Board Approves OA Partnership, Names Distinguished Alumnus

The University of Central Arkansas Board of Trustees voted unanimously Friday on a new Memorandum of Understanding with the Oxford American that will continue the partnership between the University and the nationally recognized publication.

The new Memorandum of Understanding the board approved will obligate UCA to provide office space on campus and operational funds in the amount of $50,000 per year for the Oxford American. In turn, the Oxford American will provide UCA two full page ads in each issue, two interns per academic year, an event each year on campus to promote the OA and its programs, and establishes an editorial board with two positions being filled by representatives of UCA’s College of Fine Arts and Communications and the Writing Department.

In addition, the Oxford American acknowledges prior financial advances by UCA and agrees to repay those sums if and when there is a sufficient net cash flow from its operations and with any additional pledges or contributions. Both UCA and the OA anticipate that at least 50% of the prior advances will be paid within five years from the start of the agreement. The term of the MOU is for five years.

“This new agreement clarifies the relationship between the University of Central Arkansas and The Oxford American Literary Project, Inc. As we move forward under this new five-year agreement, we are excited about the possibilities,” UCA President Tom Courtway said. “The Oxford American is a prestigious, national literary publication with a very devoted readership. Under this agreement, the OA will continue to have a presence on the UCA campus; many of our excellent academic programs in writing and fine arts will be advertised; and our writing students will have the opportunity be involved, as will our faculty. We believe this is a very good arrangement. It provides benefits to both parties, and we look forward to working the OA publisher (Mr. Warwick Sabin) and his staff as we move forward.”

Also on the board agenda was the naming of Dr. Joe Allison and Mr. Terry Pillow the 2013 UCA Distinguished Alumnus. Dr. Allison grew up in Little Rock and graduated from UCA in 1979 with a B.S. in Chemistry and later received a Ph.D. in organic Chemistry from Purdue University. He has worked for ConocoPhillips in the Research and Development Department since 1983 and is the inventor/co-inventor of 35 U. S. patents and a dozen international patents.

Mr. Pillow graduated from UCA in 1976 with a BBA in marketing and was active in Sigma Tau Gamma and was a class officer. He has achieved outstanding success in business while working his way in the clothing industry to his current position as CEO of Tommy Bahama Group, which employs more than 1,500 and does approximately $500 million in sales revenue.

Dr. Allison and Mr. Pillow will be honored at the third “Night of Distinction” gala at UCA on April 27, 2012.

In other actions by the Board:

  • Approved the demolition of four university owned properties on Augusta Street to extend the North Overflow Parking lot located north of Thompson Hall. The project has a total estimated cost of $458,420 and will provide an estimated 115 paved parking spaces;
  • Approved cost options for international students enrolling in the university’s MBA program. This allows for international students to know total costs before they enroll in the program;
  • Updated Board Policy 310 to reflect that the Undergraduate Bulletin will be the publication of record for the Univesity’s undergraduate admission policies. The revision would allow the administration to establish and modify undergraduate admission criteria as needed but with continued board review and approval;
  • Approved the purchase of property (single duplex) at 2007 and 2009 Martin Street for $82,500. The duplex is located in an area where the University needs to acquire property for future growth and parking and owns other properties in the area;
  • Approved a contract with the UCA Women’s Basketball coach, Sandra Rushing, to go through March of 2016.
  • After the meeting, members of the board and University staff toured various housing and academic building on campus to complete their campus tour from earlier in the year.