George’s Talk Centers on Building Community

Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus hosted Nathan George, director of the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center regional office at ATU in Russellville, as a guest speaker on Wednesday, Oct. 18.

Approximately 100 students attended the event, during which George spoke about the importance of community development. He encouraged attendees to become leaders within their communities.

“Extraordinary communities provide quality jobs, schools, medical facilities, substantial housing and safe neighborhoods,” said George. “And extraordinary communities require extraordinary leaders.”

The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center is an economic development program that assists entrepreneurs, both new and seasoned. The center helps with every aspect of business creation, management and operation. Through seven offices around the state, ASBTDC works with all types of for-profit businesses, from home-based to high-tech.

The ASBTDC serves new businesses, established businesses, innovation-based businesses and business purchases by providing one-to-one confidential guidance that can be specifically tailored to each individual’s business venture.

For more information about the Arkansas Business and Technology Development Center, call (479) 356-2067.

Capp Offers Advice to ATU-Ozark Students

Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus welcomed State Rep. Sarah Capp to speak to students for its 2017 Fall Convocation.

Capp is serving her first term representing District 82 in the Arkansas House of Representatives. For the 91st General Assembly, Capp serves on House Judiciary Committee as well as the House City, County and Local Affairs Committee.

Capp is an attorney at Capp Law Firm in Ozark. She graduated from Murray State University with a bachelor’s in political science and later earned her Juris Doctor from the William H. Bowen School of Law. Capp is a member of the Ozark Area Chamber of Commerce and the Arkansas Bar Association. She also serves on the Parent Counsel Program Advisory Committee. She previously served as president for Big Brothers/Big Sisters chapter in the River Valley.

Capp spoke to students about the importance of community involvement.

“Being involved with our community is about building relationships within the community, with business leaders, with area business leaders, with area businesses and most importantly with other citizens,” said Capp. “Arkansas Tech understands this key principle to personal success.”

Photographed (from left-to-right): Justin Smith, chief business and community outreach officer, ATU-Ozark; District 82 Rep. Sarah Capp, Arkansas House of Representatives; Bruce Sikes, chancellor, ATU-Ozark. 

Board Approves ATU Campus Master Plan

Trustees at Arkansas Tech University approved a campus master plan on Thursday that aligns with the institution’s strategic plan and establishes both short-term priority projects and long-term facility aspirations for all ATU campuses and properties over the next 10-to-20 years.

The action was taken during the ATU Board of Trustees’ regularly scheduled meeting at Ross Pendergraft Library and Technology Center.

“Priorities are specific to ATU and have been developed based on a knowledge of the campus needs, current and potential enrollment and financial conditions,” wrote Perkins+Will, campus master planning consultants, in the report presented to trustees on Thursday. “The master plan acknowledges that prioritization is not the same as implementation. A priority may still take several years to achieve if the funding required is substantial.”

Priority projects for ATU in Russellville established through the campus master plan include a new entrance to campus, a new student union and recreation center, a new performing arts center, a new academic center for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs and student housing.

On the Ozark campus of Arkansas Tech, priority projects include the construction of a new academic and conference facility and the relocation of the shop area currently located near the Technology and Academic Support Building.

“The master plan is a critical tool that moves from strategic planning to on the ground actions that secure the future success of the institution,” wrote Perkins+Will in the conclusion of its report to trustees. “This collective vision will ‘put the tech back in Tech’ and has gone a long way to aligning all participants under the ‘ATU: One University’ banner of the strategic plan.”

Access additional information about the campus master plan.

Trustees also voted on Thursday to authorize the purchase of a vacant 84-acre tract property in the 1600 block of North Phoenix Avenue in Russellville.

The property, which is adjacent to land owned by ATU, was previously a sod farm. Cost of purchase will be the appraised value of $252,000, $3,000 per acre or another negotiated purchase price that is mutually agreed upon.

In considering applications for the property, trustees discussed that one possible outcome would be to utilize it for the needs of the ATU Department of Agriculture.

In other business on Thursday, the ATU Board of Trustees approved:

*refinancing 13 auxiliary bond issues with expected savings of more than $6 million gross and $3.5 million net present value over the life of the bonds;

*renewal of 2018 employee benefits with a 7.93 percent increase for health insurance premiums through Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, 0 percent increases for dental and vision insurance premiums through Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield and 0 percent increases for life and disability insurance plans through USAble;

*establishment of provisional positions for the 2017-18 fiscal year for the federally-funded Veterans Upward Bound program;

*a program proposal for a new Master of Education degree in K-12 literacy effective summer 2018;

*a program proposal for a new Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice and criminology effective summer 2018;

*reconfiguration of the existing Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree computer engineering option such that the option becomes a stand-alone Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering degree effective summer 2018;

*and a letter of notification that would allow ATU-Ozark Campus to provide its Associate of Applied Science degree in paramedic/emergency medical services at an off-site location, Fort Smith Emergency Medical Services.

In personnel matters, the ATU Board of Trustees approved hiring the following full-time faculty members for the 2017-18 academic year:

*Dr. Lacie Cupani, visiting instructor of chemistry; Wenyi Li, visiting instructor of mathematics; and Dr. Haiyan Wang, assistant professor of agriculture.

The following staff appointments were approved by the board:

*Corey Adaire, ATU STEM Institute science specialist, effective Aug. 31, 2017; Silas Clark, computer programmer/analyst, effective Sept. 27, 2017; Nathan Craft, Banner systems analyst, effective Nov. 1, 2017; Nikki Earles, counselor in the ATU Health and Wellness Center, effective Sept. 11, 2017; Tracey Hale, project/program specialist in the Office of Financial Aid, effective Oct. 3, 2017; Robin Koontz, advanced practice nurse in the ATU Health and Wellness Center, effective Sept. 5, 2017; and Angela Lasiter, director of corporate and foundation relations, effective Oct. 23, 2017.

Dr. Carl E. Greco, professor of electrical engineering, was appointed interim head of the ATU Department of Electrical Engineering for the 2017-18 academic year.

Kerri Threlkeld was named interim associate director of admissions operations effective Sept. 1, 2017.

Trustees accepted resignations from the following ATU employees:

*Paul Battles, chemistry laboratory/stockroom manager and safety officer, effective Sept. 28, 2017; Emily Billings-Bull, business manager for special programs, effective Nov. 3, 2017; and Vic Dreier, director of the ATU Stem Institute, effective Oct. 13, 2017.

The following ATU employees submitted letters of retirement:

*Dr. Merlin Mann, associate professor of journalism and member of the ATU faculty since 2012, effective May 12, 2018; Dr. Vrege Amirkhanian, associate professor of mathematics and member of the ATU faculty since 1989, effective May 12, 2018; and Dr. Scott Kirkconnell, professor of biology and member of the ATU faculty since 1981, effective Dec. 31, 2017.

Early Registration for Spring 2018 Semester

The Office of the Registrar has announced the schedule by which current students may register for winter intermission and spring 2018 classes at Arkansas Tech University.

Students must consult with their advisor before registering in classes. Appointment schedules will be posted near advisors’ offices. Distance learners and night students should contact their advisor to discuss the process for registration. Students will either be registered in classes by their advisor or the advisor may elect to provide a student registration code allowing the student to register in classes using the OneTech portal.

Registration instructions, registration and academic calendars, and other helpful information such as graduation information and end of course exam schedule are available at www.atu.edu/registrar.

Students currently enrolled for the fall semester may begin registering for winter intermission and spring 2018 classes according to the following schedule:

  • Monday, Oct. 23: Graduate students and undergraduates with 60 or more earned hours
  • Monday, Oct. 30: 59 – 32 earned hours
  • Thursday, Nov. 2: 31 – 21 earned hours
  • Thursday, Nov. 9: 20 – 12 earned hours
  • Thursday, Nov. 16: 11 – 3 earned hours
  • Tuesday, Nov. 28: 2 or fewer earned hours

Act 852 of 2015 requires each four-year state-supported institution of higher education and each two-year state-supported institution of higher education to provide each student with electronic access to the following information annually before the student registers for classes:

  • The top 25 percent of certificates and degrees reported by the institution in terms of the highest full-time job placement and highest average annual earnings in the year after certificate or degree completion.
  • The bottom 10 percent of certificates and degrees reported by the institution in terms of the lowest full-time job placement and lowest average annual earnings in the year after certificate or degree completion.

Arkansas Tech University’s summary can be found here: https://www.atu.edu/ucounsel/documents/Act%20852%20of%202015%20-%20Employment%20and%20Earnings%20Outcomes%20for%20Degrees%20and%20Certificates%20earned%20at%20Arkansas%20Tech%20University.pdf

This report does not include ATU graduates who are employed by the federal government or military, who are self-employed or who are employed outside of the State of Arkansas. As such, this report should not be used to calculate or assume unemployment rates.

For the full report from the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, visit: https://www.dws.arkansas.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Act-852-Economic-Security-Report.pdf

Fort Smith EMS Makes Donation to ATU-Ozark

Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus has received a $15,000 in-kind donation from Forth Smith Emergency Medical Services (EMS).

Fort Smith EMS donated a Stryker Power Cot and a Stryker Stair Chair. EMS and paramedic students will use the donations at ATU-Ozark training sites.

“I am very thankful for Forth Smith EMS, their continued support of our program, and their involvement in EMS education,” said Joshua Freeman, director and instructor of the paramedic and EMS programs. “This equipment will be very useful in training our students to care for patients.”

Arkansas Tech-Ozark’s paramedic and EMS program is designed to meet the educational and training needs of those individuals who wish to gain Arkansas Department of Health Licensure and National Registry of EMT’s certification as a paramedic.

Career opportunities exist with air and ground emergency medical services, fire departments, medical centers and industry. Since 2013, licensed graduate employment rate at ATU-Ozark has been 100 percent. ATU Paramedic/EMS classes are offered in Ozark and Russellville.

For more information, contact the ATU-Ozark Office of Student Services at (479) 667-2117.

Learn more about the ATU-Ozark paramedic and EMS program.