Campus Talk: Susan Harriman to lead ForwARd Arkansas group

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 133 views 

Editor’s note: Each Tuesday, Talk Business & Politics provides “Campus Talk,” a recap and roundup of education news. 


Advocacy group ForwARd Arkansas named Susan Harriman as its executive director on Tuesday (April 12). She will lead the statewide education reform group that launched in early 2015. Harriman formerly worked for the Arkansas Department of Education.

“I’m truly honored to be joining a movement that I know will close our state’s achievement gap and make Arkansas a national leader for public education within a generation,” said Harriman.

ForwARd Arkansas is a partnership of local education, business, government and civic leaders committed to improving public education in the state. After conducting in-depth analysis of Arkansas’ education system and gathering input from nearly 8,500 Arkansans, ForwARd set forth strategic goals to improve education in the state.

Harriman served as the policy and special projects director at the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE). There she managed the No Kid Hungry campaign, New Tech Network High Schools, UTeach teacher preparation program and other initiatives. Prior to working at the ADE, she served as the director of state services at the National Center for Education Achievement, the Secretary’s Regional Representative at the U.S. Department of Education and founding executive director at the Texas Public Education Reform Foundation.

Is financial literacy an important-enough skill that it should be taught alongside reading, writing and arithmetic? Most Americans seem to think so, according to a recent survey from RBC Wealth Management-U.S. and City National Bank.

The survey, conducted in mid-March, found that 87% of Americans believe that financial literacy should be taught in schools. Of those in favor of incorporating financial literacy into the classroom, 15% said instruction should begin as early as elementary school. The rest (72%) said it should be taught in middle and high school. The same survey found that more than one-third of American adults (35%) received no instruction on investing – whether from their parents, school or someone else. Another 39% said they simply taught themselves.

College of the Ouachitas board of trustees announced Dr. Steve Rook as the college’s new president. Dr. Rook will assume the office of President on June 6, 2016. He succeeds Interim President Dr. Barry Ballard who has served in the position since January 2016.

Rook, a Gould, Arkansas native, is the current Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs at Rich Mountain Community College in Mena, Arkansas. He also served as Interim President of Rich Mountain from May 2011–September 2011.

Rook received his Doctorate of Education in Higher Education Administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, his Master of Science in Education, Guidance and Counseling/Student Personnel from Eastern Illinois University, and his Bachelor of Science in Marketing from University of Arkansas at Monticello.