University of Arkansas System Plans Online-Only University

Mar 19, 2014

UA System President Dr. Donald Bobbitt

The University of Arkansas System is pursuing creating an online-only university geared toward non-traditional students. 

The idea has been in the works since at least 2012 when the Board of Trustees for the UA System passed a resolution calling for an expansion of online education. Dr. Donald Bobbitt, President of the UA System, discussed his intentions to faculty leadership on Monday and is expected to make a formal proposal Thursday in Fort Smith.

The stand-alone online university would be geared toward filling the state’s workforce services needs, with a limited number of degrees, targeting non-traditional adult students. The foray into an online-only university is part of the state’s goal to have over 500,000 more degrees issues by 2025.

The UA System plans to begin enrolling students by the fall of 2015, relying in part on a partnership of existing university faculty and staff for guidance. Bobbitt says their help in creating the university would be voluntary and he is designing the university to be complimentary to the offerings of existing UA campuses.

It remains to be seen what the rest of the UA System thinks of the plans and how it might effect their viability.

Jacob Kauffman, KUAR News