College of the Ouachitas Board Approves Alignment with Arkansas State University System

Staff Writer

MALVERN, AR – At a regularly scheduled meeting of the College of the Ouachitas (COTO) Board of Trustees, the Board voted unanimously today to join the Arkansas State University (ASU) System. The ASU Board of Trustees must vote to approve the alignment before the merger is final.

The College Board announced in November that the Malvern-based two-year college would begin pursuing alignment with one of three university systems. College President Dr. Steve Rook began gathering information on the systems to assist in selecting the system that best fits with the College in carrying out its mission and vision.

During the meeting, Board member, Mark Roberts, made the motion that the College of the Ouachitas Board of Trustees approves to seek alignment by authorizing Dr. Steve Rook to negotiate with Dr. Charles Welch an alignment agreement with the Arkansas State University System. The motion was seconded and all Board members lifted their hands in approval of the motion.

COTO Board Chairman, Bill Fowler, later stated, “I’m excited about the direction we’ll be going….excited about the opportunities for the students, employees and communities we serve.”

“The Board of Trustees did not take this decision lightly,” said Dr. Rook. “All three systems considered are excellent organizations. Each of them would have brought a unique set of strengths and provided resources for the College to operate more efficiently and effectively.”

Dr. Rook also added, “This alignment will provide insurance and retirement options that will alleviate the phantom post-employment liability issues. I look forward to working through this exciting transitional phase.”

The College Board previously indicated that aligning with a university system would provide administrative resources to allow the College to operate more efficiently and effectively, and it will provide academic program and transfer opportunities which will be of benefit to College of the Ouachitas’ students.


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