The Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health includes the shared missions of:

  •  Meeting the public health workforce needs for the future and
  • Demonstrating how public health approaches can address the health needs of Arkansans via model community programs.

Pilot sites for teaching and learning also serve as innovative laboratories for new and creative approaches to old problems. Students learn, with the expert aid of local citizens, schools, hospitals, and faith groups about community-based health improvement.

As with other UAMS colleges, the standards of teaching and learning are high and the resources for academic and social life are excellent. College faculty members are engaged in cutting-edge health research in numerous areas of societal concerns and students are welcome as members of most investigative teams.


In November 2000, the voters of Arkansas approved the Tobacco Settlement Proceeds Act that created the new Arkansas College of Public Health. In their meeting on February 2, 2001, the Arkansas Coordinating Board of Higher Education approved the establishment of the College of Public Health at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, effective July 1, 2001. Dr. Thomas A. Bruce, M.D., was appointed Dean Pro Tem of the College on July 17, 2001, to serve until the Founding Dean could be hired. An Inaugural Faculty meeting was held on July 20, 2001, to approve for forwarding to the Board of Trustees and the ADHE the admission requirements, curriculum, departmental structure and governance for the new College. The first academic programs were approved by the Arkansas Coordinating Board of Higher Education in October 2001. The College held its first day of classes in January 2002. The Founding Dean, James M. Raczynski, Ph.D., was hired in spring 2002 and moved into a full-time appointment in September 2002. The College now has over thirty full-time faculty, over 200 students, and offers post-baccalaureate certificate, MPH, DrPH and MS programs. The College’s newest degree program, a Master of Health Services Administration, transferred from UALR effective July 1, 2006. Two new Ph.D. programs – one in Health Systems Research and one in Health Promotion and Prevention Research – are up for approval by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education in 2006.

The College of Public Health was renamed the Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health in 2005 to honor the late Fay W. Boozman, M.D., M.P.H., who led the Arkansas Department of Health from 1998 until his death in 2005.

As director of the department, which later merged with the Arkansas Department of Human Services, Boozman championed public health efforts that seek to change attitudes and promote healthier lifestyles statewide. The UAMS alumnus also played a key role in steering millions of dollars from a 1998 tobacco industry legal settlement to health-related causes, including the College of Public Health. In addition, he helped create the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement, a partnership between UAMS, the DHHS Division of Health and Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield that serves as a resource for improving the health of Arkansans.

During the college’s 2002 construction, Boozman said it symbolized a “growing commitment to the citizens of Arkansas that we’re no longer going to accept the fact that we’re one of the unhealthiest states.” The 120,000-square-foot building was paid for mostly with $15 million from the state’s tobacco settlement money.

Boozman’s untimely death in March 2005 moved the Arkansas Legislature to approve a resolution calling for the College of Public Health to be named in his honor. The University of Arkansas System Board of Trustees adopted a resolution naming the college for Boozman. The naming ceremony was held on August 10, 2005.

The mission of the Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health (COPH) at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) is to “improve health and promote well-being of individuals, families, and communities in Arkansas through education, research, and service.” Community-based public health education is the College’s foremost tool in securing its long-term vision – “optimal health for all Arkansans.” The curriculum for the College is designed to maximize efficiency and avoid duplication while providing students with flexibility in course selection. The COPH academic program is in partnership with all colleges and universities in Arkansas offering graduate level coursework appropriate for a public health education.

UAMS History

The University of Arkansas was established in Fayetteville in 1871 under provisions of the Federal Land-Grant Act of the same year. The purpose of this act was to provide a public system of higher education for all qualified persons, regardless of their economic or social status. The University of Arkansas remains committed to this policy. Its basic aim is to provide the finest educational opportunities to all students, irrespective of handicaps, sex, race, color, creed, or national origin.

Originally named the Arkansas Industrial University, it enrolled its first students in January of 1872 and graduated the first class of five men and four women in l876. The institution was renamed the University of Arkansas in 1899.

The UA has grown during the past century. It is now a system composed of twelve separate campuses: UA, Fayetteville (UAF), UA at Little Rock, UA for Medical Sciences (UAMS), UA at Pine Bluff, UA at Monticello, Phillips Community College of the UA, UA at Fort Smith, Cossatot Community College of the UA, UA Community College at Batesville, UA Community College at Morrilton, UA Community College at Hope, and the Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock. Each of the twelve campuses has its own Chancellor or Dean and the system is administered by a President and Board of Trustees.

UAMS Administration

The chief administrative officer of the UAMS campus is the Chancellor, who is responsible to the President of the University. Under his leadership, campus affairs are conducted in keeping with state laws and policies established by the President and the Board of Trustees.

Deans are the chief administrative officials of the various UAMS colleges. The Executive Director of Clinical Programs and the Vice Chancellor for Regional Programs are administrative officers of their respective units. These deans and directors are responsible to the Chancellor. Under certain circumstances, they may be responsible to a Vice Chancellor as deemed appropriate by the Chancellor.

The deans of UAMS and the directors of the clinical programs and AHEC are the executive heads of the respective units. They are responsible for and empowered to execute all University policies applicable to the college, clinical programs, or AHEC. They may establish requirements to be satisfied by members of their faculty and/or staff as may be needed to achieve the goals of their respective organizations. They are responsible for recommending appointments, promotions, and other personnel changes to the Chancellor after consultation with the appropriate Vice Chancellor and appropriate members of the department concerned.