New UCA President Allen Meadors Called a Uniter

by Jan Cottingham  on Monday, Jul. 13, 2009 12:00 am  


Blackwell, the UNCP trustee, cited Meadors' creation of "new programming" at the university as among his biggest achievements. It includes a nursing school and a school of entrepreneurship. Meadors also proved a gifted fundraiser, creating "a tremendous amount of support from the alumni."

In addition, "he's had a great relationship with the business community," Blackwell said. Meadors helped launch a plan for a physical therapy program at the school. "He got a partnership with 13 hospitals to help pay for that program, and that's unheard of."

"You've got the right man not only to get the [UCA] finances straightened out, but to build relationships with the community and get trust back with the faculty."

Curtis, the faculty senate chairman, said Meadors got along well with the UNCP faculty. "He did something that was very important to the faculty," Curtis, a professor in the Department of Mass Communication, said. Meadors practiced "shared governance," involving the faculty in decision-making. "He really believed in shared governance and practiced it."

Surely Meadors generated some controversy?

"There never really was any controversy," Curtis said. The most controversial aspect of Meadors' tenure, the professor said, was his bringing football back to UNCP. "I might say that when he first thought of the idea and started working on it there was some resistance to it because, of course, it takes money."

However, even that proved successful, with Meadors raising the funds from gifts and donations. "It's worked out very well." Curtis said. "This past fall was our second year of having an active football team, and we had the best winning record of any college in North Carolina (9-1)."

Wade Allen, the school newspaper editor, said of Meadors that he "wants to personally engage with students. If he can't do that, he doesn't want the job. He makes everybody feel important. He listens to everyone's concerns."

"I tell you what - I've never heard a bad thing about him," Allen said, even though, he said, as a member of the press he hears all kinds of complaints from people who want him to write articles.

"I can just imagine the things he's going to accomplish at [UCA]," Allen said, "because he brought our university to levels I didn't even think were possible."

Of course, Lu Hardin saw much success at UCA and received much praise, until he crashed and burned. (Although Hardin has landed on his feet, with a job leading Palm Beach Atlantic University, a private Christian university in West Palm Beach, Fla.) But Blackwell has confidence in Meadors.

"I would challenge the folks of central Arkansas to give him a chance."



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