Members of the Arkansas River Valley were on hand Tuesday at Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus to celebrate its 10th anniversary of joining the Arkansas Tech System.
Students, faculty, staff and guests gathered into the Student Services Conference Center for a formal program featuring Arkansas Tech President Robert Brown as the keynote speaker, followed by a lunch outside.
Brown said, since the merger, the campus has awarded to students 3,963 degrees and certificates, all of which are aimed to “lift dramatically” family income prospects.
“Education is the key to our future, and we’re in the business of changing lives,” he said. “We’re only getting started. The best days [for both Arkansas Tech campuses] lie ahead of us.”
Arkansas Tech-Ozark was established in 1965 as Arkansas Valley Vocational Technical School (AVVTS). In 1975, the Arkansas State Board of Education/Vocational Education granted accreditation to AVVTS, making it the first school of its kind in the state to receive that distinction. In 1991, the campus was renamed Arkansas Valley Technical Institute (AVTI). On July 1, 2003, AVTI merged with Arkansas Tech to become Arkansas Tech-Ozark.
The following year, ADHE approved 13 technical certificate programs for the campus. In 2005, ADHE approved three Associate of Applied Science programs. Today, Arkansas Tech-Ozark offers 11 associate degrees and 15 technical certificates with 27 total program options.
When the campus merged with Arkansas Tech, it had an enrollment of around 300 students. This fall, Arkansas Tech-Ozark is anticipating an enrollment of more than 2,100 – which would make it the ninth consecutive fall enrollment record.
Brown said, while academic offerings have increased, the campus’ core service – “technical education” – has been preserved.
Several prominent figures in the AVTI-Arkansas Tech merger were present for the ceremony, including Phil Jacobs, Arkansas Tech vice president for government relations; Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees members Leigh Burns Whiteside and Eric Burnett; and Arkansas Tech-Ozark Board of Directors members Jim Rofkhar, Bruce Coleman and C.A. Kuykendall.
Also in attendance was Carl Jones, the first chancellor of Arkansas Tech-Ozark. Dr. Brown recognized and thanked the efforts of another former chancellor, Dr. Jo Alice Blondin, who succeeded Jones in 2006 and held the position until earlier this year.
Ozark Mayor Carol Sneath proclaimed Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013, as “Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus Day” in Ozark.