by Max Brantley
News release today after an Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees meeting announces a $7.7 million academic building.
Down in the fine print is news of a new home for the theater department. Perhaps it will be sufficiently isolated to allow firing of starter pistols during student productions.
ARK. TECH NEWS RELEASE
Contact: Sam Strasner, 479.498.6045
Board of Trustees approves funding for academic center
RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (February 28, 2008)---Arkansas Tech University Board of Trustees members approved a revenue bond issuance during their meeting on Thursday that will clear the path for a major improvement of the university’s academic facilities.
The board approved an issuance of $7.7 million in revenue bonds to help fund construction of a new advising and academic center on the Arkansas Tech campus.
The building, which will be located on the same parcel of land currently occupied by Massie Residence Hall, will cost a total of $14.2 million to construct. The remainder of the funding will come from a $500,000 Sturgis Foundation grant and $6 million in funds from a bond package approved by Arkansas voters during the November 2006 election.
Tech President Dr. Robert C. Brown called it “one of the most important construction project on our campus in many years,” and went on to explain that the new 60,000-square foot building will provide Arkansas Tech with a new academic advising center, a new home for its School of Business, new space for its International and Multicultural Student Services Office and two floors of classrooms.
The domino effect of the new facility will be felt all over campus. Dr. Brown stated that the Arkansas Tech Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering will be able to occupy space in the Corley Building previously dedicated to the School of Business.
In turn, the Arkansas Tech Department of Speech, Theater and Journalism will move away from its temporary home near the Arkansas Tech baseball field and relocate to a permanent home in what is now known as the Energy Center. That building is currently geared toward the engineering programs.
David Moseley, vice president for administration and finance, told the Board of Trustees that the new advising and academic center is estimated to be a 14-to-16 month construction project. Dr. Brown said that he hopes the building will open during the spring 2010 semester.
In other construction news, the Board of Trustees approved an issuance of $2 million in revenue bonds to help fund construction of a new student services building on the Arkansas Tech-Ozark Campus. The new facility will cost a total of $2.4 million to construct. The other $400,000 will come from funds generated by the bond package approved during the November 2006 election.
The 7,500-square foot building is projected to open in fall 2009. It will provide office space for four departments and 20 staff members, as well as open space for student and community use.
After meeting in executive session, the Board of Trustees approved the following faculty members for promotion to professor:
Dr. Ellen Janet Jenkins, Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy;
Dr. Thomas Nupp, Department of Biological Sciences;
Dr. Jeff Robertson, Department of Physical Sciences;
Dr. Cheryl Smith, Department of Nursing;
Dr. Micheal Tarver, Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy.
The Board of Trustees approved the following promotion to associate professor:
Dr. Patricia Buford, Department of Electrical Engineering.
The board approved the following promotions to associate professor and granted tenure to:
Dr. Deborah Barber, Department of Music;
Dr. Eric Lovely, Department of Biological Sciences;
Dr. Cathi McMahan, Department of Parks, Recreation and Hospitality Administration.
In addition, the board granted tenure to the following faculty members:
Dr. J. Andrew Cannon, Department of Business and Economics;
Ms. Melissa Darnell, Department of Nursing;
Ms. Holly Ruth Gale, Department of Music;
Dr. John Jackson, Department of Biological Sciences;
Dr. Linda Kondrick, Department of Physical Sciences;
Dr. Timothy Leggett, Department of Curriculum and Instruction;
Dr. Jackie Paxton, Department of Curriculum and Instruction;
Dr. Susan Underwood, Department of College Student Personnel.
In other action on Thursday, the Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees:
*approved a transfer of $253,995 from the unappropriated educational and general fund balance to continue the conversion of the Tech computer operating system;
*issued a contract to G.A.G. Builders of Cabot to construct the new physical plant building on the north end of the Tech campus and approved a transfer of $312,552 from the unappropriated educational and general fund balance to complete funding of the facility construction;
*approved AMR Architects, Inc., of Little Rock as the architectural firm that will design the new student services building at Arkansas Tech-Ozark Campus;
*approved the independent financial audit report of Arkansas Tech for the 2006-07 fiscal year; it was noted by Dr. Brown that Arkansas Tech was the only institution of higher learning in the state to receive no audit comments or recommendations on its report, and he commended the work of Moseley and his staff in administration and finance;
*approved renaming the departments in the School of Business; henceforth, the departments will be known as the Department of Accounting and Economics and the Department of Management and Marketing;
*accepted the retirement of Dr. Jack Hamm, vice president for academic affairs, effective June 30, 2008, and promoted him to the rank of distinguished professor of mathematics;
*and the board approved a new university mission statement, which reads: Arkansas Tech University, a state-supported institution of higher education, is dedicated to nurturing scholastic development, integrity and professionalism. The university offers a wide range of traditional and innovative programs which provide a solid educational foundation for life-long learning to a diverse community of learners.