Assembly productive despite poor turnout

Michael Ford and Katy Murray
Managing Editor and Commentary Editor

   In less than two weeks the University of Arkansas - Monticello Assembly met twice to discuss issues affecting the campus.  

   The Assembly meeting held Feb. 24 had less than the required 77 quorum needed to finalize plans for the proposed changes to its constitution. More than 40 people attended the March 3 meeting to approve Curriculum and Standards committee proposals. 

   Topics of the March 3 meeting included the budget, course requirements and changes in the Social and Behavioral Sciences department. Faculty were reminded to start thinking of students to nominate for Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities and told that students must have completed 90 hours and have a 2.25 GPA to be nominated.

   David Ray, vice-chancellor of Academic Affairs, addressed the Assembly on the upcoming spring graduation ceremony.

   “Commencement will be Friday, May 13 at 11 a.m. and rehearsal practice will be at 3 p.m. on May 12,” Ray said.

   Chancellor Jack Lassiter announced the resignation of head football coach Gregg Ricono, who will be returning to Arkansas Tech where he will be an assistant coach. The search will begin immediately for a new head football coach. 

   Another important issue discussed before the Assembly concerned the new University Calendar for 2005-2008. Robert Stark, chair of the Curriculum and Standards committee, said the Wednesday before Thanksgiving will be included in the holiday for students and faculty, but staff would be required to be present. Also in the future, spring break will be set back one week. 

   “This places UAM in alignment with many public schools,” Stark said. “This year about 18 schools will have spring break the week after ours because of mandatory scheduled tests.” 

   In the Feb. 24 meeting, administrators provided the following updates: 

  • Peggy Doss, vice chancellor for Student Affairs, discussed the pilot mentoring program intended to help the estimated 600 students on academic probation. The program features six mentors who each tutor 10 students. Although only 35 students currently participate in the mentoring, Doss said the program would reach its goal of 60. 

  • Mark Davis, vice chancellor for Finance and Administration, briefly discussed the renovation of Willard Hall. The renovation process should be underway by the time of commencement this year, and the building should be back by spring 2006.

  • Lassiter finished the Feb. 24 meeting by noting that the 11 a.m. commencement will require faculty to turn in grades two hours earlier on the Thursday prior to commencement.

   Lassiter praised the curriculum and standards committee at the March 3 meeting. After his report, he recognized the members and asked them to stand and receive a round of applause. 

      “This is one of the hardest working groups on campus,” Lassiter said.

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