BY MELANIE BUCK –
“Today was truly a historic day for Rich Mountain Community College,” said President Phillip Wilson following the announcement that Rich Mountain Community College has been officially incorporated into the University of Arkansas System after months of talks between the two institutions. The UA Board approved the measure unanimously this morning, Thursday [May 26, 2016], which also included bringing Pulaski Technical College in North Little Rock into the mix, bringing the UA System’s community college totals to seven. Wilson continued, “This merger leaves me extremely optimistic about the future of our students and the citizens of the Ouachita mountain region. I would like to thank the RMCC Board of Trustees for their vision and forward thinking. I know that they never took this decision making process lightly. RMCC will now be able to serve Polk, Scott, and Montgomery counties with an increased ability. ”
The RMCC local board of trustees had approved the merged on April 26, and with today’s UA vote, the merge is now official, as well as the incorporation of Pulaski Tech into the UA system. The merge will official be in effect on July 1.
In 1973, the College began as Rich Mountain Vocational-Technical School serving Polk, Scott, and Montgomery counties under the Arkansas Department of Vocational Education. In the late 1970s, community leaders alongside Representative Ode Maddox began discussions about the creation of a community college. Representative Ode Maddox introduced legislation, which ultimately became Act 16 of the 1983 General Assembly that established Rich Mountain Community College on July 1, 1983.
“We are the smallest community college in the state and that will not change,” Wilson added, “This is a good relationship to have.”