Board Approves Letters of Intent for Master’s Degrees

Arkansas Tech University Campus Entrance Russellville

Arkansas Tech University took steps toward offering two new graduate programs during a meeting of the ATU Board of Trustees on Thursday, June 15, at Chambers Cafeteria West Dining Room.

The board approved letters of intent concerning the establishment of a Master of Arts degree in music education and a Master of Science degree in counseling.

Following Thursday’s approval by trustees, the letters of intent will be forwarded to the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board for its review. If all necessary approvals are gained, the master’s degree in counseling will be offered beginning June 1, 2024, and the master’s degree in music education will be offered beginning Aug. 1, 2024.

Information provided by the ATU Department of Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Science states the Master of Science degree in counseling will provide “graduate-level instruction in counseling theory, individual and group facilitation skills, psychopharmacologic and psychopathologic interventions, research and assessment competencies, ethics, evidence-based decision making, diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice practices.”

The proposed ATU Master of Science degree in counseling would be offered through a hybrid model of 50 percent in-person learning and 50 percent online.

Information provided by the ATU Department of Music indicates the Master of Arts degree in music education will help students “demonstrate advanced competencies in music education” and provide students with “knowledge and skills in one or more fields of music outside music education such as performance, conducting, theory and analysis and history and literature.”

The proposed ATU Master of Arts degree in music education would be offered 100 percent online.

ATU trustees also approved letters of notification that, if approved by AHECB, would reconfigure the Bachelor of Arts degree in communication and the Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism into a Bachelor of Arts degree in digital content creation and allow ATU to offer two credentials — the Bachelor of Science degree in health information management and the Graduate Certificate in information technology — fully online.

In other business during their final meeting of the 2022-23 fiscal year, members of the ATU Board of Trustees approved:

*the 2023-24 fiscal year ATU budget (click here for details);

*certification of the ATU athletic operating budget for fiscal year 2023-24 per Arkansas Division of Higher Education guidelines;

*2023-24 proposed fees and fines associated with ATU Division of Student Affairs operating areas (residence life, testing center, disability services, student conduct, public safety, campus life, international student services and health and wellness);

*2023-24 parking regulations for the ATU campus in Russellville;

*continuation of one provisional position in athletic training and one provisional position on the nursing faculty that are partially funded by St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center;

*awarding a contract in the amount of $763,340 to E&F Roofing Inc. for replacement of the roof at Doc Bryan Student Services Center;

*summer projects on the Russellville campus, to include cooling tower replacement at Tucker Coliseum ($220,000), Chambers Cafeteria ($100,000) and Norman Hall ($100,000) and exterior cleaning and building envelope work at Ross Pendergraft Library and Technology Center ($40,000);

*definition of an ATU online student as a student who is enrolled in a program that can be completed entirely online, is enrolled in a semester in entirely online coursework and has no physical presence on campus (cannot be living on campus housing);

*a grant proposal that would enable the creation of a trail institute to support the sustainable management of Arkansas’ trails as a collaboration between ATU and the Arkansas Department of Transportation;

*a proposal by the ATU Department of Residence Life to establish a faculty fellow program with a stated goal of increasing engagement with residential communities in a manner that promotes innovative and meaningful opportunities for residential students to connect with ATU faculty and staff;

*a cancelation and settlement agreement relative to ATU’s contract with vendor Re-Up Education;

*and updated academic scholarship policies and procedures that will go into effect in 2024.

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

*Brittny Daubenheyer, assistant vice president for enrollment management, effective July 5, 2023; Matthew Lundy, training specialist and business consultant for the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center regional office at ATU, effective May 1, 2023; Tariq Rakha, assistant professor of art, for the 2023-24 academic year; and Dr. Ebrahim Seidi, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, for the 2023-24 academic year.

Trustees approved the following internal promotions:

*Lisa Crider, from health promotion specialist to wellness case manager, effective July 1, 2023; Morgan Hitt, from web operations specialist to webmaster and digital strategy specialist, effective June 1, 2023; and Cara Knight, from academic and career advisor to assistant dean for academic advising, effective May 15, 2023.

The board accepted resignations from the following ATU employees:

*Michele Barraza, special projects coordinator, effective June 16, 2023; Barbara Brewer, webmaster and digital strategy specialist, effective April 21, 2023; Dr. Judy Cezeaux, dean of the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, effective June 30, 2023; Dr. Randall Colvin, ATU-Ozark workforce education faculty of biology, effective Aug. 2, 2023; Dr. Erin Clair, associate dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, effective May 6, 2023; Julie Ennis, grant coordinator for sponsored programs, effective June 7, 2023; Brock Hime, head women’s cross country and track and field coach, effective May 22, 2023; Dr. Efosa Idemudia, associate professor of business data analytics, effective Aug. 4, 2023; Dr. Weijia Jia, assistant professor of statistics, effective May 31, 2023; Meredith Jones-Lawson, associate director of admissions communications, effective May 29, 2023; Stacy McKisick, instructor of rehabilitation science, effective May 6, 2023; Allison Merkel, academic advisor for Veterans Upward Bound, effective April 21, 2023; Megan Morris, assistant dean for academic advising, effective April 5, 2023; John Nicholson, area coordinator for residence life, effective March 3, 2023; Hervie Prince, ATU-Ozark workforce education faculty of welding technology, effective June 6, 2023; Whitney Robinson, academic and career transfer advisor, effective May 1, 2023; Nick Sheehan, assistant football coach, effective April 3, 2023; Donna Sherrill, assistant professor of mathematics, effective May 6, 2023; Ashley Shrives, advanced practice registered nurse, effective April 14, 2023; Nick Stevens, athletic facilities management, effective April 14, 2023; Dr. Marshall Swafford, head of the Department of Agriculture and Tourism, effective June 30, 2023; and Jonathan Weatherall, ATU-Ozark workforce education faculty of health sciences/emergency medical technician, effective May 5, 2023.

Trustees granted retirement to the following ATU employees, all effective June 30, 2023, through the voluntary employee retirement incentive approved by the ATU Board of Trustees in January 2023:

*Alice Batch, assistant professor of business; Dr. Linda Bean, dean of the College of Education and professor of business; Dr. Rebecca Callaway, professor of curriculum and instruction; Jody Chrisman, ATU-Ozark workforce education master instructor in industrial control systems; Peter Clifton, ATU-Ozark maintenance specialist; Judy Crouch, administrative specialist III; Debbie Ennis, information system analyst; Jimmy Ennis, skilled tradesman supervisor; Patti Grigsby, student accounts collection officer; Tammy Guarino, institutional assistant; Dr. Mary B. Gunter, chief of staff and distinguished professor of educational leadership; Karen Hall, administrative specialist II; Jill Hays, administrative specialist III; Dr. William Hoefler, professor of agriculture; Terry Holland-Finley, administrative specialist III; Cindy Hubbard, procurement buyer; Brenda Huntsinger, ATU-Ozark workforce education instructor in health information technology; Ron Hutain, ATU-Ozark workforce education master instructor in industrial control systems; Danny Jones, skilled tradesman; Dr. William “Randy” Kirkpatrick, assistant professor of health and physical education; David Leggett, skilled tradesman; Brent Linker, director of athletic facilities; Teresa Lutz, administrative specialist II; Beverly Nehus, ATU-Ozark special projects coordinator; Robert Parker, heavy equipment operator; Joseph Powell, institutional services assistant; Cindy Pratt, institutional assistant; Kathy Schluterman, administrative analyst; Bruce Sikes, ATU-Ozark chancellor; Dr. Sandy Smith, head of the Department of Emergency Management, Professional Studies and Student Affairs Administration and professor of emergency management; Phil Spiegel, ATU-Ozark maintenance specialist; Dr. H. Micheal Tarver, professor of history; Elaine Tise, instructor of English; Teresa Toland, associate professor of curriculum and instruction; Dr. Susan Underwood, professor of student affairs administration; Lynn Washington, ATU-Ozark workforce education instructor in human services; Ken Wester, director of information systems and chief information officer; Dr. Melinda Wilkins, professor of health informatics and director of health information management; Billie Williams, institutional services assistant; and Dr. Deborah Wilson, professor of English.