University of Arkansas

Walton College

The Sam M. Walton College of Business

Statement from the Sam M. Walton College of Business

Sam M. Walton College of Business


Walton College Students, Staff, Faculty, and Alumni,

It has been painful to hear through #BlackatUark how short we have fallen in our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. As Walton College leaders we are responsible for creating a safe and developmental environment; we have failed those of you who endured racism in our college or on our campus. We are at a pivotal moment to advance societal change, uphold our mission, and strive to be EPIC in our efforts to respect everyone, value our differences, and welcome all.

We make a commitment to you that we will do that.

Dr. Barbara Lofton and Dr. Synetra Hughes in the Walton College Office of Diversity & Inclusion have been allies and advocates to many of you, but they should not do this work alone. We make a commitment to you that we will be your allies and advocates. We will listen, learn, and act. Our goal is to eliminate systemic and episodic bias and inequity in our college.

Plans are underway to address the racial inequity on our campus and in our college. We have started town hall meetings that will be held regularly going forward. These meetings provide a platform to listen to your needs, address your concerns, and gather action items to make our college and campus anti-racist and a more welcoming community for all. We know this is ours to fix, but we will be better equipped if we have your guidance, so we hope you will share your concerns and ideas with us.

We will ensure that all students, faculty, and staff have equal opportunities to succeed and thrive. The dean’s office of the Sam M. Walton College of Business and its Office of Diversity & Inclusion and department chairs welcome your voice.

Starting now, we will take the following actions:

  1. Create a task force to audit all the processes of the Walton College to find embedded racism and discover ways to eliminate it
  2. Develop a diversity statement for faculty to include in their syllabi
  3. Provide resources to assist faculty in making their courses and classrooms more inclusive
  4. Provide a resource for you to share your suggestions, complaints, resources, and recommendations with the dean’s office

We understand that there is more to be done. It is imperative to begin now.

Matt Waller, dean

Anne O’Leary Kelly, senior associate dean

Alan Ellstrand, associate dean

Brent Williams, associate dean