UA Little Rock Chancellor Christina Drale has presented a letter of intent to initiate a retrenchment process at the university.
In the letter, Drale wrote that she is seeking to begin the process of formal academic planning. This is one of two categories of retrenchment available to University of Arkansas institutions. Retrenchment is the process of reducing costs and expenditures.
According to Drale, the retrenchment process is necessary in order to remain sustainable. To achieve sustainability, Drale says that the university’s leaders must evaluate its investments to see where it can and must change.
“Many colleges and universities are facing unprecedented challenges. A combination of flat state funding and declining enrollment has led many in the higher education community to make tough decisions about how to remain sustainable for the future,” Drale writes.
“UA Little Rock has always been an integral part of the educational fabric of central Arkansas – filling a unique role by serving a diverse range of undergraduate and graduate students and addressing the needs of business, government, and cultural interests in our capital city. That mission will not change, but the way we achieve it must change. The leaders of our institution, in collaboration with community and business leaders, agree it is time to take a fresh look at our portfolio to ensure its relevance and effectiveness in producing a vibrant workforce and better lives for those we serve. This review will also allow us to focus on our strengths and prioritize our investments in the future.”
According to the University of Arkansas staff handbook, retrenchment takes place “when a reduction in programs or services occurs because of financial exigency or because of formal academic planning such as changes in the institutional mission, substantial program changes, or major reallocations of resources for academic or support services.”
Image courtesy of UA-Little Rock