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Community Advocacy Organization

The University of Arkansas names its first Black Chancellor

Some are calling it one of those "You've come a long way, baby" moments! A black man, history professor Dr. Charles Robinson, has been named the new Chancellor of Arkansas' flagship school, the University of Arkansas (UA) at Fayetteville.

That is a 'first' in UA's 151-year history.

Robinson had been serving as the school's interim chancellor since August of last year. The Board of Trustees unanimously approved him last week for a three-year term to head UA.

It was in 1948 that the university first changed its segregation policy to allow black students to attend classes at its schools of law and medicine. As early as 1957, the University of Arkansas was freely admitting blacks to attend regular classes. Something that other state colleges in the south wouldn't do for several more years.

Board Chairman Cliff Gibson reportedly wanted to dispel any misconceptions about Robinson’s appointment as affirmative action because Robinson had diligently worked for the University of Arkansas for over two decades.

“By appointing Charles Robinson as the next chancellor of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, this board has seized the opportunity to select a very accomplished man who happens to be Black and tell the country and the whole world that the Arkansas of today is not the Arkansas of 1957 and Central High,” Gibson said, according to local media reports.

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