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Smart talk, Sept. 4



Accreditation in Beebe


Got a college you want accredited? You may not have to go far. There's a college accrediting commission in Beebe that has accredited “over 298 schools, colleges, universities and theological seminaries in 37 states and 8 countries,” according to its website. We hadn't heard of this prolific accreditor until we happened to read an article about noted televangelist Mike Murdock, who's headquartered in Texas but seems to spend a lot of time in Little Rock, appearing on local church television programs and urging viewers to make donations.

The article, published in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 2003, says that Murdock has an honorary doctorate from International Seminary in Florida. It continues: “The seminary's accreditation is from the Accrediting Commission International for Schools, Colleges and Theological Seminaries, which is in Beebe, Ark. … Critics have said the commission has few standards for granting accreditation.”

The commission's website says:

“We are primarily a religious school accrediting agency. Due to the views of most of our schools concerning the separation of church and state, we have never applied to the U.S. Department of Education for any affiliation with the government. We are an independent accrediting agency.”

The website identifies Dr. John F. Scheel as the president of the commission.


Bus stop, bus go?


Should the University of Arkansas at Little Rock ditch the bus stop on campus as a safety measure?

That's the recommendation of the Chancellor's Special Committee on Campus Safety, in a report released Aug. 20. The committee, whose members included Little Rock Police Chief Stuart Thomas and FBI Special Agent William Temple, was formed in response to the shooting of a student on campus.

The report said the Central Arkansas Transit Authority station at the student union “brings individuals without university business onto the campus” and recommended it be moved.

UALR spokesperson Joan Duffy said the school may ask CATA to relocate the station to Fair Park. She said she did not know how many students use the bus to get to school.


Fleece out


Get out the down jackets and toboggans: The just-released 2009 Old Farmer's Almanac says Arkansas is in for a real winter this year. A blue finger and a big old snowflake cover the state in the Almanac's winter map, and the text informs us that “winter will be much colder than normal, with temperatures one to two degrees below normal, on average” in the Deep South region, which includes Arkansas. Snowfall will be “well above normal.” The Almanac compares its previous predictions with what actually transpired those years, but who wants to read that? Bring on the cold.


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