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New Academic Programs Approved by Trustees

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The Arkansas Tech University Board of Trustees gave its approval for two new academic programs on the Russellville campus during its regular monthly meeting at the Ross Pendergraft Library and Technology Center on Thursday, Jan. 19. The program proposals will now be forwarded to the Arkansas Department of Higher Education Coordinating Board. With the approval of that body, Arkansas Tech intends to offer the new programs in fall 2012. The proposed new programs are a Bachelor of Science degree in business data analytics and an Associate of Science degree in Ozark-Ouachita studies. According to a memo from Dr. John W. Watson, vice president for academic affairs, graduates from the business data analytics program would have skills that are “inherent to most business fields” and those holding the degree would have “several career options.” The program proposal for the Ozark-Ouachita studies degree states that it would “promote cross-disciplinary and cross-college collaboration” by allowing students to study topics in a variety of departments as they work to gain a greater understanding of the region. Students at Arkansas Tech-Ozark Campus could also have a new degree option in the near future. The Tech Board of Trustees approved a letter of notification on Thursday that calls for a new Associate of General Studies degree at Arkansas Tech-Ozark Campus. The new degree would combine 45 hours of technical or higher level coursework with 15 hours of general education requirements to provide a non-transferable degree. According to a memo from Dr. Jo Alice Blondin, chancellor of Arkansas Tech-Ozark Campus, the Associate of General Studies degree would provide:

*a degree pathway in programs of study not supported by current Associate of Applied Science offerings;

*a degree path for industry requested courses which are specialized to the employer’s needs;

*a tool for students to utilize parts of two certificate programs to complete a degree;

*a direct degree plan leading to the Bachelor of Professional Studies degree offered by Arkansas Tech;

*a degree for students who changed majors. In other business on Thursday, the Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees: *approved an additional $87,545 in funding for emergency call stations, security cameras and swipe card access to buildings as part of the ongoing campus security upgrades on the Russellville campus; *approved a transfer of $26,000 from the unappropriated athletic fund balance to pay for replacement of the batter’s eye windscreen beyond the center field fence at Tech Field after it was destroyed by strong winds in 2011; *performed its annual compliance with Act 1646 of 2001 by confirming that Arkansas Tech University will have sufficient funds to meet all current and anticipated obligations for the remainder of the fiscal year; *performed its annual compliance with Arkansas Statute 25-16-902 by authorizing expense reimbursement for each board member when they perform official board duties; *authorized a transfer of $15,573 from the unappropriated educational and general fund balance to complete construction of a new walking path at Arkansas Tech-Ozark Campus; *voted to delete the technical certificate in paramedic at Arkansas Tech-Ozark Campus beginning in fall 2013;  *gave its approval for a reconfiguration of the Associate of Applied Science degree in paramedic at Arkansas Tech-Ozark Campus to reduce the number of credit hours needed to graduate to 60 and thus allow the program to meet the provisions of Act 747 of 2011; *granted requests from Dr. Pam Carr, head of the Department of Accounting and Economics, and Dr. Kevin Mason, head of the Department of Management and Marketing, to step down from those positions and return to full-time teaching (both at the rank of professor) effective July 1, 2012; *accepted the resignations of Kelly Bostick, coordinator of alumni communications and activities, effective Jan. 20, 2012; Dr. J. Andrew Cannon, assistant professor of marketing, effective Jan. 17, 2012; Jared Ross, metal fabrication instructor at the Arkansas Tech Career Center, effective Jan. 27, 2012; and Stuart W. Russell, administrative specialist II at Arkansas Tech-Ozark Campus, effective Jan. 31, 2012. *and accepted the retirement of Rita Woolf, director of the Arkansas Tech Health and Wellness Center, effective June 29, 2012.

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