(March 2, 2004) - (Little Rock-AP) -- The director of the state Department of Economic Development says a lack of college-educated adults is a deterrent for businesses considering a move to Arkansas. Larry Walther was among experts who spoke yesterday to a panel investigating higher education issues. The 15-member Committee for Higher Education is composed of business, education and community leaders appointed by Governor Huckabee. Speakers told the panel Arkansas must increase its numbers of college-educated residents if the state hopes to improve its economic future. Kurt Naumann of the economic development department said only about 18 percent of Arkansas adults have at least a bachelor's degree, compared to about 24 percent for the region and almost 28 percent for the nation.