LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — The Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas (UA) will hold a special meeting on Wednesday (Aug. 11) to consider acquiring Grantham University to expand the UA System's online educational offerings and its operation scale.
The meeting will be open to the public via zoom at 9 a.m. and take place at the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute as part of the Board's two-day retreat.
The approval of the acquisition would increase the number of unique online credentials of the University of Arkansas System eVersity to more than 60 and add about 4,000 Grantham students to the system, according to an a press release.
“This potential acquisition represents a game-changer for our efforts to reach those adults who are underserved by public higher education because of their need to attend fully online, flexible institutions,” said President of the UA System Donald R. Bobbitt. “By acquiring the assets of Grantham University, we will be able to scale up this effort to reach beyond the borders of Arkansas and diversify the educational offerings and revenue profile of our system.”
According to the release, the Board of The Level Playing Field Corp. (LPF), which owns Grantham University, determined it is in the best interest of the university and its constituents to enter into an Asset Purchase Agreement to transfer substantially all the assets and certain discrete liabilities of Grantham University to the UA Board of Trustees in exchange for $1.
Included in the transaction was the UA Board's agreement to initially lease and eventually employ approximately 170 full-time staff, faculty and administrative employees, along with around 240 part-time faculty. After receipt of the noted approvals, Grantham would join the UA System as a unique new campus, with the overall goal of eventually combining efforts with eVersity to form a single, fully online university.
The release said the proposed acquisition comes at a time of much disruption in the higher education landscape as some public universities have made strategic moves to grow their online resources in an effort to serve an increasingly diverse student population.
“We believe we have an opportunity to carve out a share of the high-quality online education market in our region,” Moore said. “This will allow us to serve our educational mission and diversify the revenue of our system during a time when public funding for higher education across the country is not increasing.”
Click here for an agenda of other items for consideration, supporting materials and registration to view the Zoom broadcast of the meeting.