Trustees Approve 2018-19 Budget for ATU

The Arkansas Tech University Board of Trustees approved a $168 million operating budget at ATU for the 2018-19 fiscal year during a meeting at the Ross Pendergraft Library and Technology Center on Thursday, May 17.

The budget includes zero increase in undergraduate, graduate and doctoral tuition on the ATU campus in Russellville. Undergraduate tuition will remain $226 per student semester credit hour (SSCH) for a second consecutive year, while graduate and doctoral tuition will hold steady at $284 per SSCH.

Tuition on the Ozark campus of ATU will increase from $122 per SSCH in 2017-18 to $125 per SSCH in 2018-19.

Tuition rates on all ATU campuses will continue to be doubled for out-of-state students who do not qualify for an out-of-state tuition waiver.

Fee changes on the Russellville campus of ATU for 2018-19 include:

*increase in instructional support fee from $10 per SSCH to $11 per SSCH;
*increase in public safety fee from $2 per SSCH to $2.25 per SSCH;
*increase in student activity fee from $2 per SSCH to $2.50 per SSCH;
*increase in technology operations fee from $15 per SSCH to $16.50 per SSCH;
*increase in athletics student fee from $18 per SSCH to $19.25 per SSCH;
*and increase in health and wellness fee from $6 per SSCH to $7.75 per SSCH.

Trustees granted a 3 percent increase in residence hall rates and meal plan rates for ATU in Russellville for 2018-19.

The board approved a reduced fee structure for online students, which for the purposes of fees are defined as students who are enrolled in programs that can be completed entirely online, are enrolled in a semester in entirely online coursework and have no physical presence on campus. For example, to be classified as an online student, an individual cannot be living in campus housing or employed by the university.

Online students meeting that definition will receive a waiver of the public safety fee ($2.25 per SSCH) and the student activity fee ($2.50 per SSCH) during the 2018-19 academic year.

Fee increases for the ATU campus in Ozark include $1 per SSCH increases for the technology fee and the student support fee as well as implementation of a library fee ($1 per SSCH) and a public safety fee ($2 per SSCH).

The 2018-19 ATU budget includes a 2 percent pay increase across the board for faculty, non-classified staff and classified staff in permanently appropriated positions.

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

*a budget transfer of $100,000 from the operating expenses appropriation to cover anticipated expenditures in the university’s promotional items through June 30, 2018;

*a refund policy change that allows for a 100 percent refund of tuition and fees for ATU students who withdraw or drop courses within the first five class days of a semester, while those withdrawing or dropping from the sixth class day through the 11th class day will receive an 80 percent refund of tuition only;

*a transfer of $665,295 from unappropriated educational and general funds to infrastructure reserve accounts and a transfer of the remaining technology and telecom unexpended funds from the current operating budget as of June 30 to these reserve accounts annually, prior to the year-end closing;

*filing a request with the Arkansas Department of Transportation to install and fund a stop light at a proposed new ATU campus entrance off North Arkansas Avenue in Russellville;

*initiating the architect selection process for the proposed new campus entrance and a transfer of $50,000 from unappropriated educational and general funds to cover the initial architect’s design costs for the roadway;

*borrowing up to $5.8 million to fund planned energy efficiency projects;

*a transfer of $1.4 million from unappropriated educational and general funds to assist in paying for renovations to Williamson Hall;

*revised faculty evaluation, promotion and tenure policies and procedures for the ATU campus in Russellville;

*student services fees and fines for the 2018-19 academic year;

*an annual transfer, not to exceed $10,000 per fiscal year, from the ATU-Ozark Campus bookstore fund to assist with operating costs for food service operations at the Ozark campus;

*a transfer of $101,015 from unappropriated educational and general funds to fund infrastructure reserve accounts at ATU-Ozark;

*a letter of notification concerning the reactivation of the Technical Certificate in paramedic/emergency medical services at ATU-Ozark;

*updates to the rank and faculty evaluation process at ATU-Ozark;

*awarding classified staff merit pay up to 3 percent at the conclusion of the 2017-18 fiscal year;

*and awarding a 2 percent bonus payment to eligible ATU faculty and non-classified staff at the conclusion of the 2017-18 fiscal year.

In personnel matters, the ATU Board of Trustees approved the appointments of these new, full-time faculty members for 2018-19:

*Summer Bruch, associate professor of art and head of the Department of Art; Dr. Fesseha Gebremikael, assistant professor of professional studies and applied science; Dr. John A. Narcum, assistant professor of marketing; Dr. Kuldeep Singh, assistant professor of management; Dr. David L. Smith, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction; and Jacob Weidenfeller, instructor of electrical engineering and lab director.

Trustees approved hiring the following full-time staff members:

*Sara Bailey, grant coordinator for sponsored research and university initiatives, effective May 14, 2018; Dr. NaQuindra Danielle Brooks, assistant dean for diversity and inclusion, effective June 4, 2018; Jana Crouch, associate director for enrollment, effective April 16, 2018; Kylie Duncan, project and program specialist for human resources, effective May 7, 2018; Dr. Delton Gordon, associate dean for residence life, effective May 14, 2018; Dr. Mary B. Gunter, chief of staff, effective May 1, 2018; Luke Hams, area coordinator for residence life, effective June 11, 2018;  Suzanne McCall, controller, effective April 9, 2018; Laura Palmer, coordinator of marketing and assignments for residence life, effective May 7, 2018; John P. Ruff, assistant database administrator, effective March 21, 2018; Thomas Strahan, coordinator of fraternity and sorority life, effective May 21, 2018; Pryce Tracy, assistant football coach, effective March 23, 2018; and Kyle Wewers, advance practice nurse, effective March 26, 2018.

Dr. Phillip Bridgmon, associate vice president for academic affairs, was approved to serve as interim vice president for academic affairs effective June 1, 2018.

Dr. Jeff Aulgur, associate professor of professional studies and head of the Department of Professional Studies, was appointed interim dean of the College of eTech effective July 1, 2018. He will succeed Dr. Hanna Norton, professor of journalism. She has chosen to return to the classroom full-time in fall 2018.

Dr. Jason Patton, associate professor of geology, was named head of the Department of Physical Sciences effective July 1, 2018. He will succeed Dr. Robin Lasey, associate professor of chemistry. She has accepted directorship of the ATU Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.

Dr. David Hoelzeman, professor of computer and information science, was approved by trustees to return to full-time teaching. He will step down as head of the Department of Computer and Information Science effective July 1, 2018.

These ATU employees had their resignations accepted by the board:

*Dr. Mohamed Abdelrahman, vice president for academic affairs, effective June 1, 2018; Tiffany Henry, grant coordinator for sponsored programs and university initiatives, effective March 30, 2018; Lynda Lloyd, assistant to the president, effective June 30, 2018; Brittany Martin, junior associate registrar, effective March 23, 2018; Christy McCollough, workforce education faculty in adult education at ATU-Ozark, effective Aug. 8, 2018; Catherine Nichols, associate professor of educational leadership, effective May 12, 2018; Dr. Sarah White, workforce education faculty in science at ATU-Ozark, effective Aug. 10, 2018; and Brandon Wright, director of career services, effective May 1, 2018.

Two members of the faculty — Dr. Cynthia Hukill and Dr. Stephanie Pepper — as well as staff member Doug Walton were approved for retirement from ATU on Thursday.

Hukill, associate professor of music and head of the ATU Department of Music, will retire on June 30, 2018. She has served on the Tech faculty since 2008.

Pepper, associate professor of curriculum and instruction, retired effective May 12, 2018. She has been a member of the Tech faculty since 2010.

Walton serves as assistant director of facilities management at ATU. He has been a member of the Tech staff for 40 years. His retirement will be effective May 31, 2018.

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