A new office of graduate and professional support was established by the University July 1. The office provides expanded resources for more than 50 graduate and professional programs.
Graduate and professional programs have been a part of the educational offerings at the University since 1952, growing to account for close to 20% of annual enrollment in recent years and representing significant growth opportunities in coming years due to increased demand and job requirements for graduate education.
Mitch Walton, director of the office, reports to Dr. Julie Hixson-Wallace, associate provost and vice president for accreditation and institutional effectiveness. Walton has served as director of Harding-North Little Rock since August 2017. Previously, he served as director of professional development for the Arkansas Association of Educational Administration, executive director of three AAEA umbrella organizations, and as both the superintendent and high school principal of Sloan-Hendrix School District. Walton holds degrees from both Harding and Arkansas State universities.
The office includes five additional staff members who contribute to the recruiting, marketing and support of the University’s graduate and professional programs. These members include Sheryl Ragland, marketing manager for graduate programs; Katherine Boone, administrative assistant; Sharyl Holst, tech and information management assistant; Deb Plybon, academic affairs assistant; and Alice Ramsey, admissions assistant.