May 5, 2003

This week:

* Distinguished Performance Awards Ceremony, Wednesday, May 7, 1:30 p.m.

* Commencement, Friday,
 May 9, 7 p.m.

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State announces another budget cut
The Department of Finance and Administration has announced a second budget reduction this fiscal year because of a shortfall of projected state revenues.  The forecast for the remainder of this fiscal year has been reduced from 94.25% to 93.65% of category "A" funding. That translates to a reduction of $281,762 for the Jonesboro campus and $12,945 for ASU-Marked Tree.  The cumulative budget reduction for the fiscal year is $1,121,655 for ASU-Jonesboro and $51,783 for ASU-Marked Tree.  Dr. Les Wyatt, president, said Friday that no decision has been made as to how ASU will react to this latest reduction.  Because state budget issues should be addressed during the special session of the General Assembly starting today, he anticipates it will be prudent to wait until the end of the week to consider reduction strategies.

Employee awards ceremony is Wednesday
Congratulations to recipients of the 2003 Distinguished Performance Awards.  This program, which began in 1994, recognizes outstanding service and job performance by ASU's non-faculty employees.  A campus-wide recognition ceremony will be held Wednesday at Fowler Center, beginning at 1:30 p.m.  This year's honorees are:
* Customer Service Award: Sylvia Strawbridge, Department of Music; 
* Executive/Managerial Category: Greg Thornburg, Financial Aid and Scholarships; 
* Professional/Non-Faculty Category: Mark Meyer, Printing Services;
* Technical/Paraprofessional Category: Brenda Isreal, University Police;
* Secretarial/Clerical Category: Pat Lewis, Facilities Management; 
* Skilled Crafts Category: Jeff Gulley, Facilities Management; 
* Service Maintenance Category: Noble Graddy, Residence Life.
* Part-Time Employee Category: Sue Carver, Finance and Administration.
Retiring employees, as well as those with years of service at five-year increments (10, 15, 20, etc.) also will be recognized.

NCATE accreditation important for education programs
The recent notification of NCATE accreditation renewal was very important to the College of Education and the professional education programs at ASU. While the notice is great news for ASU, it is even more significant to the school children whose teachers complete their classroom preparation at ASU.  NCATE review and accreditation is a very effective way to ensure the public that colleges of education, like ASU's, are preparing and graduating well-qualified teachers. Read the details in a NewsPage release, and see the editorial in today's Jonesboro Sun.

Research assistants win prestigious awards
Anil Baral of Katmandu, Nepal, and Randy Stidham of Wynne, student research assistants working under the direction of Dr. Robert Engelken, professor of electrical engineering, have won prestigious fellowship grants to support their continuing research. Baral, a candidate for the Ph.D. in environmental science, was one of only two national winners of a $10,000 graduate student research grant from the Institute of Hazardous Materials Management. The grant award was in response to a proposal that he and Dr. Engelken had previously submitted.  Stidham, an undergraduate electrical, computer, and information engineering major, won a $6,500 NASA Workforce Development Fellowship through the NASA/Arkansas Space Grant Consortium. Read more details in a NewsPage release.

Heritage Studies to present advance showing of 'Hoxie'
The Heritage Studies Ph.D. program invites everyone to attend an advanced screening of a documentary film, "Hoxie: The First Stand," by David Appleby of the University of Memphis.  The film will be shown Monday, May 12, at 6:30 p.m. in the Fowler Center.  The film tells the story of one of the earliest school integration battles in the South.  At Hoxie in 1955, five school board members and the superintendent stood their ground to end segregated education in that Lawrence County community. Appleby, Howard Vance (one of the board members), Dr. Mildred Vance, and Dr. C. Calvin Smith will participate in a panel discussion following the presentation.

Grants approved for Crowley's Ridge Parkway projects
The staff of ASU's Arkansas Delta Byways has received word that three federal grants they sought have been approved. Arkansas Delta Byways is a 15-county non-profit tourism promotion association that supports Crowley's Ridge Parkway and the Great River Road.  The U.S. Department of Transportation announced that 206 projects in 42 states will share $24 million in Federal Highway Administration scenic byways grants.  The local projects approved include $25,000 for defining and developing the interpretive plan for the Arkansas Great River Road; $24,984 for updating the corridor management plan for Crowley's Ridge Parkway; and $900,000 for the scenic byway interpretive exhibits in the Crowley's Ridge Nature Center being built in Jonesboro by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.  Congratulations to Dr. Ruth A. Hawkins and the ADB staff, who worked on all three grant applications.  These were the only FWHA grants approved in Arkansas.

Board of Trustees meeting will be Friday, May 9
The Board of Trustees meeting Friday, May 9, will be conducted by conference call.  The meeting will begin at 10 a.m., and interested individuals may monitor the call in the Board Room of the Dean B. Ellis Library.

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