Students, faculty speak out at Campus Talk with president

UCA announced a new website design during the Campus Talk March 14.
UCA Director of Web Development Brent Passmore presented the new website to attendees of the Campus Talk. The new website is a redesign of the UCA home page which Passmore said highlights high traffic areas of the website and makes the website more accessible to new students.
Passmore said traffic on the left side of the home page was low except for the myuca login, which was due to the way the website is designed. The new site will focus more on making applying easier for prospective students and contains links to most of the major areas of the UCA website. The site also contains an events calendar as well as a more updated section for upcoming events. The most noticeable change to the design is the addition of a marquee area which will tie in to Reynolds events and campus news.
Passmore said the web development team looked at the analytics of the old website and designed the new website to make important links more obvious and accessible.
The redesign will affect only the home page and will not affect department websites. The new website will be available some time in June to allow time to work out bugs and broken links.
During his regularly scheduled campus talk update, SGA President Austin Hall said the lowest bid for the new UCA amphitheater was $192,000 over the approved budget. Hall said the choices going forward are a redesign of the amphitheater, postponing the project indefinitely or using the board of trustees endowment fund to help fund the project. The board of trustees has to lower its endowment fund to $200,000. Hall said the board may want to use some of the endowment fund to help fund the amphitheater.
The Higher Learning Commission update report was discussed at the meeting as well. The report will update the higher learning commission on what is being done to address concerns the HLC had with UCA in 2000. The main problems identified were long range planning by the university, the structure of UCA’s administration and policies for meeting more diverse students and employees. In 2010, the HLC said it thought the response to the problems were inadequate and UCA was given accreditation for seven years, instead of the full 10.
The new update report is due May 1 and suggestions were taken through spring break for ideas from the UCA community.
“The future of the university rides on it,” Vice President of Government Relations Jeff Pitchford said. “That’s how important it is.”
UCA President Tom Courtway said the university’s insurance plan may change slightly. Courtway said copays on medicine and doctor visits may change, but that UCA will try to absorb the increase in the plan’s cost as it has done before. Courtway said he believes the money can be absorbed by the university because they have done it before.
The board of trustees will discuss both the insurance plan and the amphitheater during its April 2 meeting. The last Campus talk of the semester is scheduled for April 8.

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