University of Arkansas System President Donald R. Bobbitt announced appointments July 2 to a new system-wide task force that will consider issues around racial equity at the campuses, divisions and units within the UA System.


UA Trustee Stephen Broughton, M.D., a psychiatry specialist of Pine Bluff, will chair the UA System Task Force on Racial Equity.


The task force on racial equity is the result of a proposal made by John Goodson, chair of the Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas, at a special meeting of the board on June 17, when he announced plans to appoint a task force to address racial injustice and promote equitable practices within the System, according to a news release.


“The past several weeks in our country have brought to light the vital need for all institutions to increase efforts to combat racial injustice,” Goodson told Trustees and those attending the virtual special meeting. “Many people of color have spoken out, including many constituents of the UA System, about issues they face in their daily lives that we should all be concerned about.”


Goodson identified Broughton to chair the task force, and fellow Trustee Ted Dickey to represent the board, while setting expectations for the task force to make recommendations regarding policies, procedures and activities to help ensure the UA System promotes an atmosphere that is “welcoming and attuned to the cultural and educational needs of all Arkansans,” he said.


At Pine Bluff, Broughton is on the staff of Jefferson Regional Medical Center and the Southeast Arkansas Behavioral Healthcare System Inc., according to a JRMC spokesman.


He obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and also graduated from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences at Little Rock. Residencies were with the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the Medical College of Georgia, according to https://www.jrmc.org .


“I see this as an opportunity to consider necessary changes across the UA System, highlighted by the chance to give everyone a voice and a seat at the table to discuss areas of concern and successes at individual campuses,” Broughton said in the UA news release.


“It will be vitally important that we not only have a good ear and listen to what’s going on around us, but to also propose new ideas and policies and follow them up with appropriate actions to ensure progress is being made,” Broughton said.


Bobbitt said the task force is a welcomed addition to many efforts already underway at the system’s campuses, divisions and units to address issues of racial equity.


“There is an expectation from my office and the Board of Trustees that faculty, students, staff and visitors to our campuses should all be treated with respect and presented with an equitable environment to pursue their educational and scholarly goals,” Bobbitt said. “This is a well-respected and accomplished group, and I look forward to the UA System benefitting from its work immediately and well in to the future.”


The UA System Task Force on Racial Equity includes:


Dr. Stephen Broughton, UA System Trustee, Committee Chair;


Ted Dickey, UA System Trustee;


Robert Carr, Provost, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff;


Mark Cochran, Vice President, UA System Division of Agriculture;


Deacue Fields, Dean, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville;


Marvin Caston, Senior Director of Development, Razorback Foundation, Inc.;


Moses Goldman, Vice Chancellor, University of Arkansas at Monticello;


Georgia Hale, Provost, University of Arkansas at Fort Smith;


Keith Pinchback, Chancellor, Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas;


Terisa Riley, Chancellor, University of Arkansas at Fort Smith;


Charles Robinson, Provost, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville;


Chris Smith, Dean, University of Arkansas Community College at Hope-Texarkana;


Kristi Smith, Director, UA Little Rock Alumni Association;


Christina Clark, Vice Chancellor/COO, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.