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UAPB's Aquaculture and Fisheries Center Director and Chairwoman Carole Engle to retire
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PINE BLUFF, AR - Back in March, Arkansas House representative Camille Bennett was pointed at for proposing a house bill to transfer the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff's (a historically black university located in Pine Bluff, Arkansas), Division of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences to the University of Arkansas - Fayetteville Division of Agriculture.

(Picture Source: https://uapbnews.wordpress.com/2015/03/17/dr-carole-r-engle-receives-national-award-for-promoting-growth-of-aquaculture/)According to source, Carole Engle (pictured on the right) who is the Agriculture and Fisheries Center of Excellence director and chairwoman will now be retiring from the university effective June 30. Which Chancellor Alexander made the announcement Friday in a press release and named Rebecca Lochmann as interim director and interim chairwoman.

According to the house bill that was proposed, it's was an act to amend the laws concerning Agricultural Programs at Colleges and Universities, and for other purposes. The house bill also stated by August 5, 2015 the University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture shall develop and implement a diagnostic lab at the Lonoke extension service and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, College of Agriculture shall transfer all assets, equipment, and grants and other funds to the University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture.

Prior to the house bill proposal, UAPB's Chancellor Laurence B. Alexander and the department chairwoman Carole Engle had bump heads about the way the department was being operated and administrated. Alexander wanted the center to focus more on research and Engle believed that would had take away from its role of assisting fish farmers.

Neither students, alumni and community/university supporters were aware of house bill 1838 until the day before it went to the table to be voted upon. Students, alumni, and community/university supporters took to action to protest against the bill and their voices were heard. Before the bill even hit the table it was withdrawn. And because of the conflict about which direction the department should be led and put into research focus, according to source Engle said, she announce her intention to leave UAPB one year ago.

Engle told the Pine Bluff Commercial in January, "Our faculty does not want to be in a ivory tower where they do science for the sake of science. Our land-grant mission is to serve the needs of Arkansas. The fish farmers have done unbelievable things for UAPB, including the approval of a master's program in aquaculture and fisheries and the Ph.D. program and state matching funds of $3.5 million."

"Fish farmers found out I actively looking to leave," Engle said in January. "They got concerned about the future of the program. Four faculty members are actively looking to leave. There is a lot of discouragement."

Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Jacquelyn McCray told the Pine Bluff Commercial that she knew Engle from when she was than dean of the School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences in the late 1980s. McCray said Engle helped improve the aquaculture center.

McCray said Engle helped grow extension programs and research programs. Research programs create new knowledge, whereas extension programs apply knowledge and work with farmers. She also said that Engle hired faculty members and second additional funding. The Center of Excellence worked with the Cooperative Extension Service of the Division of Agriculture of the University of Arkansas System.

Since 1988, the university has gained recognition as a leading research institution in aquaculture studies, offering the state's only comprehensive program in this field and according to the school, it's aquaculture program is a $167 million industry in Arkansas along and worth approximately $1.2 billion in the Mississippi Delta region. The program is enhanced by the addition of an Aquaculture/Fisheries PhD program, which received full accreditation in November 2011.

 

Source:

http://pbcommercial.com/news/local/uapb-aquaculture-and-fisheries-director-engle-retire



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