Feb. 24, 2003

This week:

* Middle East Studies Night, tonight, 7 p.m., Fowler Center


* Higher Learning Commission visit, March 3-5

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& information:

HLC Self-Study Report

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Higher Learning Commission team visit is March 3-5
Next week is the week ASU faculty and staff members have been working toward for months.  An accreditation evaluation team, representing The Higher Learning Commission, will be on campus Monday through Wednesday. Please welcome Dr. Gregory Gagnon, team chair, and his associates to Arkansas State University.  Dr. Gagnon is associate professor of Indian studies at the University of North Dakota.  ASU's self-study report, A Community of Learners Growing Together, which documents our case for continued accreditation, is available on the web site (see link in left column). Congratulations to the Self-Study Steering Committee and everyone else at ASU who has worked diligently toward a successful re-accreditation evaluation visit.

Latest state budget cut impacts campus
In a meeting with the University Planning Committee Friday, Dr. Les Wyatt, president of ASU, outlined the university's response to the announced $62.3 million state budget cut.  The impact for ASU is about $840,000.  All vacant positions are subject to a selective hiring freeze; the CLIP program will not be funded this year; a portion of the technology fee will be re-directed for general operations; and market equity adjustments will be eliminated. Read President Wyatt's complete public statement on the NewsPage.

President Wyatt lists three Legislative priorities
Despite the announced budget cut last week, Dr. Wyatt says he continues to emphasize three priorities for ASU in the Legislative session.  First is funding for faculty and staff salary increases; second is restoration of funding that was lost during budget cuts last year and this year; and a third is attaining equity in per student funding among state institutions of higher education. ASU also seeks support for the technology classroom building which is a capital project, in addition to the budget.  Unfortunately, these objectives are not a part of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education recommendation for ASU.  Efforts are underway to change the recommendation to reflect these budget goals. (Click on Table 1C to access the ADHE recommendation in PDF format.) 

Film premiere will benefit Heritage Studies Ph.D. Program
A major campus event is in the planning stages for Monday, April 14, due to the generosity of one the country's most successful contemporary authors, John Grisham.  Grisham has agreed to premiere the Hallmark film version of his novel, A Painted House, on the ASU campus.  A screening in Riceland Hall of Fowler Center is being planned, preceded by a fund-raising dinner.  Grisham's special interest in a premiere at ASU is driven by several factors.  The book was set in the rural areas of eastern Craighead County, and much of the film was shot at Lepanto.  Also, Grisham expressed his desire to boost ASU's newest Ph.D. program, Heritage Studies, with private support generated through the premiere and related activities.  More details will be announced as they become available.

Wang to lead professional association; students win
At the Arkansas Political Science Association meeting this past weekend, Dr. Richard Wang, associate professor, was elected president of the organization.  Also, two graduate students tied for "best paper" award.  Details about these and other faculty involvement are in Campus News.

Broadcaster-in-Residence grant benefits Radio-TV program
Two broadcast journalists from KGWN-TV in Cheyenne, Wyo., will visit ASU next week. Doug Barden, news director, and Laurie Farcas, anchor and executive producer, will share expertise with ASU students through the Broadcaster in Residence Program, which is funded by a $12,000 grant from the Knight Foundation.  Rich Carvell, Radio-TV Department chair, wrote the proposal; he and Jim Cathey, instructor, visited the Wyoming station in January to work out details.  Barden and Farcas will offer talent coaching, career advice, and guidance on putting together a newscast.  KGWN personnel have planned additional visits for March 24-28 and April 14-18. Click BIR for details.

Getting to know our sister campuses: ASU-Newport
The institution we now know as Arkansas State University-Newport has been in continuous operation for more than 20 years.  Since its founding in 1974, ASU-Newport has provided course work in certificate programs.  In 1991, by an act of the Arkansas General Assembly, the campus merged with ASU-Beebe.  The merger allowed ASU-Newport to offer courses for certificate programs, associate degrees, and transfer to four-year institutions.
     ASU-Newport, which offers eight Associate Degree Programs and five Technical Certificates, is now a stand-alone institution in the ASU System.  It also is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, a Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
     ASU-Newport serves a large rural population with students attending from about 20 counties and eight other countries.  The campus has experienced record growth in the past few semesters. The positive community support with the recent passage of the half-cent sales tax dedicated revenue stream has paved the way for continued expansion and development. ASU-Newport is true to the motto: A Great Place to Start!

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