As President Jones begins his first full year leading Arkansas Baptist College (ABC), he has many goals that he plans to accomplish. The new year also gives the President a chance to let the ABC community know about upcoming events, as well as key changes that will be implemented.
No matter how large or seemingly minor, each new undertaking at Arkansas Baptist College is geared toward the goal of improving the college’s reputation, notes President Jones. While acknowledging that the institution has some ground to make up to once again prove the excellence of its students and its programs, the reality of our college’s vibrancy is what will cement its growing importance, especially within the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) universe. President Jones’ background in teaching and his skills at engaging with social justice issues will be a critical element in helping ABC focuses on its responsibility as an HBCU.
As part of the crucial community building and spiritual re-affirmation ABC is undertaking, weekly chapel will now be mandatory for students and employees. The spiritual and informational empowerment provided by ABC’s chapel services has always been a cornerstone of the college experience, for both the students and its employees. The requirement helps ensure that the entire ABC community not only benefits from the educational and spiritual opportunities factored into week’s program, but also receives important updates about the college.
October 7, 2017 will mark President Jones’ official investiture at Arkansas Baptist College, and the entire first week of October will be given over to celebrating the event. President Jones considers the events to be a special chance to introduce Arkansas Baptist College to the wider community, and beyond.
In order to ensure a successful inaugural week, a planning committee will be formed by the end of February. The committee will be tasked with planning the schedule of events, as well as creating ways to communicate the college’s goals during the October celebration. Look for “Save the Date” announcements in the coming months.
As one of the institutions which reports to the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), ABC will be participating in the commission’s Focused Visit in early December. A key part of regional assessment, the Focused Visits are a thorough means of assessing each college’s strengths and weaknesses in specific areas. The peer reviewers are responsible for assuring that an institution advance within the context of its own mission.
With ABC continuing to grow in its standing with the HLC, milestones like the Focused Visit are crucial elements of the college’s relationship with the commission. President Jones will be convening a Focused Visit committee to help prepare for the commission’s assessment visit, which happens December 4-5.
President Jones is continuing his “book of the week” initiative, in which he takes a novel, memoir or other meaningful work of literature and shares his impressions with the college community. Early favorites are “Wizard of the Crow,” a novel by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, and “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama,” by Gwen Ifill. President Jones will continue making his recommendations throughout the year and discussing the themes these books explore.
To learn more about the changes and improvements planned for Arkansas Baptist College in 2017, be sure to check in for upcoming events and announcements by calling (877)-643-5390. For more updates on our growing HBCU, President Jones will also personally be sharing news and inspiration through his weekly letter, “Inside ABC with President Jones,” as 2017 continues.