Kronberger Elected Chairman of ATU Board

Fritz Kronberger of Russellville will serve as chairman of the Arkansas Tech University Board of Trustees for a second time.

Kronberger was elected chairman by his fellow trustees during their first meeting of the year on Thursday, Jan. 17, at Ross Pendergraft Library and Technology Center. He will fulfill the duties of board chairman during the 2019 calendar year. He previously served in that role in 2009.

A graduate of the University of Texas with a degree in mathematics, Kronberger has spent his career in the oil and gas exploration business.

He has been closely associated with Arkansas Tech since Gov. Mike Huckabee appointed him to the ATU Board of Trustees in 2005. He served through 2010 and was appointed to a second term on the board by Gov. Asa Hutchinson in 2015. Kronberger’s current term as a trustee is due to expire on Jan. 14, 2020.

Other ATU Board of Trustees officers for 2019 are Tom Kennedy of Little Rock, who was elected vice chairman, and Eric Burnett of Fort Smith, who was elected secretary.

In other business on Thursday, Jan. 17, the ATU Board of Trustees approved:

*a request to establish a reserve fund for ATU farm operation capital needs and transfer any remaining unexpended external surplus from the current farm operating budget as of June 30 to this reserve account annually, prior to the year-end closing;

*an extension of authorization for ATU to fund salaries and programmatic costs on active federal grants through March 14, 2019, pending the resolution of the federal government shutdown;

*reconfiguration of the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in economics and finance into a new Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in finance effective fall 2019, with a focus on financial statement analysis, banking, corporate finance, real estate and investments;

*and a policy allowing full-time professional staff required to live in university housing as a condition for their employment to possess a pet (cat or dog) in accordance with board-approved guidelines.

Trustees approved the following new, full-time faculty and staff appointments:

*Charles Burks, football defensive coordinator, effective Jan. 10, 2019; Jonathan Collins, energy manager, effective Jan. 2, 2019; Tommy Crayton, assistant football coach, effective Jan. 10, 2019; Lindelle Fraser, coordinator of graduate student support services, effective Jan. 2, 2019; Amanda Gardner, assessment specialist, effective Jan. 22, 2019; Dr. Mehmet Kelestemur, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, for the spring 2019 semester; Lois Kimbriel, director of the CCAMPIS program, effective Jan. 7, 2019; John Moll, accounting supervisor, effective Jan. 22, 2019; Julie Schmalz, associate director of financial aid at ATU-Ozark Campus, effective Jan. 2, 2019; Kyle Shipp, football offensive coordinator, effective Jan. 10, 2019; Brandon Smith, assistant football coach, effective Jan. 16, 2019; Kylia Stewart, employer relations coordinator in Norman Career Services, effective Jan. 22, 2019; and Ryan Trevathan, assistant football coach, effective Jan. 11, 2019.

The board accepted these resignations:

*Bob Blake, Lake Point Conference Center facility director, effective Jan. 15, 2019; Philip Huff, instructor of cybersecurity, effective Dec. 31, 2018; Carolyn Ishee, major gifts officer, effective Jan. 11, 2019; Wilson Short, instructor of emergency management, effective Jan. 8, 2019; and Dr. Alvin Williams, associate professor of agriculture, effective Dec. 14, 2019.

The ATU Board of Trustees accepted the retirement of Dr. Mostafa Hemmati, professor of physics, effective May 31, 2019. Hemmati has served on the Arkansas Tech faculty since 1983. He has also provided leadership for the university’s program in undergraduate research.