Rotary Club Donates to ATU Because We Can

Representatives from Arkansas Tech University registered student organization Because We Can received a check for $549.35 from the Rotary Club of Russellville during a luncheon at Lake Point Conference Center on Thursday, Dec. 7.

The funds will help Because We Can offset the cost of collection materials such as aluminum pans that are used during the organization’s food recovery efforts at ATU’s Chambers Cafeteria.

Dr. Sean Huss, faculty co-advisor for Because We Can, reported to the Rotarians that the organization recovered approximately 13,000 pounds of food from the cafeteria and delivered it to local service organizations during the fall 2017 semester.

The funds were raised by the Rotary Club of Russellville during the “happy dollars” portion of its weekly meetings in the fourth quarter of 2017. Members are able to donate $1 (or more) to share good news with the club.

Participants in the check presentation were (photographed, from left): Roy Smith, president of the Rotary Club of Russellville; Sydney Stone of Clarksville, ATU student and Because We Can member; Angela Black, board member for the Because We Can Green and Gold Pantry; Moriah Theriault of Russellville, ATU student and Because We Can member; and Dr. Sean Huss, professor of sociology at ATU and Because We Can co-advisor.

Kraft Named Banner Systems Analyst

Bernadette Hinkle, vice president of administration and finance at Arkansas Tech University, has announced the appointment of Nathan Kraft as Banner systems analyst as of Nov. 1, 2017.

Kraft will provide technical support in all phases of the Banner modules including training, inquiries, problems or questions with systems and programs. He will also design, develop, test and document high-level systems reports in support of operations of the administration and finance division.

Prior to joining ATU, Kraft supported financial users and systems for a combined 16 years at Oklahoma Baptist University. He has also worked at Oklahoma Teachers Retirement System and Tulsa Royalties Company.

Kraft holds a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science with an interdisciplinary emphasis in business administration from Oklahoma Baptist University.

His wife, Gina, is an assistant professor in the ATU Department of Health and Physical Education and program director for the Master of Science degree in strength and conditioning studies.

Bowen Announces Upcoming Staff Changes

Arkansas Tech University President Dr. Robin E. Bowen has announced staff and organizational changes that take effect on Jan. 2, 2018.

Dr. Jeff Mott, chief of staff in the Office of the President since September 2015, will phase out of that role during the spring 2018 semester and will leave the university by the end of the 2017-18 fiscal year.

“I cannot sufficiently articulate how much Dr. Mott’s service in the role of chief of staff has assisted me,” said Bowen. “His legacy here includes Leadership Tech, a program that will continue to provide professional development opportunities for faculty and staff far beyond his final day with us. As Dr. Mott pursues the next step in his professional journey and seeks out opportunities that will allow him to be closer to his family on a more regular basis, I wish him the very best.”

In addition to ensuring a proper transition for chief of staff responsibilities, Mott will also work during the spring 2018 semester to complete the current Leadership Tech year and provide for the sustainability of the program moving forward.

Dr. Mary B. Gunter will take the role of interim chief of staff in the Office of the President on Jan. 2, 2018. Gunter joined the Tech faculty in 1998. She has served as dean of the ATU Graduate College since 2009, and she added the responsibility of dean in the ATU College of Education in 2015.

Gunter will serve on the ATU Executive Council during the spring 2018 semester. A search to identify a permanent chief of staff will commence in January 2018.

While Gunter is tending to the duties of chief of staff, Dr. Linda Bean will serve as interim dean for the ATU College of Education and Dr. Jeff Robertson will be interim dean for the ATU Graduate College. Robertson will continue to serve as dean of the ATU College of Natural and Health Sciences.

Bowen also announced that Wyatt Watson, director of institutional research, will take on the title of director of institutional research and effectiveness.

The change reflects the evolving role of what will now be known as the ATU Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness. Previously focused on data collection, the office has progressed to also interpret data in order to make policy and procedural recommendations for an improved educational experience.

January will also bring a new organizational unit to Arkansas Tech.

As previously announced, Dr. Blake Bedsole will take office as vice president for enrollment management on Jan. 2, 2018. When he does, the Division of Enrollment Management will be created. It will include operating areas in undergraduate admissions, student financial aid, marketing and communication and the student recruitment functions of the ATU International and Multicultural Student Services Office (IMSSO). Bedsole will also have oversight of recruiting and admissions for the Graduate College, online students and the Ozark campus.

The programming function of IMSSO, which includes planning such events as International Education Week and the annual Light the Night festival, will fall under the direction of the ATU Division of Student Services.

ATU Steps Up to Help Students During Finals

Several offices and organizations at Arkansas Tech University will provide an extra boost of support to facilitate student success during fall 2017 final examinations week.

The ATU Residence Hall Association is sponsoring a late night breakfast from 9-11 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 5, in Chambers Cafeteria. The pajama-themed event will include a photo booth and prizes. Attendees must have a valid ATU identification card and a meal plan.

Ross Pendergraft Library and Technology Center will be open for 62 consecutive hours beginning at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 6, and continuing through 9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 8.

The library will also be open from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9, from 1 p.m.-1 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 10, and from 7 a.m.-1 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 11.

Library hours for the final day of exams, Tuesday, Dec. 12, are set for 7 a.m.-9 p.m.

The Arkansas Tech Alumni Association will offer free muffins, fruit, cider and coffee for students during each morning of final exams.

Breakfast will be served in the lobbies of Brown Hall, Corley Hall, Crabaugh Hall, Dean Hall, the Hull Physical Education Building, McEver Hall, Rothwell Hall, Williamson Hall and Witherspoon Hall on Thursday, Dec. 7.

On Friday, Dec. 8, breakfast will be available in the lobbies of Brown Hall, Corley Hall, Crabaugh Hall, Dean Hall, the Energy Center, the Hull Physical Education Building, McEver Hall, Rothwell Hall, Tomlinson Hall and Witherspoon Hall.

The ATU Alumni Association breakfast tour will touch down in Brown Hall, Corley Hall, Dean Hall, McEver Hall, Rothwell Hall and Witherspoon Hall on Monday, Dec. 11.

The Tuesday, Dec. 12, free breakfast will be served in Witherspoon Hall.

The ATU Tutoring Center, located in Doc Bryan Student Services Center suite 153, will offer special tutoring throughout final exams week. Students are encouraged to visit the tutoring center, call (479) 968-0278 or click on www.atu.edu/tutoring/docs/tutoringschedulefall2017.pdf for more information.

View the final exams schedule for fall 2017 on the ATU campus in Russellville.

ATU Top 5 Percent in U.S. in Social Mobility

New data reveals that Arkansas Tech University ranks among the top 5 percent of U.S. institutions of higher education in providing students with an opportunity to improve their economic standing.

CollegeNET’s Social Mobility Index (SMI) looks at the economic background of a university’s student body and compares it to the institution’s tuition rate, graduation rate and endowment as well as the early career salary for its young alumni.

For 2017 data, ATU has a SMI score of 57.8 to rank 68th among the 1,363 universities and colleges included in the survey.

It marks the second consecutive year in which Arkansas Tech has been among the top 70 institutions in the nation, and it is the fourth consecutive year in which ATU has been No. 1 in social mobility in Arkansas. No other Arkansas university or college ranks among the top 200 in the 2017 data.

“The new SMI rankings show that through wise policy-making, colleges and universities can be part of improving both economic opportunity and social stability in our country,” wrote Jim Wolfston, president of CollegeNET, in an explanation of the theory behind the rankings. “Let’s recast the chase for quality to include lowering tuition, recruiting more economically disadvantaged students, and ensuring that enrolled students graduate into good paying jobs.”

View the CollegeNET Social Mobility Index.