The ASU Board of Trustees approved tuition, fees, and room and board rates across the system. Arkansas State University will not have a tuition increase and will have a minimal fee increase for a 1.53 percent rise in combined tuition and fee costs. Vice President for Strategic Communications and Economic Development Jeff Hankins says the annual total of $8,608 for undergraduate students would rank sixth among the state’s public four-year institutions.
ASU System President Dr. Charles Welch praised each campus for their work on the budgets. “I realize this is a tough time for students and their families when we talk about tuition and rate increases, but I am thankful that we have done a great job in minimizing any of those increases,” says Welch.
Dr. Welch told those in attendance that Governor Asa Hutchinson requested that, if possible, in-state tuition would not be increased. This request also included money that colleges and universities are starting to see under a new higher education funding model set up by Hutchinson. $10 million has been set aside as colleges and universities are now being measured by the amount of graduates that are produced, instead of the previous models which focused on enrollment numbers.
Dr. Welch stated that with some of the budget issues the Jonesboro campus has been facing, he said it was outstanding that there were no tuition increases. The fee that will be assessed by Jonesboro will be used primarily for safety upgrades on the campus. With concealed carry now being allowed on campus, there were concerns about how safe the campus is. A task force was created and the increase will come in a security fee. He said safety is something that is echoed in the other campuses as well, and is part of the minimal increases.
“When it comes down to it, what our campuses are looking for are safety, security, and infrastructure improvements and that is what the monies will be used for,” says Welch.
The two-year institutions across the system also made requests, which were approved by the Board of Trustees. ASU-Beebe will have a 1.7 percent increase in the next academic year. ASU-Mountain Home will increase tuition and fees by 0.8 percent. ASU-Newport will have a 0.9 percent increase in tuition and fees. ASU Mid-South is not asking for an increase. You can view all of those here.
The Board of Trustees approved the following budget items:
- Operations budget at Arkansas State of $167,784,700 for Educational and General Operations and $37,714,700 for Auxiliary Operations.
- Operations budget at ASU-Beebe of $28,151,361 for Educational and General Operations and $2,698,997 for Auxiliary Operations.
- Operations budget at ASU Mid-South of $13,606,878 for Educational and General Operations and $348,122 for Auxiliary Operations.
- Operations budget at ASU-Mountain Home of $10,623,262 for Educational and General Operations and $210,301 for Auxiliary Operations.
- Operations budget at ASU-Newport of $16,796,345 for Educational and General Operations and $800,000 for Auxiliary Operations.
- Capital Project and expense budget across the ASU System.
The Board of Trustees also approved the following items:
- The sale of four acres of property at East Johnson Avenue and Red Wolf Boulevard in Jonesboro for $1,500,000 for development.
- Candidates to serve as members of the ASU-Mountain Home Board of Visitors. Tim Byler, Jackson Rhoades, Sara Zimmerman will serve for two years; Cheryl Davenport, Sonny Elliot, Ron Peterson will serve on three year terms that will expire June 30, 2020 and Stewart Brunner, Jeff Gunn, and Ray Stahl will serve on three year terms that expire June 30, 2021.
- Arkansas State University-Jonesboro is contracting with certain employees to conduct private camps on the campus, such as summer camps.
- Arkansas State University is also applying for grant money through the Recreational Trails Program and the Transportation Alternatives Program for continued work on the Campus Loop Trail. It is an 80% federal and 20% local match worth $500,000.
- The Faculty Handbook at Arkansas State will have three key changes. Teaching load for deans of colleges is six credit hours, but could vary depending on the duties of the deanship. The second change is that an evaluation of the Chancellor at Arkansas State has been established. The third is that all textbooks and course materials for undergraduate students should be posted on the website and at the bookstore on campus by November 1 for the spring semester and April 1 for the fall semester.
- The College of Agriculture and Technology and the College of Engineering were combined in the 2015 restructuring of colleges on campus. The colleges asked to be separate again and that was approved.
- Approval of changing the name of the Disaster Preparedness & Emergency Management Program to the Disaster Preparedness & Emergency Management Department.
- Approval of a strategic plan for ASU-Beebe through 2023.
- Approval of the Associate of Applied Science degree in Automotive Technology at ASU-Beebe.
- Approval of the Associate of Applied Science degree in Computerized Machining Technology at ASU-Beebe.
- Approval of the Associate of Applied Science degree in Paramedic and a Technical Certificate in Paramedic at ASU-Newport.
- Approval of the Associate of Applied Science degree in Surgical Technology at ASU-Newport.