While E.C. Maltbia, the pastor of True Holiness Saints Center in Conway, was not actively seeking out his new position on the University of Central Arkansas Board of Trustees, said he’s looking forward to the opportunity it presents.
Maltbia, who was born and raised in Conway, said he was first approached by board member Bunny Adcock and Arkansas Sen. Jason Rapert to see if he would be interested in serving and was then later called by Gov. Asa Hutchinson and extended the chance to.
"I certainly want to thank the governor for the opportunity to serve in this capacity," he said.
For Maltbia, there are several reasons, including his church’s two-fold purpose to empower people spiritually, physically and economically and to impact the community, that makes him eager for this new season of his life.
"Helping college students get their education falls right in line with that mission," he said. "It being a part of our church mission statement, I jumped at the opportunity as well as my love for the university."
In his new position, there are multiple things that Maltbia said he wants to try to accomplish including increasing enrollment.
"I personally believe UCA is a great school and the city of Conway is a beautiful city and I think part of my role as a trustee is to get that word out to the masses and so that’s going to be very important to me," he said.
Maltbia —whose term is up in 2024 — said he is also passionate about retention rates and seeing students graduate. He said part of that coming to fruition is helping those young people develop "meaningful relationships in the community and on campus," whether it be in student organizations, athletics, churches or Greek life.
"That’s one thing I’m going to really target," Maltbia said. "We want UCA to continue to provide a world class education for our students. I want to see our students, when they come to our university, reach their full potential."
Lastly, he said, he wants to focus on making the institution affordable.
"I think one thing that we can celebrate at UCA is in the last five years, the university has only raised tuition about 15 percent … I think we’re number four in the state as far as cost," Maltbia said. "Cost of attendance must be manageable for our students and their families, which means, as trustees we have to be good stewards of the resources that we have.
"We don’t ever want to put an unnecessary burden or hardship on students and their families."
He said those ideas can only be accomplished by team effort between the students, parents, faculty, board and the community at large.
"I think we all have to understand that we all play a very important part to UCA’s success and the success of our students," Maltbia said. "I think part of what I’m able to bring to the table is to bridge that gap between the university and the community [and] to help remind us that we’re all on the same team and that when one does well, we all do well."
He said another good thing at UCA is the new president, Houston Davis, who he believes will be great for the university as well as the other board members who have "great integrity."
"I think excited would be an understatement," Maltbia said. "I have always been passionate about UCA and I am tremendously grateful for the opportunity to serve in this capacity. I have such a passion for college students and so this is my element … helping them be successful. I was overjoyed for the appointment."
Maltbia was sworn in by Judge David Clark at True Holiness Church on Jan. 22 and attended his first UCA board meeting Feb. 10.
In addition to the board of trustees, Maltbia has also served on multiple committees and boards within the community including United Way of Faulkner County, UCA’s Inaugural Parent and Family Council, Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission and more.
He currently serves on the Conway Regional Board of Directors.
Maltbia is married to Natasha. They have two children, Kennedy and Connor.