Board of Trustees Discusses Finances, Campus Projects

The Board of Trustees met Feb. 12 in the Wingo Hall conference room to discuss an increase in food prices, upcoming projects, finances and present awards.

Board members are Shelia Vaught, Chair; Elizabeth Farris, Vice Chair; Joe Whisenhunt, Secretary; Bunny Adcock; Victor Green; Kay Hinkle and Brad Lacy.

The search process for a new president has officially begun. Vaught appointed Bobby Reynolds as chair of the Search Advisory Committee and Kelley Erstine as campus liaison to the committee.

A financial update was given by Vice President of Finances Diane Newton. There were no significant changes, but the 2016 projected net gain is only $6.8 million so far. Last year’s net gain was 12.4 million.

The reason for this difference is mostly from the Wi-Fi project that cost $900,000. Other reasons are the use of the $1.6 million on reserves for the budget, scholarship money (around $24 million), the raise of tuition in 2015, and other small things, Newton said.

Aramark and UCA have agreed to make a 3.25% rate increase on food services. The increase is based on the contract and CPI report. This may result in higher tuition. Students will most likely have an input. The board passed the motion.

An update was given on Donaghey Hall. The completion date is July 2016, and students can start moving in on Aug 13. The brickwork will begin next week, Newton said.

TJ Johnston, Director of Special University Projects, discussed property on College Ave and Robinson Street. A rough draft will be created by next Friday on proposal of the land use, and the types of businesses will go in Donaghey Hall. The final draft will be presented at the March 31 meeting, Johnston said.

President Tom Courtway proposed an honorary degree for students who have died. He requested from the board to provide the Office of Presidential to adopt procedures to give the degree.

The board will make a revision to Board Policy No. 363 and changes will be effective immediately.

The calendar for Fall 2018 to Summer 2019 has been reviewed and received no major changes. Minor changes that are necessary may be made by the administration. All board members were in favor and the motion passed.

The Conway Corporation Center for Sciences completion date is fall 2016, and classes will begin in Jan 2017.

“There has already been discussion of the lobby interior to honor Conway Corporation,” Newton said.

Lewis Science Center Phase 1 was proposed to proceed as well. According to Newton, renovations should start while the building is still under construction. Conway Corporation gave a donation of $3 million for the renovations. This is the only budget so far.

The renovations will include converting the planetarium, adding a second floor, creating more offices and workspaces and replace all electrical and plumbing in the building. The first installment will require $500,000. It will have to be a “series of dominos that will have to fall,” to make this happen, Newton said.

The board authorized the continuation of Phase 1. A FEMA grant for Bear Village for a tornado shelter was presented. The plan was originally submitted last November. The shelter will act a safe room or multi-surface room to protect 500 students.

The room will be a large space with a few restrooms. It will be located in the parking lot and cost $1.3 million to build.

Board member Adcock was passionate about this project because when the tornadoes hit Vilonia, foreign exchange and other students were calling him asking questions and he didn’t know what to tell them. The motion passed.

Courtway presented two resolutions of appreciation. The first was presented to board member Brad Lacy for his leadership service in 2015. Lacy has served with honor and distinction to make 2015 a huge success.

The other resolution was presented to Bobby Reynolds. Reynolds, along with his wife Diane, was given this honor for their service, gifts, and other contributions. Reynolds received a standing ovation once he accepted the award.

The board approved the recommendation to give Distinguished Professor Emeritus awards to Dr. Ben McNew and Dr. Dave Naylor.

There will be an opportunity for the community to take classes through the outreach program. It’s a long process, but it will be beneficial to the entire community and provide UCA to do other things, Courtway said. A decision will be made in the next few weeks.

Conway High School will no longer have concurrent class credit. Only 129 out of 324 students from Conway high are enrolled in the courses.

“I’m not a fan of concurrent enrollment, but I’m even less a fan of someone else doing it,” Lacy said.

Courtway wants to find a way for students at Conway to earn their associates’ degree by coming to UCA. Conway High is five classes short of earning a degree, so students could pay full tuition, without additional fees, at UCA. His hope is the students will transfer to UCA after they get their degree.

A few upcoming projects are the waterproofing of Estes Stadium, installing an emergency generator for the HPER, new turf on the intramural fields, finishing the beach volleyball site and installing an All Wars Memorial, which will be on the other side of McAlister Hall.

There is a possibility of a floor replacement in Snow Fine Arts depending on the budget, Newton said.

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