Architects Named for Upcoming Projects

Architecture firms for a planned construction project and a planned renovation project at Arkansas Tech University were selected by the ATU Board of Trustees during its meeting at the Ross Pendergraft Library and Technology Center on Thursday, May 16.

Miller Boskus Lack of Fayetteville will be the lead architecture firm in the development of plans for a student union and recreation center. Personnel from the Dallas, Texas, location of SmithGroup will assist in planning the facility.

Trustees selected Little Rock-based firm WER Architects to plan a renovation of the former swimming pool area in the Hull Physical Education Building. Once complete, the renovated space will provide a multi-purpose area with lounge, event and recreation facilities for ATU students.

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

*the 2019-20 operating budget for the university, including tuition and fee rates on the Russellville and Ozark campuses (click to read more);

*approval to move forward with next steps for a new campus entrance project at the east corridor off North Arkansas Avenue near Tucker Coliseum, including continued conversations with the City of Russellville and the Arkansas Department of Transportation;

*a resolution expressing the willingness of ATU to utilize federal aid Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant funds as part of its planned campus entrance project;

*a transfer of $4.56 million from fund balances to cover the costs of renovations to the Hull Physical Education Building, Hughes Hall, Baswell Techionery, lab vent hoods in McEver Hall and Chambers Cafeteria;

*closure of Lake Point Conference Center effective Sept. 30, 2019, and placement of the facility, as well as the adjacent Center for Leadership and Learning building, on the market for sale;

*a transfer of the remaining farm operations, technology and telecom unexpended funds from the current operating budget as of June 30 to reserve accounts;

*a proposal by the College of eTech and the Department of Professional Studies to reconfigure the Bachelor of Professional Studies degree into a new Bachelor of Arts degree in organizational leadership effective spring 2020;

*updates to the university course catalog and faculty handbook, as proposed by the Faculty Senate, regarding student class attendance policies and procedures;

*parking regulations on the ATU campus in Russellville for 2019-20;

*student affairs fees and fines for 2019-20;

*a 0.7 percent decrease in residence hall rates for 2019-20;

*a 4 percent increase in on-campus meal plan rates for 2019-20;

*the 2019-20 schedule of events for the ATU Department of Diversity and Inclusion;

*a university ethics policy drafted by faculty and staff representatives and consistent with accreditation standards set forth by The Higher Learning Commission;

*utilization of unappropriated funds from the Ozark campus bookstore to assist with annual operating costs for food service operations at the Ozark campus;

*and a transfer of $154,084 from unappropriated educational and general funds to infrastructure reserve accounts on the Ozark campus.

Trustees voted unanimously to extend the rolling three-year contract of Dr. Robin E. Bowen, president, for an additional year. Tom Kennedy, vice chairman of the board, commented that trustees are “very pleased” with her performance in leading the institution.

The board offered to provide the raise stipulated in Bowen’s contract, but she declined those terms and asked to receive a lower raise (1 percent) that is commensurate with the raise that all other ATU employees will receive in 2019-20. The board agreed to her request.

In other personnel matters, trustees approved hiring the following new, full-time employees:

*Dr. C. Soumia Amrine, assistant professor of chemistry, for the 2019-20 academic year; Drew Dickey, assistant director of facilities management, effective March 25, 2019; Dr. Barbara Johnson, vice president for academic affairs and professor of college student personnel, effective July 1, 2019; Tanya Martin, project/program administrator in the Office of Human Resources, effective April 15, 2019; Josh Lawson, assistant football coach and defensive coordinator, effective April 1, 2019; Dr. William Morelan, assistant professor of educational leadership, for the 2019-20 academic year; Dr. Azin Sanjari Pirmahaleh, assistant professor of mathematics, for the 2019-20 academic year; Frances Roberson, assistant professor of theatre and film and technical director of theatre, for the 2019-20 academic year; Dr. Xinli Xiao, assistant professor of mathematics, for the 2019-20 academic year; and Dr. Hye Sun You, assistant professor of physical science, for the 2019-20 academic year.

Two faculty members who have been serving in administrative roles on an interim basis received those appointments on a permanent basis. Dr. Tim Carter, professor of curriculum and instruction, will be associate dean for the College of Education and Dr. Alaric Williams, associate professor of college student personnel, will be head of the Department of College Student Personnel as of July 1, 2019.

Two administrators seeking a return to full-time teaching had those requests granted by the board. Dr. Jeff Woods, professor of history, will step down as dean of the College of Arts and Humanities and Dr. Jason Warnick, professor of psychology, will step down as assistant vice president for student success as of July 1, 2019.

The board accepted resignations from the following individuals:

*Dr. Xiang Chen, assistant professor of emergency management, effective Aug. 9, 2019; Dr. Dana Fox, incoming dean of the Graduate College, effective May 16, 2019; Dr. Deborah Leslie, assistant professor of geology, effective July 31, 2019; Clay Moore, coordinator of event and building management in the Department of Campus Life, effective May 18, 2019; Darla Sparacino, associate professor of health information management, effective May 11, 2019; and Holli Weiss, assistant dean for student wellness and Title IX deputy coordinator, effective June 30, 2019.

Trustees accepted retirement notices from Dr. Pamela Carr, professor of accounting, effective Dec. 31, 2019; and Dr. Kim Troboy, professor of management information systems and interim head of the Department of Management and Marketing, effective June 30, 2019.

Carr has served on the ATU faculty since 1991, while Troboy has taught at Arkansas Tech since 2002.