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Updates on COTO, ASUQC, Legislative Session Given During Board of Trustees Meeting

Arkansas State University System

Update from ASU System President Dr. Chuck Welch talked about the College of the Ouachitas and the General Assembly.

COTO had a joint meeting February 20th to finalize the agreement.  January 1st, 2020 is when it is finalized.  The Higher Learning Commission will meet in November to finalize the meeting.  Dr. Steven Rook will be the Chancellor of the ASU System member in Malvern.  Dr. Room says he is excited about the partnership. First conversation for this started March, 2001.  It was set aside when there was a change of leadership for about 15 years.  Presentation was made late in the fall of 2015.  Dr. Welch has addressed every civic club in Malvern explaining about things.  There were a lot of meetings and a lot of questions asked with both the University of Arkansas System and the ASU System.  He says employee benefits will be a huge benefit and the community of Malvern felt like they could maintain control of their college with this system.   The College of the Ouachitas is 50% general education and 50% technical. 

Legislative session may adjourn somewhere around April 12.  Most major issues are almost all done.  He says he has been concerned about highway funding only because they are afraid it would take away from available revenue stream.  He praised Governor Hutchinson for thinking about that concern and made a plan that allowed for highway funding and that didn’t take any money away from higher education. 

Dr. Chuck Welch praised Governor Asa Hutchinson for his work on setting up money for higher education through a new funding model.  Originally, $10 million was set up for higher education. The money will go to colleges and universities based on their graduation rates, instead of the number of students enrolled. Hutchinson is keeping funding of higher education in place for a second straight year.  Hutchinson says he appreciates the Governor’s support of higher education.

The ASU Board of Trustees also received an update on the Arkansas State University Campus in Queretaro Campus in Mexico.  Dr. David Ray is Vice-Rector of the campus in Queretaro. The campus in the first phase of a new model city in the heartland of Queretaro.   The campus is the anchor of the campus.  Phase two is starting.   It’s a residential area that is built adjacent to the campus.  Two more residence halls will be built and the Academic Resources Building will be built, thanks to money from the Mexican government. They are focusing on recruiting and retaining students. 

In other resolutions:

The ASU Board of Trustees repealed the ASU System Freedom of Expression Policy to come into compliance with Act 184 of 2019 signed by Governor Hutchinson.   The new act requires all Arkansas higher education institutions to allow areas of free speech in all outdoor areas of campus my members of the campus community.   

ASU-Beebe appointed Flave Carpenter to replace Felipe Barahona on the ASU-Beebe Board of Visitors.  Barahona moved out of state and resigned from the ASU-Beebe Board of Visitors.  ASU-Mountain Home appointed Dr. Jake Long to replace Jeff Gunn on the ASU-Mountain Home Board of Visitors.  Gunn moved out of state and resigned from the ASU-Mountain Home Board of Visitors. 

Room 102 in the baseball complex at Tomlinson Stadium in Jonesboro has been named the Ike Tomlinson Head Coach’s Office.  Ike was the first head baseball coach at ASU, serving from 1948 to 1976.  Ike also coached the football and basketball teams and served as college athletics director while becoming the longest-tenured athletic coach at the University.

ASU-Newport has been approved to start offering an optional, voluntary retirement program starting in 2020. 

ASU-Newport also was approved to offer Certificates of Proficiency in Industrial Maintenance/General and Industrial Maintenance/Electrical.  They are designed to provide pathways to ASUN’s existing Technical Certificate in Industrial Maintenance, as well as the Associate of Applied Science in General Technology. 

ASU-Newport also was approved to offer a Certificate of Proficiency in Manual Machining.  It will provide a pathway to the existing Technical Certificate in Advanced Manufacturing and the Associate of Applied Science in General Technology. 

ASU Mid-South is establishing a 12-dollar Emergency Medical Responder Lab Fee to help establish a new course on campus. 

ASU Mid-South has been approved to offer a Technical Certificate in Business, which would consist of 30 credit hours in business and general education courses. 

ASU Mid-South has been approved to offer a Certificate of Proficiency in Business.

ASU Mid-South has been approved to offer a Certificate of Proficiency in Accounting.