Board Approves Proposals from Art, Business

Arkansas Tech University will move forward with reconfiguring three bachelor’s degrees in its Department of Art and adding two programs of study in its College of Business following action by the ATU Board of Trustees during its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday.

The Arkansas Tech Bachelor of Arts degrees in fine arts, game and interactive media design and graphic design would all become Bachelor of Fine Arts programs in fall 2018 pending approval by the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

“A Bachelor of Fine Arts is considered a professional degree with a narrower focus in the discipline and will meet the degree requirements needed for National Association of Schools of Art and Design accreditation,” wrote Dr. Mohamed Abdelrahman, vice president for academic affairs, in a memorandum presented to trustees.

The current Bachelor of Arts degrees in those three disciplines would not be phased out until spring 2021 so that current students who wish to complete their current program of study may do so. Those students would also have the option of transitioning to the new Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees.

The memo indicated that the university will retain a Bachelor of Arts degree in fine arts in order to provide students with a liberal arts degree option.

The forthcoming options in business are an Associate of Science degree in business and an Advanced Certificate in human resources management.

Abdelrahman wrote to the board that the new associate’s degree “will allow the student to earn an academic credential earlier in their college career, thus ensuring an earned degree should they have to stop out before completing the bachelor’s degree.”

The human resources management credential will require the completion of 21 semester hours and will be available to all ATU students regardless of major.

Students who earn the certificate in human resources will be qualified to sit for the Society for Human Resource Management Certified Professional exam.

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

*the ATU financial statement and audit report for the period ending June 30, 2017;

*a resolution confirming the sale and terms of student fee refunding revenue bonds, athletic enterprises refunding revenue bonds and housing systems refunding revenue bonds;

*a contract with The Mineral Resources Company of Oklahoma City for mineral rights in Grady County, Okla., granted to ATU from the Linda Sue Bradford estate, with proceeds from the transaction earmarked for an endowed scholarship fund consistent with the wishes expressed in Bradford’s estate;

*entering into an energy performance contract with PSI Inc. and obtaining bids for a loan of $5.8 million to fund projects that will increase energy efficiency on university property;

*and participation by the Ozark campus of Arkansas Tech in the Franklin County Hazard Mitigation Plan.

In personnel matters, the ATU Board of Trustees approved the employment of Dr. Blake Bedsole, vice president for enrollment management, effective Jan. 2, 2018; Jessica Brock, interim director of admissions, effective Nov. 20, 2017; Dausen Duncan, visit day coordinator in the Office of Admissions, effective Dec. 1, 2017; Robert Matthew Fraser, assistant director in the Office of Budget, effective Nov. 1, 2017; Samantha Huggins, academic advisor in the Roy and Christine Sturgis Academic Advising Center, effective Dec. 1, 2017; Kevin Lyon, visiting instructor of mathematics, for the spring 2018 semester; Dr. Wayne B. Powell, interim dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, effective Nov. 1, 2017; and Rebecca Lou Ann Reeves, business manager in the Office of Budget, effective Nov. 7, 2017.

Dr. Dawn Ward, head of the ATU Department of Art, will return to full-time teaching at her rank of professor of art as of July 1, 2018, following board approval on Thursday. Heather Strasner’s resignation as visit day coordinator in the Office of Admissions was accepted as of Nov. 30, 2017, allowing her to accept a part-time position in the ATU Division of Student Services.

The board also accepted resignations from Kristy Bayer, associate director of athletics and head volleyball coach, effective Dec. 17, 2017; Laurie Carman, visiting instructor of mathematics, effective Dec. 31, 2017; Shauna Donnell, director of admissions and assistant vice president for enrollment management, effective Nov. 30, 2017; Theresa Fontaine, program chair of registered nursing at ATU-Ozark, effective Jan. 10, 2018; Rebecca Gray, director of health services, effective Jan. 3, 2018; and Debbie McClure, program chair of cosmetology, effective Dec. 31, 2017.