Arkansas Tech University will move forward with $4.8 million in improvements to its campus in Russellville following action by the Tech Board of Trustees during its regular monthly meeting at the Ross Pendergraft Library and Technology Center on Thursday, Feb. 16. Trustees committed $176,510 to the initial phase of the restoration of the theatre workshop inside the Techionery. The funds will come from the unappropriated educational and general fund balance. Arkansas Tech closed the theatre workshop on Sept. 15, 2011, after a report by the Russellville Fire Marshal found multiple “fire and life safety issues.” The theatre workshop will be returned to a safe operating condition by removing all hazardous materials (including paint), a preliminary cleaning, painting the interior walls, storage rooms and restroom, refinishing the floor and repairing the electrical system. The funds dedicated to the project by trustees on Thursday will also allow the university to properly store items in the Techionery. Other construction and renovation projects approved by the Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees on Thursday were: *a renovation of the Old Art Building to prepare the facility as administrative office space at a cost of $1,575,980; *construction of a television studio for Arkansas Tech’s student television program at the Energy Center at a cost of $425,562; *construction of a lighted practice field for the Arkansas Tech marching band near the Chartwells Women’s Sports Complex that will include an observation tower, sidewalks and a storage facility for musical instruments at a cost of $830,855; *an addition to the Office of Public Safety facility that will include additional offices and improved communication and emergency response space and equipment at a cost of $839,841; *and renovations to the following residence halls at a total cost of $959,005: Brown Hall, Wilson Hall, Jones Hall, Caraway Hall and Tucker Hall. Trustees pointed toward further campus improvements in the future by giving the university permission to move forward with selecting an architect to plan a renovation of Chambers Cafeteria. Thursday’s meeting also saw the Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees consider promotion and tenure for several members of the university faculty effective during the 2012-13 academic year. Dr. Jo Alice Blondin was awarded tenure with the faculty rank of professor of English. The action relates only to her faculty status and does not change her current administrative assignment as chancellor of Arkansas Tech-Ozark Campus.
The following faculty members were promoted to professor:
*Dr. W. Daniel Martin, Department of Behavioral Sciences
*Dr. James Moses, Department of History and Political Science The following faculty members were promoted to associate professor:
*Dr. Glen Bishop, Department of Parks, Recreation and Hospitality Administration
*Dr. Nelson Ramirez, Department of English and World Languages
*Dr. Jason Ulsperger, Department of Behavioral Sciences These faculty members were promoted to associate professor and granted tenure: *Dr. Rebecca Callaway, Department of Curriculum and Instruction
*Dr. David Eshelman, Department of Speech, Theatre and Journalism
*Dr. Johnette Moody, Department of Computer and Information Science
*Dr. Michael Rogers, Department of History and Political Science
*Dr. Regina St. John, Department of English and World Languages
*Dr. Cory Shaman, Department of English and World Languages
*Dr. Ivan Still, Department of Biological Sciences
*Dr. Jason Warnick, Department of Behavioral Sciences The following faculty members were granted tenure: *Dr. Shellie Hanna, Department of Health and Physical Education
*Dr. Cynthia Hukill, Department of Music
*Dr. Cynthia Jacobs, Department of Biological Sciences The Arkansas Tech faculty evaluation, promotion and tenure policies and procedures were approved by the Tech Board of Trustees on June 15, 1995. Those policies and procedures were developed by an independent faculty committee in spring 1995. In other personnel-related action on Thursday, the Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees approved: *appointment of Joshua McMillian, who currently serves as public information officer at the Russellville Police Department, as the new director of public safety at Arkansas Tech effective March 15, 2012; *appointment of Ray Moll, a member of the Arkansas Tech faculty since 2005, as associate dean for student success and assistant professor of hospitality administration effective March 1, 2012; *appointment of John Riggins as visiting instructor of marketing for the spring 2012 semester; *re-assignment of Valerie Kate Brugh from assistant professor of speech and theatre and theatre production manager to assistant professor of speech and theatre effective Feb. 1, 2012, with no change in nine-month base salary; *re-assignment of Dr. Ardith Morris from professor of speech and theatre and theatre director to professor of speech and theatre effective Feb. 1, 2012, with no change in nine-month base salary; *and re-assignment of Dr. David Eshelman from assistant professor of speech to assistant professor of speech and interim theatre director effective Feb. 1, 2012, with a $3,250 stipend from Feb. 1, 2012, to May 12, 2012.