July 19, 1971
The merger of Arkansas A&M College with the University of Arkansas system took effect, establishing the University of Arkansas at Monticello (UAM). Governor Dale Bumpers had signed the legislation for the merger in January. In the late 1960s, Claude H. Babin and other school leaders had supported it. This was a controversial issue, however, and some school leaders were concerned about the change this would bring in institutional independence. Anticipated benefits from the merger included an opportunity to address the institution’s budgetary concerns and bolster its efforts to become accredited by the Society of American Foresters. Babin stayed on as the first UAM chancellor, stepping down on January 1, 1977. He continued to teach at UAM until his retirement in 1992.