Campus Talks Bring New Businesses

President Tom Courtway revealed during the Campus Talk Sept. 22 that Marble Slab Ice Cream might be coming to Donaghey Hall.

While there is no signed agreement with the franchise yet, Courtway said he is “confident” that Marble Slab, in conjunction with Great American Cookies, will occupy an available space on the Donaghey Avenue side of the building.

“Keep your fingers crossed,” Courtway said. “We feel pretty good that that will come to fruition as we move ahead.”

Courtway also said there will be meetings with Apple executives in Chicago during the first week of November to discuss plans for an Apple Store. Another future Donaghey Hall shop was also on the agenda.

Courtway said the university is excited for Blue Sail Coffee to open a store in the multi-use residential building. Kyle Tabor, owner of Blue Sail Coffee, was featured in Arkansas Business’ 2015 profile of 20 businessmen in their 20s in Arkansas.

The bulk of Courtway’s address concerned UCA’s enrollment numbers compared to those of other four-year universities in the state, particularly ASU-Jonesboro, Arkansas Tech and University of Arkansas-Little Rock.

As far as total enrollment – which includes concurrent, undergraduate and graduate students – UCA is at 11,754 students, approximately 1,500 lower than ASU and approximately 200 lower than Tech.

In terms of concurrent enrollment, Tech and UALR’s numbers are greater than UCA’s. Tech boasts 2,272 concurrent students and UALR has 1,569, compared to UCA’s current enrollment of 325. UCA’s concurrent enrollment has decreased by approximately 50 students since last year. UCA’s concurrent enrollment dropped by 14.2 percent in the last five years, while Tech’s concurrent enrollment has increased by 76.7 percent in the same time period.

However, in undergraduate enrollment, UCA is second in the state, following University of Arkansas—Fayetteville. UCA’s undergraduate enrollment is approximately 400 students above ASU and 750 above Tech.

When looking at full-time equivalency (FTE) numbers, Courtway said, UCA is doing much better than ASU and Tech. UCA’s graduate enrollment has also increased, and total enrollment is up 6 percent in the last five years.

In the same period, ASU, University of Arkansas—Little Rock, University of Arkansas—Monticello and University of Arkansas—Pine Bluff have seen decreases in enrollment. “What we are doing, we are doing well, in my opinion,” Courtway said.

Faculty Senate President Ben Rowley briefed the room on the next faculty senate meeting. One issue on the agenda will be expanding concurrent enrollment at Conway High School.Courtway said meetings have been set with Conway High School for Oct. 6 to discuss the concurrent credit expansion.

Other issues on the faculty senate agenda will include pay levels, salary and compensation, as well as creating a new strategic planning taskforce for the next five years.

Faculty senate meetings are open to the public, but “it’s usually nowhere near as interesting as it sounds,” Rowley quipped. Colin Stanton, coordinator of new student programs, also had a few announcements, including that the budget for professional development fund increased from $5,000 to $50,000.

The professional development fund is set aside for professional development opportunities for staff members. This money will be available in the next few quarters.

Stanton also announced the date for this year’s Winter Feast, which will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 3 in the Student Center Ballroom. Tickets are now available.

Student Government Association (SGA) Executive President senior Zach Carter also discussed SGA’s Sept. 27-28 retreat, which informed the senators of their duties.

This article originally appeared in the Sept. 30, 2015 print edition of The Echo.

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