The University of Central Arkansas announces the creation of the John W. Allison Entrepreneur Endowed Professorship Fund. This endowment will recognize teaching excellence and provide salary supplement for a professor in the areas of entrepreneurship or finance.The John W. Allison Professor will also be responsible for administering the John Allison Entrepreneurship Speaker Series.
The announcement was made at a dinner sponsored by Centennial Bank on April 9 in which $126,000 was raised in private gifts towards the endowment. The Allison family responded by matching the funds for a total of $252,000.
“Broad support such as this sends a message that UCA is worth the investment,” commented UCA President Tom Courtway. “We are grateful to Centennial Bank and the Allison family for their continuing belief in the value of a UCA education.”
The professorship will be awarded by a committee consisting of the Dean of the College of Business, the Chairs of the academic business departments in the College of Business, and one external member selected from the College of Business Advisory Board.
“The John W. Allison Professorship will enable the College of Business to supplement the salary of someone teaching in the entrepreneurship or finance programs. Business faculty salaries have continued to increase over the past several years and UCA needs to stay competitive in order to attract and retain high quality faculty that have the ability to equip students with the tools they need to be successful entrepreneurs. The generosity of John Allison and Centennial Bank, both with their money and their time, is helping us transform lives one student at a time,” said Mike Casey, interim dean of the College of Business.
The speaker series was founded in 2006 with an endowment from First State Bank which is now Centennial Bank. UCA Board of Trustees member Bunny Adcock was one of the founders of First State Bank.
Adcock said he supports students taking their classroom knowledge outside of the classroom adding that entrepreneurship is the foundation of the economy. “Entrepreneurs are the people who create jobs,” he said. “It’s so important for these students to hear from people who build businesses. It’s somebody who’s telling them what it’s like to start a business.”
The speaker series brings in three to four speakers each year. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee was the featured speaker at this event.
To see images from the event, go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/my100bank/.