Tech trustees back
Arkansas Tech University trustees have adopted a resolution outlining broad priorities for a restructuring process as the university anticipates budget shortfalls in the coming years.
The restructuring is part of a five-year program evaluation and budget initiative, according to a university announcement.
The resolution includes seven guiding principles and six goals. Top among the guiding principles is a commitment to student access and success, and the top goal is “efficiency and effectiveness.”
The restructuring plan is under development; whether certain programs will be cut or expanded isn’t decided yet. Among the goals listed is to “provide personnel who are impacted by the restructuring with available support.”
Academically, the goals are to provide more in-demand programs and create more “stackable” degree programs, in which students can study toward a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree but earn credentials that could qualify them for employment before they complete those degrees.
The university reiterated its commitment to remaining a teaching university, rather than a high-research-level university.
Contract OK’d for
Arkansas Tech University trustees have approved a $2.7 million contract with Alessi Keyes Construction for the second phase of reconstructing and restoring a historic academic building that caught fire in 2019.
Architects have found that parts of the building were a total loss, but other parts were damaged by water and fire and are considered salvageable.
Williamson Hall was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1992, and the university intends to restore the building to maintain its historic status.
The project is funded by a grant from the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council as well as by insurance reimbursements.
The coronavirus pandemic has delayed some of the work, but university leaders hope to reopen the building for the fall 2021 semester.
toll of virus tracked
The Arkansas Economic Development Institute, based at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, is now home to a dashboard tracking how the coronavirus pandemic has affected the state in social and economic ways.
The dashboard will detail the virus’s effect on “employment, mental health, food security, economic security, education, and other critical indicators,” according to a university announcement.
The dashboard is located at https://covidrecovery.youraedi.com.
It’s part of a larger, longer-term project among the institute, the Delta Center for Economic Development at Arkansas State University, and the state’s eight planning and development districts to create an economic recovery plan for the state.
The two-year project is funded by two $300,000 grants to each university from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, which has funded similar projects across the country.
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