March 7, 2008
Arkansas State University–Jonesboro
The Board of Trustees is meeting today by telephone conference call because of the weather, rather than gathering at ASU-Newport as planned. I have submitted in advance a written report to the Board of Trustees. Today I am including that report below in its entirety.
In addition, I am making additional comments during today's Board meeting because of significant new developments on three other topics in the written report:
Thanks for your continued excellent service to the University and its students. Let's continue to have an outstanding spring semester.
Here is the report, as submitted to the Board of Trustees:
ARKANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY
Additionally, our Spring 2008 enrollment is at an all time high with total headcount at 10,369, an increase of 3.6% when compared to 10,007 for Spring 2007. The preliminary FTE is 8,172 for Spring 2008, an increase of 3.6% when compared to 7, 822 FTE for Spring 2007.
Moreover, donors have been very generous with ASUJ over the past three months, highlighted by two gifts from Buddy and Charlotte Beck and their family totaling more than $1 million. The first gift was to support the Beck PRIDE program for injured veterans, and the second to endow a scholarship for a student in entrepreneurial studies in business and the sciences. Also, as will be discussed in more detail in the Academic Affairs and Research report below, much progress has been made in restructuring the International Programs area in order to greatly expand the enrollment of international students on campus beginning in the fall of 2008.
The Mascot Selection Steering Committee made its final report to the Chancellor indicating its recommendation for the mascot be either "Wolves" or "Red Wolves," depending on consultation with the creative advisers who will design the marks and related imagery. The Chancellor will announce at this meeting his conclusions regarding the mascot issue providing that all reports from the creative people working on this have been received and it is determined that any trademark developed can be protected from a legal standpoint.
Academic Affairs and Research
The Higher Learning Commission focused accrediting visit on strategic planning and shared governance is scheduled for March 3-4, 2008. The strategic planning process, shared governance and faculty handbook revisions have been major initiatives on the ASUJ campus following the 2003 comprehensive visit and subsequent report by The Higher Learning Commission. The division of Academic Affairs and Research has prepared an excellent Focused Visit Report on the University’s progress in the strategic planning and shared governance areas.
Finally, the College of Business implemented a restructuring plan this semester with an aim of more effectively allocating its current internal resources. Dr. Jim Washam was appointed Associate Dean of the College of Business and Director for the Undergraduate Programs. Dr. Jeff Pittman and the business law faculty were moved from the Department of Accounting to the Department of Economics and Finance where Dr. Pittman has assumed the duties of chair of the department. The Department of Computer Information Technology (CIT) was consolidated with the Department of Accounting and Dr. Tina Quinn continues to serve as chair. Dr. John Seydel, previous chair of CIT, has been assigned new and important duties in the College. All of this was accomplished with no additional cost to the College of Business. Likewise, the College of Nursing and Health Professions is currently studying a proposed restructuring plan.
The Carl R. Reng Student Center received an Outstanding Post-Secondary Architectural Design Award from American School and University. The publication is a source book for award-winning and outstanding education design.
A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for the Student Wellness and Recreation Center for Friday, April 4 at the building site on Aggie Road. Groundbreaking ceremonies for the new Honors student housing facility and the new apartment complex are scheduled for mid-April.
The new Faculty/Staff Dining Room, with a seating capacity of 40, in the Acansa Dining Room in the Student Union is proving to be quite popular with the faculty and staff.
In cooperation with the Jonesboro Police Department, the University Police Department (UPD) officers, have participated in active shooter training over the past two months. The training includes intensive live-training situations, which provide the opportunity for our officers to develop their skills through practice. UPD continues to work toward accreditation with the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA). The department was featured in the January 11, 2008, Chronicle of Higher Education issue.
Finance and Administration
The financial statements and audit reports included in your Board material, prepared by the finance staff of the Jonesboro campus, are consolidated reports for all campuses of the system.
The Convocation Center promoted a sold out concert featuring Reba McEntire and Kelly Clarkson on February 15. This is the first sold-out concert in the Center since the Gaither Homecoming tour about 10 years ago.