UA Little Rock Selects Inaugural University Professor

David Briscoe has taught at the university for nearly three decades.

UALR Professor David Briscoe Headshot

David Briscoe, a professor of sociology, has the distinction of being the first University of Arkansas at Little Rock faculty member appointed the honorific title of university professor. 

This is a special honor conferred only upon active faculty in recognition of an extended period of exemplary service in a spirit of collegiality to UA Little Rock as well as a combination of service in their profession and to the public through their professional activities, according to a press release.

In order to achieve the distinction, faculty members must have been a full professor for 10 years and have gained wide recognition at the national or international level for their sustained excellence in service, teaching, research or creative activity relevant to their respective disciplines and academic roles.

“I am beyond words that the Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas conferred the distinguished title of University Professor on me,” Briscoe said. “It’s historical in the sense that I became the inaugural University Professor at UA Little Rock. It means the world to me.” 

Briscoe is known for a legacy of teaching excellence at UA Little Rock that stretches for nearly three decades. He is the 2021 recipient of the Faculty Excellence Award in Teaching as well as the 2020 recipient of the Faculty Excellence Award in Public Service.

“This is a historic year for UA Little Rock as we recognize our first Distinguished Professors and our first University Professor,” Provost Ann Bain said. “These outstanding faculty have had long-standing careers that have been, and continue to be, full of accomplishments. Their dedication to their profession, our university and our students is commendable.”

Since beginning his career at UA Little Rock in 1992, Briscoe has been awarded nearly 60 honors, including being named a Distinguished Teaching Fellow for the UA Little Rock Academy for Teaching and Learning Excellence twice, voted among the Best of the Best Professors three times by the UA Little Rock student body, and receiving the Graduate and Retention Advocate Award four times.

He supports student-athletes as the NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative and serves on the National Phi Kappa Phi Awards Committee, the Chancellor’s Race and Ethnicity Advisory Committee, the Centennial Campaign Cabinet and the Institutional Effectiveness Committee. 

“Dr. Briscoe is tireless in his service to UA Little Rock, its students, and the wider community,” said Krista Lewis, chairwoman of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. “It seems that hardly a week passes in which I, in my role as department chair, am not contacted by students, community members or organizations who wish to reach out just to praise the service and care that Dr. Briscoe has extended to them.”

In addition to his teaching and university service, Briscoe has participated in the Boy Scouts of America for 55 years. As a member of the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America, Briscoe became the inaugural national chairman of Learning for Life, an academic and character development program serving more than 1.7 million students throughout the United States.