Since its establishment, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff has distinguished itself as a leader in many areas. The University stands on a legacy of extraordinary achievement and is poised to play an even greater leadership role in providing excellent academic programs and serving as the region’s leader in higher education. The 2015-2020 UAPB Strategic Plan sets the stage for bold and focused action that will further distinguish UAPB as a leader and an institution renowned for its outstanding academic programs, cutting-edge research, scholarship, and national reach.
The strategic plan is an essential element for enabling the University to adapt and take advantage of the opportunities presented by a dynamic and rapidly evolving and expanding higher education marketplace. The plan also represents windows of opportunity and a commitment to positioning UAPB as a leading institution with a diverse student population and stellar faculty who are fully engaged in the intellectual, cultural, and social development of UAPB’s students.
When viewed in its totality, the UAPB 2015-2020 Strategic Plan is a roadmap for guiding the future and utilizing UAPB’s many strengths and assets to ensure excellence in the provision of a teaching/learning environment that promotes and encourages high levels of student and faculty achievement.
Created in 1873 by the State Legislature and located in the heart of the Arkansas Delta, UAPB is the second oldest public university in Arkansas, the only public historically black institution in Arkansas, and one of only nineteen 1890 land-grant institutions in the country. As an 1890 Land- Grant HBCU, UAPB grew out of the vision that higher education was important to the future of the region and the state. When first established, UAPB operated as Branch Normal College, a branch of the Arkansas Industrial University (now the University of Arkansas) with the primary goal of preparing teachers.
With the passage of the Second Morrill Act of 1890, Branch Normal became a land-grant institution
and its curriculum was expanded to include instruction in agriculture and the mechanical arts and associated trades. In 1921, the name was changed to Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal School (AM&N) to reflect its land- grant mission and its original goal of training teachers. The name was changed to AM&N College in 1927 when the institution transitioned into offering a four-year collegiate curriculum.
During a 47 year period from 1927 to 1972, AM&N College operated as an independent institution. In 1972, AM&N was merged into the University of Arkansas System and was renamed the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and holds the distinction of being the only HBCU in the UA System. Since its inception over 140 years ago, UAPB has developed into a comprehensive land- grant institution with a diverse student body and cutting edge academic programs delivered through four schools and the University College. In recent years, UAPB has achieved distinction for several emerging fields including nanotechnology, biomedicine, agriculture, aquaculture, biotechnology, nutrition, water, and farm management.
Today UAPB offers 28 undergraduate degrees, eight master’s degree and a Ph.D. program in Aquaculture Fisheries that is recognized as one of the leading programs in the country. The program also plays a vital role in supporting Arkansas’s multi-million dollar catfish and baitfish industries. In recent years UAPB has leveraged its national reputation in aquaculture fisheries to acquire more research dollars in related fields. UAPB now rank fourth in the State for the amount of research funding among institutions in the University of Arkansas System.
The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff is a public comprehensive HBCU 1890 Land-Grant Institution. The University embraces its land-grant mission of providing cutting edge research, teaching, outreach, and service programs that respond to the social and economic needs of the state and region. Its mission is to promote and sustain excellent academic programs that integrate quality instruction, research, and student learning experiences responsive to the needs of a racially, culturally, and economically diverse student population. Ultimately, the University is dedicated to providing access and opportunity to academically deserving students and producing graduates who are equipped to excel through their contributions and leadership in a 21st century national and global community.