Leaders of the University Arkansas campus in Fayetteville “retreated” to Petit Jean this week. It took a bus to accommodate the crowd.

A leisure traveler thought  some familiar faces were espied at Petit Jean this week, faces more familiar in the hills of Fayetteville. So I inquired. And, yes, Mark Rushing, UA spokesman, confirms that Chancellor David Gearhart and his Administrative Policy Council met Monday and Tuesday at the UA’s Winthrop Rockefeller Institute on the mountain.


The meeting, including support staff, was attended by about 44 people. One bus was enough to get everyone there. Rushing said membership includes students, faculty, staff (deans, vice chancellors and student government).

The cost is estimated to be $10,000 to $11,000, paid for by unspecified private funds.  Said Rushing:


The theme of this year’s session focused on “Becoming a Top 50 Public University” (which would place the University among the top 8% of the more than 600 public research universities in the U.S.). Presentations and discussions focused on graduation rates, academic progress, research progress, faculty needs, diversity among faculty and staff, student needs and more. 

Rushing said the retreat as held at the Institute in 2009, 2012 and 2014. It was held on campus in 2010 and at the Arkansas World Trade Center in Rogers in 2011.

Please no how-many-UA-administrators-does-it-take-to-change-a-lightbulb-or-balance-a-budget jokes.