Trustees Approve Roofs, New Academic Program

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Three facilities at Arkansas Tech University will receive new roofs following action by the ATU Board of Trustees on Tuesday, Dec. 7.

The board approved a transfer of $3,280,200 from the ATU education and general fund to cover the costs associated with installing new roofs at Doc Bryan Student Services Center, McEver Hall and Tucker Coliseum.

Laury Fiorello, ATU vice president for administration and finance, wrote in a memorandum presented to trustees that all three facilities “have significant roof issues and are in need of repair to avoid additional problems.”

The ATU Board of Trustees also gave its approval for a new Bachelor of Science degree in health and exercise science through the ATU College of Education and the ATU Department of Health and Physical Education.

Dr. Barbara Johnson, ATU vice president for academic affairs, shared a program summary with the board that explained the new degree is a revision of the existing wellness science option to “prepare students for the strength and conditioning fitness and exercise/sport science professions” or “preparation for advanced health care degrees.”

ATU students pursuing the Bachelor of Science degree in health and exercise science will have the option of emphasizing kinesiology or pre-allied professional health studies in their coursework.

A letter of intent concerning the proposed degree will be forwarded to the Arkansas Division of Higher Education for further review by the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board. If approved by AHECB, the new ATU degree would be available beginning summer 2022.

In other business, the ATU Board of Trustees approved:

*a request to conduct a search for a second on-call engineering firm to provide additional services;

*updated construction policies and procedures for ATU pursuant to Act 95 of the 93rd Arkansas General Assembly;

*and group ticket prices for ATU home football and basketball games for groups of 10 or more from entities such as K-12 schools, youth sports leagues and non-profit organizations.

The group ticket prices for ATU home football games will be $5 for individuals age 18 or older and $3 for individuals under the age of 18. For ATU home basketball games, group ticket rates will be $3 for individuals age 18 or older and $1 for individuals under the age of 18.

Per a memorandum presented by Abby Davis, ATU interim director of athletics, individuals who wish to purchase group tickets may send e-mail to

In personnel matters, the ATU Board of Trustees approved the employment of the following individuals in full-time positions:

*Jessica Edwards, Health and Wellness Center support specialist and contact tracer, effective Nov. 15, 2021; Katelynn Hopson, visiting instructor of accounting, for the spring 2022 semester; Thomas Pennington, professor of legal studies, effective Jan. 1, 2022; Brittany Reves, academic advisor for the Bachelor of Professional Studies degree program, effective Nov. 1, 2021; Taylor Risinger, coordinator of student recruitment at ATU-Ozark, effective Nov. 2, 2021; Michan Rule-Chowritmootoo, graduate student support services coordinator, effective Oct. 20, 2021; Daniel Smith, training specialist and business consultant for the ATU regional office of the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center, effective Nov. 1, 2021; Mike Young, workforce education faculty of automation at Arkansas Tech Career Center, effective Oct. 18, 2021; and Lei Zhang, assistant professor of art, effective Jan. 4, 2022.

Trustees accepted resignations from Dr. Martha Harrell, assistant professor of computer and information science, effective Dec. 11, 2021; and Dr. Chad Harwood, assistant professor of accounting, effective Oct. 31, 2021;

The board accepted requests for retirement from Jan Apple, instructor of English and articulation coordinator, effective Dec. 11, 2021; and Dr. Linda Birkner, assistant vice president for administration and finance, effective Dec. 31, 2021.