Printer Friendly

UALR's metropolitan man.

New Chancellor Charles Hathaway Comes Armed With Plans to Integrate the School With the City

WHEN 26-YEAR-old physics graduate student Charles Hathaway was invited to a private dinner with Nobel laureate Niels Bohr in the early 1960s, he did his homework first.

Hathaway read some of Bohr's earliest work produced prior to his becoming one of the founders of quantum theory.

Upon meeting Bohr, Hathaway blurted out his thoughts about the studies.

"It wasn't clear to me you knew what you were doing," he told the renowned physicist.

The next minute of Hathaway's life -- whether it is because of the humiliation he felt over his comment or the significance of Bohr's response -- has stuck with him ever since.

Bohr said, "If I had known so well where it would lead, would it have been worth the trip?"

That's something the new chancellor of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock lives by.

"I look at UALR and see a future that's full and bright," says the 56-year-old Hathaway. "I can't tell you how we're going to get there, but it's going to be worthwhile."

The University of Arkansas board of trustees voted unanimously on Nov. 13 to approve Hathaway's nomination by B. Alan Sugg, University of Arkansas system president. Sugg chaired the 19-member chancellor search committee.

Hathaway replaces James Young, who is resigning Dec. 31 after 10 years as chancellor.

"Hathaway has an enthusiasm about what a metropolitan university should be," Sugg says.

Sugg says Young did an excellent job moving the university forward. Now, he says, the school is ready for the next step.

Hathaway takes over at an opportune time.

UALR is growing:

* Enrollment rose from 11,805 last year to 12,419 in 1992.

* Capital projects totaling $22 million have just been completed, including the construction of a new law school, a parking deck and UALR's first residential dormitory.

* Upcoming projects include the construction of an $8 million student center and science complex.

But Hathaway has plans that extend beyond the campus grounds.

"It's not simply a university in the city," he says. "It's a university of the city of Little Rock."

He sees the university's role as one not of reaction but leadership within the symbiotic relationship.

Hathaway initially conceived of a metropolitan university model -- in which a school is fully integrated with a city -- when he was dean of the College of Sciences and Engineering at the University of Texas at San Antonio from 1981-86.

He went to Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, in 1986 as professor of physics and vice president for academic affairs. There, he further developed the idea of a metropolitan university.

That's when he first learned of UALR.

Through an identification process, UALR was added to a list of 100 national universities that interact strongly within cities. When the list was narrowed to 25, UALR emerged in the top group.

UALR is "much further along even than it realizes," Hathaway says.

He applauds the school's public service functions such as the Arkansas Institute of Government and the Arkansas Institute for Economic Advancement.

"This university has done some right things," he says. "It's looking in the right direction."

Metropolitan Motives

When students were invited to meet Hathaway during his most recent visit to the UALR campus earlier this month, he made one particularly telling remark.

"I told them it wasn't necessary to wear a suit to see me," Hathaway says.

He's anxious to meet students, faculty and staff and will set aside two days each week to do that when he officially arrives March 1.

"My first impression was that he was very amiable, open, frank -- that he's going to be accessible," says Ray Pierce, a graduate journalism student and editor of The UALR Forum.

But after meeting with Hathaway, Pierce also voiced concerns about the new chancellor's metropolitan ideas and ideals.

"Is this job he's taking here going to be just...so he can make a showcase out of us to prove whatever theories he has about the metropolitan university?" Pierce says.

Pierce wants more than lofty concepts, more than "just something we can tack on the wall saying, 'Here's what we did.'"

If Hathaway's initiatives at Wright State are an indication of what he may accomplish at UALR, there should be much more than a certificate on a wall as proof of progress.

For instance, The Edison Materials Technology Center is one of the most important economic developments Hathaway helped cultivate through industrial linkages.

Frank Moore, EMTEC's director, says Hathaway sensed industrial competitiveness waning in the region as soon as he moved to Ohio. He had a germ of an idea to form a consortium of industry, academia and government to provide technology in industrial development to the private sector.

Within six weeks after Hathaway arrived, EMTEC was formed with a $4 million grant. Today, it has 90 industrial firm members, each paying dues on a schedule depending on gross sales, with the maximum being $50,000 a year.

There are 12 colleges and universities and several federal partners that don't pay dues. EMTEC has managed $14 million in research since its creation in 1987 and now averages more than $4 million in annual research and development.

The state initially matched industrial contributions on a one-to-one basis, but industry now provides $2.15 for each $1 from the state. Members include large companies such as General Motors Corp. and General Electric Co. and smaller businesses as well.

"I told Chuck if he needs help doing the same thing in Arkansas, I'd come down and help him," says Moore, whom Hathaway brought to the project at its inception.

Moore says Hathaway is tenacious and persevering.

"He's energetic, and he knows where he's headed," Moore says. "We're going to lose a key citizen. There will be a hole here for a while."

But Hathaway has left a legacy.

EMTEC, located on the Wright State campus, has no research or technical staff but relies on efforts between industry and academia.

The relationship also has helped WSU. Jon Miller, chairman of the board of governors at EMTEC and chief engineer for the Delco Chassis Division of General Motors Corp., says General Motors did not hire WSU engineering graduates in the early 1980s.

Now, General Motors actively recruits them.

The Organizer

Miller says Hathaway is famous for putting organizations together, but he doesn't have a history of dropping one project for another.

"He still goes to one-third of the EMTEC meetings," Miller says.

That's better than other university representatives.

And Miller says Hathaway can still be seen at every school function from band recitals to basketball games.

"He cheats a bit in the sense that he may stay until halftime and then go to another meeting," Miller says.

At Wright State, Hathaway has led projects such as the unprecedented joint funding between the state and local community to build a $14 million engineering building.

He has created new centers on campus, such as the Center for Urban and Public Affairs (CUPA), and he's expanded programs such as the honors program.

Hathaway has been involved in incorporating multimedia into classrooms because he became convinced the "long-held promise that technology would have a significant impact on the teaching-learning environment has finally arrived in the form of multimedia."

"To me, Chuck is one of those people who is exceptionally intelligent but also is what I call, in a very complimentary way, a very street-savvy person," says Thomas Heine, president of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce.

"In dealing with Chuck here, he did a great job of bringing Wright State to the community," Heine adds.

As an example, Heine points to Wright State's newfound association with the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

He says it's the largest Air Force base in the country in both population and budget. It is located directly across the street from the Wright State campus, but there was little interaction between the base and the university until Hathaway came.

Through the development of an advanced technology center, Hathaway helped both the university and the private sector begin to benefit from research developments being made at the base.

In 1989, after seeing the success of Wright State's own strategic plan, the chamber requested the university's help in initiating a strategic plan to take Dayton into 1995. Hathaway used CUPA as the facilitating group to carry out the goals of Challenge 95.

It is difficult to find a Dayton area business person not upset at Hathaway's departure, although Hathaway and others admit some faculty members probably won't mind seeing him go.

There were some who disapproved of the changes he initiated following the metropolitan university model.

Hathaway says he isn't going to commence with changes as soon as he arrives at UALR. Besides not wanting to be presumptuous, Hathaway says he will need time to learn about the school. Even within the metropolitan model, every university is different.

But Hathaway is ready to get down to business -- literally.

Even his vocabulary suggests Hathaway's business acumen. For instance, when he discusses making a full evaluation of the school, he says, "We see this as consumer information, if you will."

Heine says Hathaway is good at studying situations.

"Chuck is a very thoughtful person," Heine says. "On occasion, people have a hard time reading him because he's thinking." That doesn't mean he is slow to act.

If anything, says Miller, Hathaway may be too impatient.

Ron Fox, dean of the School of Professional Psychology at Wright State for 15 years, says Hathaway was always willing to change his mind and admit to an incorrect decision.

To Hathaway's critics who saw his metropolitan ideal as limiting the vision of the university, Fox responds by saying it enabled the university to succeed.

And to those at UALR who worry that Hathaway is more interested in business than in school, Fox says, "He's a university man through and through."

As chancellor, Hathaway will earn $120,000 a year. He also will be provided with a state car and a residence on campus.

Hathaway's wife, Betty, is a professor at Wright State. In time, she probably will take a part-time teaching position at UALR. Hathaway has three grown children who won't be moving to Arkansas with him.

"It's interesting because he debated about turning your job down," Miller says.

Hathaway knows what is ahead for him.

In the end, Miller says, "he decided he wanted to make Little Rock grow ... Notice I said Little Rock. The university and the community must be one."

Metropolitan model aside, Ray Pierce of The UALR Forum says Hathaway must move the university forward whether or not the city comes along for the ride.

"I'm hoping our newspaper can keep him focused on that," Pierce says. "We're not going to give him a moment's peace if he doesn't."

The Chancellor Speaks

UALR SHARES A COMMON set of core values with all universities that aspire to excellence:

* sharing the accumulated knowledge of humankind through the art of teaching and providing those who seek knowledge the learning experiences that will allow them to become critical thinkers.

* discovering new knowledge through scholarly activities, including both basic and applied research and synthesizing existing knowledge into more profound forms.

* applying discipline and multi-discipline through professional public service.

UALR is much more than the traditional university. UALR is rapidly becoming a role model of an institution that is a part of, not apart from, the community and region the university seeks to serve.

Many are beginning to call these institutions metropolitan universities.

This is a fitting and proud description. Metropolis comes from the two Greek words meaning Mother City. UALR is not simply the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, UALR is of Little Rock. UALR is the University of the Mother City of Arkansas.

Derek Bok, president emeritus of Harvard University, has stated on many occasions that the challenge our nation faces now will not likely be addressed in the laboratories and by the faculty of Harvard.

He believes that other universities will rise to meet these challenges. These universities must take on the challenge of the transformation of our public schools to address a new student body and a new form of the American family, the challenge of local and state economic development and competitiveness in a global economy, and the challenge of health promotion and health care.

More than 80 percent of the people in our nation live in our metropolitan regions. The challenges we face, nationally and internationally, will be met in our cities.

The region in which UALR exists is the living laboratory for the university. This university serves itself and the region best by assuming a leadership role.

The greatest resource any city, state or nation has is the people. It is in the best interest of Little Rock and Arkansas that UALR dedicate itself to developing those who seek knowledge and education to their fullest potential.

To that end, UALR will continue to develop a learning environment where we will seek not simply to teach but will assume responsibility for the learning process.

The faculty of this university has created a remarkable record:

* The library received a $1 million Ottenheimer Foundation Award.

* External funding for the scholarly activity increased 59 percent to $9.2 million in the last two years.

* The Graduate School emerged as the second-largest graduate program in the state and is the most rapidly growing graduate program in the state.

* Professor Robert R. Wright III received awards from both the Arkansas and American bar associations.

* Dean Howard Eisenberg received the Walter F. Cummings Award as the outstanding appointed counsel in U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

* The Arkansas Institute for Economic Advancement processed over 6,400 requests for assistance last year.

* A UALR faculty member designed an Energy Management Program for several Navy bases with the potential of saving $50 million.

* Betty M. Caldwell, an internationally recognized scholar in early childhood development, received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Governors Association.

For every faculty member, for every program, for every student I have mentioned, there are many more. I cannot draw a picture for you that will show you UALR at the turn of the century. But I can assure you that this institution will be significant and nationally recognized.

The response of the faculty to both the historical values that define a university and the relationship of the university to the metropolitan region will shape the future of UALR. One does not preclude the other. In striving toward one goal, we can achieve the other.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Journal Publishing, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:includes related article; University of Arkansas at Little Rock's new chancellor Charles Hathaway
Author:Rengers, Carrie
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Nov 30, 1992
Words:2426
Previous Article:Flying with the comeback kid.
Next Article:In the spirit: Hiram Walker & Sons Inc. turns out cases of liqueurs by the millions at Fort Smith facility.
Topics:


Related Articles
Chancellor, UALR turning tide on sea of red.
Arena idea excites UALR officials.
UALR gets $13 million grant from Reynolds for business center.
MOVERS & SHAKERS.
Education. (Movers & Shakers).
Hathaway to retire as UALR Chancellor. (Education).
Retiring Hathaway turned UALR into Metropolitan University.
Coach heath tops state employee salary roster. (List Overview).
Anderson's plan for UALR.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters