Board of Trustees Plans for Spring, Says Goodbyes

On Dec. 11, 2015, the UCA Board of Trustees met to go over proposals for the spring semester. The board also bid farewell to member Bobby Reynolds and thanked President Tom Courtway for his services.

On the board’s agenda were the implementation of an expanded Wi-Fi program, land purchases along Donaghey Avenue and Simms Street and the preservation of the Jewel Moore Nature Reserve.

The board was shown a white paper that recommended how the 33 acres along Donaghey Avenue toward Dave Ward Drive could be utilized for the campus. Creating new housing and parking options for UCA would be part of the plan.

“You want whatever you do to be self-sufficient,” Reynolds told the taskforce assigned to develop the acres. “You have more immediate needs to attend on campus, but housing is a [necessary]step.”

Toward the end, Courtway announced his plans to step down as UCA’s president.

“It is time to begin search for a new leader for UCA,” Courtway said.

He said he would continue to serve as president until the board could find a suitable replacement. Courtway asked the board to amend his contract so that he would not have to leave UCA entirely, and instead would be allowed to teach here.

In a public letter to the campus community, Courtway said, “ … to the UCA faculty and staff, please know that you have worked tirelessly to continue this institution’s great mission and reputation. You have been resilient. You have been strong. Most importantly, whatever your job or duties at UCA, you have never wavered in your commitment to our students and their success. That is why we are here each day and those are the only things that really matter.”

The board thanked Courtway for his strong and level leadership over the past five years since his appointment to the office.

To wrap up the meeting, the board and audience members offered their thanks and farewells to Reynolds as he stepped down from his position. They played a video for him composed of pictures from his time at UCA and interviews with former students, coworkers and Gov. Beebe. During the video, Reynolds stood in front of the board and cried softly with a smile on his face. As the video ended, dozens of people offered their thanks to Reynolds for the work he has done.

The most telling moment of the video presentation was when one former SGA president told Reynolds, “You are the students’ trustee.”

Soon after, a long line of students filed into the room and one-by-one shook his hand. As the students walked out, Reynolds made a wide sweeping gesture toward them, tears still in his eyes, and said, “Is this not what it’s all about?”

After being awarded a plaque by SGA, Reynolds took time to address the board as a member one final time.

“Time flies when you’re having fun. Seven years has really gone by fast,” he said. “We’ve seen a lot of changes that I’m proud to have been a part of.”

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