Shaping the University: The Provost's Office
Sharon Gaber, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Arkansas, works to shape and strengthen the university's excellence in instruction, research, outreach, public service, and student affairs; she is responsible for academic planning and budgeting, faculty development and promotion, and academic initiatives.
Shaping Our Present
The University of Arkansas is placed in the highest research classification by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching based on the number of doctoral degrees awarded, grants received, and level of research activity. In addition to demonstrating the depth and breadth of research on campus, the classification acknowledges the quality of academic work by our faculty and students.
We strive to put students first by looking at every decision—academic, financial, and administrative—and asking how we can best enhance academic programs, create an engaging campus life, keep costs as low as possible, and reduce obstacles to student success. The university's mission statement and the Providing Transparency and Accountability to the People of Arkansas (TAP) document outline the university's goals and inform our decision-making.
Shaping Our Future
The university has already surpassed its 2021 goal of enrolling 22,050 students and has made significant progress toward becoming a Top 50 Public Research Institution. The university expects to meet our national ranking goals as we continue to empower excellence in competitive research, promote economic growth and foster increased federal research expenditures. The university also actively pursues strategies that enhance teaching, learning and mentoring, putting students first in support of meeting six-year graduate rate targets of 66% by 2015 and 70% by 2021.
Shaped by Our Past
The University of Arkansas, founded in 1871 as a land grant institution and the state’s first public university, has been the educational leader in Arkansas ever since. In 1948, the university became the first Southern institution to break the color barrier when Silas Herbert Hunt enrolled in the School of Law, starting the slow process of integrating undergraduate programs, campus housing, faculty recruitment and the athletic teams, not only at Arkansas, but across the South. Individual professors engaged in discovery of new knowledge starting in the late 19th century, but institutional support for research did not gain traction until the 1980s and then blossomed during the 1990s.
The mission of the University of Arkansas is to provide an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in a wide spectrum of disciplines; contribute new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research and creative activity; and provide service to academic/professional disciplines and society, all aimed at fulfilling its public land-grant mission to serve Arkansas and beyond as a partner, resource, and catalyst.