Arkansas Baptist College
, which recently had a leadership upheaval, continues to find itself coping with financial difficulties dating to an aggressive growth spurt under a former administration.

From my own reporting, I know that controversy continues to brew over personnel and business decisions. Last night, I was forwarded a link to an extensive account of the personalities and issues involved on a website I’ve not read before, the Black Agenda Report. Without endorsing some of the harshest conclusions, I can say it contains a great deal of information, some reported previously, that bears consideration.


The author is identified as Attala Nasir. I had said originally that the author was unidentified. The account raises good questions, apart from allegations of impropriety, such as about real estate investments by a college that has had persistent cash flow problems. The lapsing of tax-free status for the college foundation is also mentioned. The writer takes the view that Joseph Jones, who resigned under pressure as president in December, took a fall for his attempt to correct affairs. That, as I wrote at the time, is not the view of those now in charge of the Board of Trustees.

The piece carries criticism of Fitz Hill, the former president, and notes an on-line petition drive to have him removed from the state Board of Education, a position to which he was appointed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson. His critics see him as a poor example.


Again: I am not in a position to endorse or validate the allegations of misdeeds. But I can attest to deep factionalism and continuing financial issues for the small historically black institution. It has enjoyed support from big names in the Little Rock business community who liked what they saw in Fitz Hill’s leadership, including the addition of a football team and a building agenda aided by tax credit programs. This group has its critics, reflected in this article, summarized on the website this way:

The following is an investigative report by a long-time member of the Black community in Little Rock who has close knowledge of the history and corruption of Arkansas Baptist College. This is a story of money laundering, sweet heart land deals, grade fixing, and fraud that includes not just some despicable small-time Negroes acting like minstrels but African American and other Clinton appointees that reach to the highest levels of Big Business in Little Rock (oil, biotech, finance, department stores) who have tried to use the ABC foundation as a veil for their economic ambition as actual education is betrayed.


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