As the new chancellor of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Dr. Andrew Rogerson believes creating a “great metropolitan university” requires critical support from a strong alumni association with a shared vision for the future.
By Jillian McGehee | Photography by Rett Peek
After joining the University of Arkansas at Little Rock six months ago, Dr. Andrew Rogerson believes UA Little Rock can be one of the most affordable and relevant institutions for prospective students. Creating a “great metropolitan university” is critical to the infrastructure of a city, and an engaged alumni association brings the education and industry together in a symbiotic partnership with a shared vision for the future.
“When I started, I believed UA Little Rock had the potential to be a great metropolitan university, and I believe it with even deeper conviction today,” he says. “I am the man that believes he can fix anything. My eyes are on the prize – leading this great university into prominence as a regional jewel, both in the city and for the city. It will take some time, but we will get there. We have what it takes to get this right.”
Andrew comes to Little Rock from Sonoma State University in California, where he was vice president of academic affairs. He completed his doctorate in microbial ecology from the University of Stirling in Scotland in 1979 and pursued a career in research for 10 years before accepting a faculty position at the University of London – where he worked for seven years before moving to the United States and becoming an American citizen.
Andrew credits his father for his persistent, “fix anything” attitude and strong work ethic. During his first semester at UA Little Rock, his diligence and thoughtfulness helped him acclimate to the university – making a careful current assessment and developing reasonable yet ambitious goals. Increasing enrollment and providing an accessible, affordable and relevant education are paramount to his vision.
“For our students to compete in tomorrow’s workplace, we must equip them with an education today that empowers them to be entrepreneurial, analytical, good collaborators, excellent communicators and innovative enough to be adaptable in the workplace. The need for post-secondary education has never been stronger. I am proud to be chancellor and in a position to help develop a sustainable organizational architecture that will allow us to be a model 21st century urban university.”
A strong alumni association provides critical support and networking opportunities that further his strategic mission for the university’s bright future. Hosted by the UA Little Rock Alumni Association, proceeds from Taste of Little Rock – showcasing the best restaurants in Central Arkansas in a food extravaganza – provide student scholarships. “Affordability is one of the biggest obstacles our regional students face to degree completion,” Andrew says.
“Taste of Little Rock attendees are giving our students vital support and the chance to earn the success graduates enjoy. It’s impressive to note that 85 percent of our graduates live in, and contribute to, the success of our state. Investing in our students is an investment in the region’s bright future.”
This year’s Taste of Little Rock is especially meaningful to the university and the community, Andrew notes, as the evening will honor the unwavering commitment and support of the Bailey family.
“Dr. & Mrs. Ted Bailey II, and their family, have supported UA Little Rock in countless ways over many years,” Andrew says. “The Bailey Foundation supports multiple student scholarships across many disciplines, in addition to faculty awards for excellence. Their gift of the Bailey Alumni and Friends Center has provided a central gathering place for alumni and friends of the university. The Bailey Family’s generosity also supports the Chancellor’s Circle and Trojan Athletics, as well as the College of Engineering and Information Technology. In short, this year’s Taste of Little Rock is our way of honoring this family’s incredible giving, and we invite the community to celebrate with us.”