has a long history of exceptional service to the communities it serves and I am pleased that the UA System is now positioned to work with the institution to continue that legacy,” said Donald R. Bobbitt, president of the UA System. “Plans are in place to involve University of Arkansas Community College at Rich Mountain faculty in discussions to expand transfer and other educational opportunities in the UA System to their students, and we look forward to learning from their faculty and administration in developing new approaches to assist the entire system as it seeks to grow both in size and quality in the years ahead.”
The UA System’s addition of Pulaski Technical College, renamed University of Arkansas – Pulaski Technical College, or UA – Pulaski Tech, also became official Feb. 1. UA-Rich Mountain has nearly 1,000 students that will benefit from greater ease and opportunity.
“As the University of Arkansas Rich Mountain, we will continue to provide the highest quality of instruction, services, and resources to our students and community, said Phillip Wilson, Ed.D., chancellor at UA-Rich Mountain. “The merger provides greater flexibility and transferability to serve our constituents. Our ability to serve our institutional mission has never been greater. This merger would not have been possible without the tremendous support of the Rich Mountain Board of Trustees, the faculty, and the staff. The merger will offer expanded program options through transfer and articulation agreements with University of Arkansas four-year institutions.”
By joining the UA System, the college will benefit from collaborations to provide a network for professional development resources for faculty and staff, educational delivery processes and resources, and an employee health insurance cost-sharing network.
“I am extremely pleased that the distinguished Board of Rich Mountain Community College, and the institution’s faculty, staff and students decided to associate with the University of Arkansas System,” Wilson said.