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.”

Additional information about the campus master plan will be posted at www.atu.edu/masterplanning in the days to come.

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.

Finalists Selected for Tech’s Got Talent

The fall 2017 Tech’s Got Talent competition at Arkansas Tech University is down to its final six acts.

The following individuals and groups were selected to perform in the finals at 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 20, at Witherspoon Auditorium based upon their performance in the semifinals on Tuesday, Oct. 17:

  • Danielle Moore, Grace Hendren and Christian Rosenbaum
  • Yasmine Baccam
  • Noah Davis
  • Shawnette Stewart
  • Bailey Hughes
  • Double E Trickery

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Comedian Alex Stone will appear as a special guest during the finals on Friday. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, and resident of New York City, Stone was one of the top 100 comedians selected for the eighth season of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing.”

Admission to the Tech’s Got Talent finals will be free with a valid ATU identification card.

Tech’s Got Talent is presented by ATU Student Activities Board.

2017 Homecoming: Tech's Got Talent: Semifinals | 10/17/17

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RY2IecuiTpQ

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

Complete Coverage: Homecoming Week at ATU

Arkansas Tech University with a full week of events for Tech students and a weekend of festivities for alumni and friends.

Access student events.

Access alumni events.

View photos and video from each activity:
2017 Homecoming: Ladies Champagne Bingo Luncheon | 10/20/17
2017 Homecoming: Greek Step Show | 10/18/17

2017 Homecoming: Party at the Plaza | 10/18/17
2017 Homecoming: Tech's Got Talent: Semifinals | 10/17/17
2017 Homecoming: Pep Rally | 10/16/17

Noted Meteorologist to Speak at ATU

The Arkansas Tech University Department of Emergency Management will host a lecture by Dr. Kevin Kloesel, campus meteorologist for the University of Oklahoma, on Tuesday, Oct. 24.

Kloesel will speak at 6:30 p.m. in room 300 of Ross Pendergraft Library and Technology Center, which is located at 305 West Q Street in Russellville. Admission will be free and open to the public.

In his role as campus meteorologist, Kloesel is responsible for providing weather forecast and weather safety information to the OU Office of Emergency Preparedness before, during and after weather threats of all types.

He also provides support to the OU executive policy group in severe and winter weather situations in order to facilitate campus protection and closure decisions. He develops and leads weather safety training on the OU campus for its over 30,000 students, faculty and staff, and for the over 40,000 pre-collegiate students that call OU home during summer sports and academic camps.

Kloesel concurrently serves as director of the Oklahoma Climatological Survey and associate professor in the OU College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering science from the University of Texas at Austin as well as Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from Pennsylvania State University.

A frequent guest on local, state and national radio and television programs, he has appeared on the National Academies of Science Distinctive Voices, NPR’s Talk of the Nation, the Tavis Smiley Show, WeatherBrains, ABC Nightly News, The Discovery Channel, The Weather Channel, WxGeeks, the BBC and dozens of local radio and TV shows across the United States.

Kloesel’s remarks at ATU will focus on the importance of organizational preparedness as it relates to severe weather and large-scale public events such as sporting events, festivals and fairs.

Learn more about the ATU Department of Emergency Management.