Harding is sword-ready
Sometimes we're surprised by things on our own blog. Not until a reader called and told us did we know that Rush Harding III, the best-known member of the University of Central Arkansas Board of Trustees, had said he'd resign from the Board if the UCA Faculty Senate or the student body or the Staff Senate or the governor's office asked him to. But there it was, in the comments section following a posting about some of UCA's troubles — a comment signed by “rfhiii”, in which the writer said that his resignation was there for the asking. Harding confirmed by telephone that the comment was his, and that he was responding to an earlier comment in which the writer suggested that UCA trustees resign en masse and mentioned Harding by name. Harding said he'd already tried to resign a couple of times, but “I've been convinced by people I care about that I serve UCA better by being on the board at this time. I've learned from my mistakes.” UCA is seeking a new president. Harding said that unless somebody asks for his resignation, he'll stay on the board until the new president is hired. “Then I'll re-evaluate my ability to serve as trustee,” he said.
Rumor has it that Acxiom, the Arkansas-based marketing services company, is looking to institute a mandatory one-week furlough program to cut costs. If true, they wouldn't be alone. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, fresh off its second round of lay-offs, recently instituted a similar measure, a one-day mandatory furlough every 20 work days. Others have chosen to go “idle” like the Alcoa North American Rolled Products plant in Texarkana. The temporary closing will affect 250 employees.
Acxiom corporate communications director Scott Maple said in an e-mail that while a furlough program might be an option, no decisions had been made as of yet.
“Acxiom is looking at furloughs as one of several possible ways to respond to the softness in the economy without widespread job cuts,” Maple said. “Like other companies, we're open to creative ways to tighten our belt until an economic turnaround is under way.”