Wyatt: Merger proposal needs more input
|The proposal to merge the colleges of Communications and Fine Arts
was gone from the agenda for Friday's Board of Trustees meeting but was
Before the meeting began, a group of students participated in a protest it scheduled earlier in the week when Dr. Bob Fisher, vice president for academic affairs, said the proposal would be on the board's agenda. The students carried signs and marched outside the entrances of the Dean B. Ellis Library, where the meeting took place.
Once the meeting started, Dr. Les Wyatt, president of the university, mentioned the postponed proposal.
"We have realized we are not ready to bring that to the board at this time, so we have not scheduled that for the agenda today," Wyatt said.
The board will consider the proposal in the future, but Wyatt does not know when, he said.
At a forum Thursday that the Student Government Association sponsored, Fisher said the board does not have to take action on the proposal immediately.
"As I've said from the beginning, there is no timetable," Fisher said.
Fisher, however, said a decision will be necessary some time this year.
In addition, he said some organizations, such as the Arkansas Press Association and the Arkansas Broadcasters Association, made "very direct requests" to delay taking the proposal before the Board of Trustees until the organizations and the university's administration can discuss the proposal.
In other business the board passed a resolution to charge the $10 yearbook fee during the spring semester.
Since the 1979-1980 academic year, students have paid the $10 fee only during the fall semester.
The resolution states full-time students, those with 12 or more hours, must pay the fee. Graduate students, however, can request a waiver for the fee.
Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Mary Lynn Williamson said the fee needs increasing because a lack of money has caused the number of yearbooks and the number of pages in the yearbooks to decrease.
"$20 is not a lot to pay for an award-winning yearbook," Williamson said.
The board also approved a resolution changing the name of the Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Physics to the Department of Chemistry and Physics.
"We at one time were headed in the direction of biochemistry, but that program has seemed to refocus on environmental chemistry," Fisher said.
The resolution also changed the bachelor of science in education degree for special education-mildly handicapped to special education-mild disabilities. In addition, the resolution calls for a new program for an executive master's of business administration degree.
Board members also approved a resolution eliminating a continuous enrollment fee that graduate students must pay while writing theses. The fee raised only $3,000 last year and has decreased the number of students writing theses, Fisher said. Many students chose to take six credit hours rather than writing a thesis, he said.
In other business the board:
passed a resolution commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Student Government Association.
approved a resolution making VALIC, an alternative retirement plan, available to university employees. Employees now have the option to select VALIC or TIAA/CREF, another retirement plan.
passed a resolution establishing a research assistant position.
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