Chancellor: need fewer colleges or more money

(March 2, 2004) — (Little Rock-AP) -- The University of Arkansas at Fayetteville chancellor is arguing that Arkansas cannot afford to adequately fund 43 two- and four-year colleges. John White says Arkansas tries to do much with too little money at its institutions of higher learning. White released a report yesterday that seeks a declaration recognizing his campus as the state's top higher education institution. The report was prepared by the school's 2010 Commission and said the state will spend almost 616 million dollars on colleges this fiscal year. White said he wouldn't propose consolidating or closing college campuses, but questioned whether all could consistently perform at the high levels required for college life. Attorney General Mike Beebe, a member of the 2010 Commission, said the state should perhaps consider having campuses specialize in certain areas. The average Arkansan is located just about nine miles from the nearest state-supported college and the state ranked 10th nationally in the number of state colleges per capita -- up from 11th two years ago. The report added that too many students who enter two-year schools don't go on to graduate later from a four-year school.