LITTLE ROCK, AR – Arkansas Baptist College, a private historically black college, recently announced new leadership changes in works to rebuild its finances and enrollment

According to THV11, Little Rock lawyer Richard Mays was elected as the chair of the Board of Trustees and Regina Favors was appointed as Interim President of the College.

Judge Mays, who has a long and distinguished legal, judicial and business career has served on the Board of Trustees of Arkansas Baptist College for nearly 10 years. He succeeds Dr. Harris, who completed his term of service to the board as chairman.

Mrs. Regina Favors is a graduate of Arkansas Baptist College. Her parents are graduates as well, her father, the late Dr. W.O. Lindsey, served on the college’s board of trustees and her mother also volunteered as a college librarian. Favors is the former CEO of a subsidiary of Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

“We are so pleased that Regina Favors is assuming the position of Interim President,” said Mays. “Mrs. Favors is extremely well suited for this important leadership role. Regina is a graduate of this institution who has had distinguished career as a senior business executive. No one could be more passionate about serving our students and this community. She is the right person, at the right time, to help us focus on preparing our students for a lifetime of achievement on their chosen careers.”

Prior to accepting the role of college president, Mrs. Favors served as President and CEO of Pinnacle Business Solutions, a subsidiary of Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield. She had been with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arkansas for 43 years. She previously worked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington, D.C. Mrs. Favors has functioned in several management roles during her tenure and had management oversight for the “effective operations and financial activities of Medicare Programs, including Medicare Part A and Part B in several states; private business and CHAMPUS.” Mrs. Favors has taught as an Adjunct Professor with her alma mater from 1986 to 2004, extending educational opportunities and careers to student of Arkansas Baptist College. She also taught at Philander Smith College, and Webster University.

“The greatest challenge we have before us is rising up to meet the needs of our community by being true to our founding mission. If we do that, and do it well, we will resolve our current challenges and continue to have a positive impact on the lives of generations to come,” Favor said. “I am humbled and enthusiastic about the opportunity to put my lifetime of experience to work for the College I love. I am confident that we will quickly return the College to its original mission and the sound financial standing we had previously enjoyed and worked so hard to attain.”

Mrs. Favors served on the Arkansas Baptist College’s Board of Trustees and has served on 32 other boards, including the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff Foundation, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Arkansas Coordinating Council, the Quorum Court of the Pulaski County Public Facilities Board and Achieving Leadership Institute in Dallas, Texas. She is a member of the National Association of Professional Women and was a member of the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce. She served on the Arkansas Lung Association Board of Directors where she received a national military guard award for her philanthropist work. Mrs. Favors received the Trailblazer 2011 Powerful Business Women Award and was featured in the AY About You Magazine.

Mrs. Favors hold a bachelor of science degree from Arkansas Baptist College. She earned her master’s degree from Ouachita Baptist University with a focus in education. She completed the Duke University Executive Program and is a certified health insurance executive. She has numerous certifications from professional organizations. Mrs. Favors is a member of the Concord Missionary Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas.

Favors succeeds Howard Gibson who served as interim president after former president Dr. Joseph Jones departure from the College in December. Former president, Dr. Fitz Hill, has pledged his full support to Mrs. Favors, and continues to serves at the college as Director of the Scott Ford Center and Executive Director of the Arkansas Baptist College Foundation.

“Under Dr. Fitz Hill’s ten-year tenure as president of Arkansas Baptist College, the college enjoyed an unprecedented period of progress in fulfilling our mission while also developing a model for financial stability. We were able to achieve these goals due to overwhelming community and business support,” said Mays. “Our goal is to send a strong message to all who have ever supported this institution that this board and all of those who serve the college are committed to renewing and enriching our relationships as we continue to work together to have a positive life-changing impact on those we serve and the community that support us.”

 

About Arkansas Baptist College

Arkansas Baptist College is an urban Historically Black College located in the historic Little Rock Central High District. It also neighbors the Wright Avenue District and the famous Paul Lawrence Dunbar Junior High School. The College is the only Baptist affiliated Historically Black College west of the Mississippi and has a student population close to one thousand from all across the United States. Founded in 1884 as the Minister’s Institute, the College continues to be supported by the Consolidated Missionary Baptist State Convention. Arkansas Baptist College prepares students for a life of service grounded in academic scholarship, the liberal arts tradition, social responsibility, Christian development and preparation for employment in a global community. For more information, visit www.arkansasbaptist.edu.

LITTLE ROCK, AR – Philander Smith College (PSC), a historically black college, has announced that Tamika S. Edwards, J.D., has been selected to lead the College’s Social Justice Institute following an extensive national search. The appointment, which makes Edwards the second Executive Director in the institute’s history, will begin September 4.

According to an press release by the university, established by Philander Smith College in 2007, the Social Justice Institute is the center incubator for the College’s focus on its mission to “graduate academically accomplished students, grounded as advocates for social justice….” In recent years, the Social Justice Institute has been inspired to rethink and re-imagine its approach to justice-driven education. With a newly broadened scope, the Social Justice Institute has reorganized with the intent of making a greater impact not only locally, but also regionally and nationwide.

“We are thrilled that Tamika Edwards is joining us to lead the critical work of the Social Justice Institute, the heart and soul of the campus culture at Philander Smith College. We are confident in her tremendous ability and experience in bringing people together to help enact meaningful change. Furthermore, her passion for addressing policies that breed inequality will help to elevate the Social Justice Institute’s status as a regional center an resource for justice work,” said Dr. Roderick L. Smothers, Sr., President of Philander Smith College.

A native of Little Rock, Arkansas, Edwards has nearly twenty years of experience in public policy and community development. Most recently, she served as Director of Governmental Affairs at Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (AACF) where she led the development and execution of the organization’s legislative strategy. Prior to AACF, she was Director of Public Policy at Southern Bancorp Community Partners and previously served as Community Affairs Specialist in the Office of U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln.

Edwards earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB), a master’s degree in professional and technical writing from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR), and a juris doctoral from UALR Williams H. Bowen School of Law. In addition to serving in numerous community leadership roles, she is a contributor to Talk Business and Politics, a news website that covers business, politics, and culture throughout Arkansas. In 2017, she was recognized in the inaugural edition of The Arkansas 200, published by Arkansas Business, as a leader “who influences the way we live, learn and do business in the state.”

 

ABOUT THE SOCIAL JUSTICE INSTITUTE AT PHILANDER SMITH COLLEGE

With its most recent activities and events – to include a refreshed brand and look, to its Law and Justice Summit for local leaders, to its first-ever two-day ‘JusticeCon2018’ convening targeted at awakening and nurturing social justice activism in students – the Social Justice Institute at Philander Smith College is poised to become a global leader in justice education by inspiring and equipping students, thought-leaders, activists and community members to tackle the work of combatting inequity. More information about the Social Justice Institute can be found at www.rethinksocialjustice.org.

ABOUT PHILANDER SMITH COLLEGE

Founded in 1877, Philander Smith College is a small privately supported, historically black, four-year liberal arts institutions related to the Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church.

The College offers four degrees: the Bachelor of Arts, the Bachelor of Science, the Bachelor of Business Administration, and the Bachelor of Social Work. The College’s mission is to graduate academically accomplished students, grounded as advocates for social justice, determined to change the world for the better.

Philander Smith College, the only United Negro College Fund member institution in Arkansas, strives to provide a quality education for all regardless of race, religion, sex, national origin or ethnic background. For more information about Philander Smith College, visit www.philander.edu.

 

LITTLE ROCK, AR – This past December, the Board of Trustees of Arkansas Baptist College announced that current president of Arkansas Baptist College, Dr. Joseph L. Jones, has been terminated for caused effective immediately.

Now the the Board of Trustees has named Howard O. Gibson as interim president reported by The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. The Board hopes to have a permanent new president by July 1.

Since 2015, Dr. Gibson has served as the chief academic officer at the college. Previously he was interim executive assistant to the chancellor at Baton Rouge Community College in Louisiana. Earlier he served as associate vice president for student affairs, enrollment management and diversity at Mississippi Valley State University. From 2009 to 2012, Dr. Gibson was dean of the School of Business at Arkansas Baptist College.

Dr. Gibson holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in accounting, an MBA, and a Ph.D. in Urban Higher Education, all from Jackson State University in Mississippi.

For more information about Arkansas Baptist College, visit www.arkansasbaptist.edu.

img_0541LITTLE ROCK, AR – On November 3, 2016, during a meeting The Board of Directors of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) removed the Show-Cause Order from Arkansas Baptist College. In the fall of 2015, HLC placed Arkansas Baptist College on the Show-Cause Order due to alleged financial and administrative oversights. The Board determined that the College is now in compliance with the Criteria for Accreditation and Core Components, although it will remain subject to interim monitoring a year from now.

Dr. Joseph L. Jones, who was recently appointed the 14th President of the College in September, is excited by the Board’s decision. “I was pleased to receive the notification this afternoon regarding HLC’s decision to remove the Show-Cause Order from our Institution. The Commission has performed its due diligence and has concluded that Arkansas Baptist College has met all of the Criteria for Accreditation including Assumed Practices and Federal Compliance. Although this past year has been taxing for the campus, we were always confident that we were in compliance with all HLC accreditation standards. Now that this process has come to a close, we look forward to getting back to the business of providing our students a quality education and collegiate experience,” said Jones.

The Board also placed the College on the Standard Pathway and required that it host its next comprehensive evaluation for Reaffirmation of Accreditation in 2020-21.

About Arkansas Baptist College

Arkansas Baptist College is an urban Historically Black College located in the historic Little Rock Central High District. It also neighbors the Wright Avenue District and the famous Paul Lawrence Dunbar Junior High School. The College is the only Baptist affiliated Historically Black College west of the Mississippi River and has a student population close to one thousand from all across the United States. Founded in 1884 as the Minister’s Institute, the College continues to be supported by the Consolidated Missionary Baptist State Convention. The mission of the College is to “prepare students for a life of service grounded in academic scholarship, the liberal arts tradition, social responsibility, Christian development and preparation for employment in a global community.”

For more information about Arkansas Baptist College, visit www.arkansasbaptist.edu.