1. What’s been the most significant change you’ve seen at UCA?
Other than new buildings popping up around campus during the 33 years I have been at UCA, there have been two, rather recent changes that I would consider significant. The first one was the creation of a strategic plan that is now being used to guide the university into the future. There seems to be some seriousness about following this plan, whereas that was not true in the past. The second is taking place right now – the transition from the old General Education structure to the new UCA Core. That is a huge and significant change.
2. What was your greatest accomplishment at UCA?
The Department of Geography struggled for years to create a modern computer cartography and geographic information system lab. For the most part, early labs were piecemealed together. In the mid-1990s, I contacted a person associated with Intergraph Corporation who was able to provide the Department of Geography with a sophisticated, geospatial lab where UCA only had to pay $.25 on the dollar. The administration at that time was very supportive of this financial arrangement. Since that time, the Department has maintained a state-of-the-art lab with software license fees that have become a regular component of the Department’s budget.
3. What are your plans for retirement?
There are two writing projects I want to complete in the near future. The first is a manuscript on the “Six Cultures of Arkansas” that I will submit for potential publication. The second will be the compilation of a photo-journal which will consist of journal entries I have written and photographs I have taken during the 20 trips to Russia I experienced since 1994. Travel will also be part of my retirement. The first will be a trip to Europe in late August 2013 to celebrate 41 years of marriage. There will many trips to visit grandchildren and other family members. And, as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, my wife and I will also serve a mission for the church beginning in late 2014. We will spend twelve-to-eighteen months at some location, yet to be decided, and participate in a variety of activities related to where we serve.
4. What will be your greatest memory about working at UCA?
There are many, but the prominent ones will be related to faculty, staff, and student associations. There will also be many pleasant memories of travel across this country and to foreign countries to attend conferences, conduct research, and lead excursions for university students and K – 12 teachers.
5. What words of advice could you offer to your successor?
Be vigilant about protecting the integrity and singularity of the Department of Geography.