The Arkansas Division of Higher Education (ADHE) serves as the administrative staff for the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The Board consists of 12 members who are appointed by the governor and serve staggered six-year terms. As part of its responsibilities, the staff develops and implements board policies and procedures. Additionally, ADHE reviews academic programs; administers statewide financial aid programs and contracts with the Southern Regional Education Board for support of graduate and first professional study outside of Arkansas; recommends institutional operating, capital, and personal services budgets; and collects and reports on student and course data as part of a statewide data base and academic program inventory for policy studies.
ADHE was originally established as the Commission on Coordinating Higher Education Finance in 1961. The commission was renamed and reorganized as the Department of Higher Education in 1971.
The mission of the Arkansas Division of Higher Education is to advocate for higher education; to promote a coordinated system of higher education in the state; and to assist each of the publicly and locally supported institutions of higher education in the state in improving the delivery of higher education services to the citizens of Arkansas.