University of Arkansas System partnership with Pulaski Tech Frequently Asked Questions
Will Pulaski Tech be “taken over” by the UA System?
No! Headquartered in Little Rock, the UA System is an alliance of five four-year universities and graduate schools; the state medical school; two law schools; five community colleges; and several other affiliated entities, including the Clinton School of Public Service; Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and Arts; UA System Division of Agriculture; Arkansas Archeological Survey; and the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute. See complete list below**
Dr. Donald Bobbitt, President of the UA System, proposed in spring 2016 that Pulaski Tech join this system.
Like the other institutions in the system, PTC will retain its unique focus, name, mission and traditions.
Will the college change its name?
Yes. Upon receiving approval from the Arkansas General Assembly, the college’s new name(s) will be:
- University of Arkansas – Pulaski Technical College
- UA – Pulaski Tech
- UA – PTC
The anticipated date for the official change is February 2, 2017.
Will Pulaski Tech become part of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville or UALR?
No. Please do not confuse the UA System with UA-Fayetteville, or any other affiliated school. The UA System Board of Trustees will have final review of PTC administrative policy recommendations, but the college will retain autonomy in its day-to-day operations. Pulaski Tech is a unique institution in central Arkansas and will remain so. In fact, a specific agreement was drafted that states explicitly that Pulaski Tech will not become a satellite campus of another institution. To repeat, the college’s mission, identity, and daily operations will not change.
How did all of this come about?
The PTC Board of Trustees had a special meeting on March 28, 2016 for the purpose of hearing Dr. Bobbitt’s proposal. He spoke to an audience that also included PTC faculty, staff, administration, members of the public, and news media. There was a lengthy question and answer period with Dr. Bobbitt, as well. No decision was made by the PTC Board on that day. There is video of the whole meeting here.
The PTC Board of Trustees then voted unanimously on May 11, 2016, to align with the U of A System.
On May 26, 2016, the University of Arkansas System Board of Trustees voted
unanimously to enter into a formal partnership between Pulaski Technical College
and the University of Arkansas System. The decision was made during the UA
System Board’s regular meeting at Cossatot Community College of the University
of Arkansas in Nashville, Ark.
“The UA System Board of Trustees vote today is a watershed moment for Pulaski Tech,” said Dr. Margaret Ellibee, president of Pulaski Tech. “It begins the process of working out the many details that must be considered as we join a large institution with a larger system. We will do so deliberately, without losing sight of our priority to ensure the success of our students. Ultimately, this partnership will make us all stronger, and our students must be the primary beneficiaries of the opportunities that will evolve.”
How might joining the UA System benefit PTC students and the college?
The process for students transferring from Pulaski Tech to other UA System schools, including UALR, UABP and UA-Fayetteville will be easier for students.
The UA System will bring substantial cost savings to Pulaski Tech through economies of scale, which in turn could help keep tuition rates lower.
For example, by using the system-wide contract for Blackboard, the distance learning system used by Pulaski Tech and many other colleges that provide online classes, the college will receive a significantly enhanced service package at approximately the same cost as the more basic service the college currently utilizes.
Pulaski Tech will also be able to use other system resources such as:
- legal services
- internal auditors
- academic affairs services
College employees will be able to get health insurance through the UA System. Open enrollment for UA System’s United Healthcare insurance will take place in November 2016. The effective date for the changeover will be February 2016.
Strategically, joining the UA System offers several possible benefits. Those benefits include advancing educational articulation and technology for student success to strengthening the purchasing power and operational efficiencies for the college. When looking at the rapidly changing educational and business climate of higher education across this country – and in Arkansas – the opportunities presented in this partnership make sense.
Would the educational curriculum that PTC offers change?
No. The university-transfer programs or technical programs and courses will
remain the same. How programs are developed or offered will remain in control by
PTC. Local access to in-demand programs is important to the college mission, and
will not change.
Complete list of UA System Affiliates**
- University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
- University of Arkansas at Little Rock
- University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
- University of Arkansas at Monticello
- University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
- University of Arkansas at Fort Smith
- Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas
- University of Arkansas Community College at Hope
- University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville
- Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas
- University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton
- Division of Agriculture
- Arkansas Archeological Survey
- Criminal Justice Institute
- Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts
- University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service
- The Winthrop Rockefeller Institute
- University of Arkansas System eVersity