University of Central Arkansas President Lu Hardin is among a select group of college and university presidents who will attend the first Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) this weekend in New Orleans.
Hardin’s attendance at CGI U is marked by UCA’s commitment to devote substantial resources toward research that will alleviate poverty in the rural areas of Arkansas.
“I decided to participate in CGI U because it insists upon substantive benchmarks to achieve real goals,” Hardin said. “This is not a pie-in-the-sky, feel-good project. Through our commitment, UCA will be able to make progress in the fight against poverty in Arkansas.”
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton extended a personal invitation to Hardin, who served in the Arkansas State Senate during most of Clinton’s tenure as governor of Arkansas. Clinton will actively participate in CGI U this weekend.
UCA’s commitment is titled, “Bringing lessons home: Applying international poverty alleviation strategies to rural Arkansas,” and it is designed to engage UCA students in undergraduate research projects that will identify programs that have been successful elsewhere and suggest specific ways they can be adopted and implemented in Arkansas. Students will work under the supervision of faculty members across a wide range of disciplines, including political science, sociology, education, and business and economics, and the research projects will be accomplished within the context of existing academic courses and approved and credited independent study. Once complete, the reports will be publicized and shared with organizations working to alleviate poverty in rural Arkansas, which can implement them as suggested by the research. UCA students also will have the opportunity to earn college credit for participating in the implementation of the research through internships and work-study arrangements.
CGI U is a new project of Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) that was conceived to challenge college students and universities to tackle global problems with practical, innovative solutions. More information is available at www.clintonglobalinitiative.org.
CGI, established in 2005 as a non-partisan initiative of the William J. Clinton Foundation, brings together world leaders, NGOs, and the private sector to convert good intentions into meaningful action and tangible results. CGI moves beyond discussion, fostering a shared responsibility to address major global problems. Over the past three years, CGI’s high-profile members have delivered remarkable commitments. To bring about lasting social change, President Clinton firmly believes the next generation of young leaders must also be a part of this effort. At CGI U, young people and universities will do more than simply discuss the world