Assembly updated on tutoring services

Will Whiting
Managing Editor

   The Univeristy of Arkansas-Monticello Assembly met for the first time of the new semester Oct. 21 in the Green Room of the John F. Gibson University Center. Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs/University Relations Peggy Doss updated the Assembly on the new student tutoring services now available on campus.

   Located in Harris Hall, the new tutoring labs opened Sept. 7. According to Dr. Doss, 374 students have received instruction from tutors manning the labs. In addition to the labs in Harris Hall, tutoring takes place in all UAM residence halls, as well.

   “We are working very hard to improve our tutoring services on campus,” Doss said. “In addition to our new lab in Harris Hall, we are tutoring students at night in the residence halls.”

   In addition to addressing the Assembly on the improvements in student tutoring, Doss updated those in attendance on the progress of the UAM annual phonathon, one of the major fundraisers conducted by the Foundation Office. The phonathon uses a student-oriented fundraising approach to solicit monetary contributions to support university programs and activities from UAM alumni and friends.

   “Three thousand three hundred sixty-five calls have been made to former alumni and friends of the university,” Doss said. “To date, $56,180 has been pledged.”

   Doss also announced plans concerning the efforts to improve retention at UAM. According to Doss, the university will be submitting the preliminary work on a retention grant in the near future. The grant would secure funding for specialized retention programs.

   In addition to Doss’ report, several other departments presented the Assembly with brief updates of events taking place in their own areas.

  • David Ray, vice chancellor for academic affairs, formally announced to the faculty two promotions within his division. Dr. Debbie Bryant will now serve as associate vice chancellor for academic affairs/university registrar, and Dr. Ranelle Eubanks will be assistant vice chancellor for academic affairs.

    Ray also briefed the Assembly  on the verbal report issued by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools accreditation team. Ray said a formal report on the team’s findings will be issued in the near future.

  • Dr. Mark Davis, vice chancellor for finance and administration, announced the annual audit is nearly complete. According to Davis, the university ended the year with a balanced budget.

    “We ended the year balanced, but it was a tough year,” Davis said. “This, however, is looking like a positive year for us.”

    Davis also said programming will be finalized soon on the renovation of Willard Hall. Willard Hall needs several major structural improvements due to the recent growth of the School of Education.

  • UAM Chancellor Jack Lassiter made several announcements to the Assembly . Lassiter used a large portion of his time to discuss the university health insurance policy and its fringe benefits. According to Lassiter, a change will be made to the policy in the near future. The change will likely impact all university employee’s participating in the health insurance fringe benefits program in some way.

    “I am meeting with the University of Arkansas System Board of Trustees and Dr. Sugg Monday to discuss what actions will have to be taken,” Lassiter said. “Right now claims are exceeding the premiums, and we need to adjust by about 20 percent.”

    Lassiter said he will update the university family after the board meets and makes a final decision as to how it will affect UAM employees.

    Lassiter also said work continued to be positive with the company recently selected to develop the master plan for the campus.

    “One of the nice things about the architects we have chosen is that they will allow us to identify what we already have and what we are using,” Lassiter said. “This master plan will not just serve the Monticello campus, but it will incorporate all three of our campuses.”

  • Dr. Clay Brown, assistant vice chancellor for student affairs, requested the Assembly’s approval of two new student organizations on campus. According to Brown, the UAM Diamond Dolls and the UAM chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People both met all necessary requirements to be organizations. The Assembly unanimously approved both.

  • Dr. Russell Nordeen, a professor in the School of Math and Natural Sciences, requested the administration look into the possibility of providing more funding for faculty research and development purposes. According to Nordeen, the university most recently funded faculty research and development in 2001. Nordeen said he believes it would greatly benefit the entire university community if more funds were made available for such purposes.

  • Attendance at Assembly  meetings has been decreasing. According to Assembly chair Dr. Linda Webster, finding a time convenient for all to meet continues to be a difficult task.

    "There were a number of new faces at the meeting," Webster said. "We had an excellent turnout of student members and representatives from the College of Technology campuses. However, it is difficult to find an afternoon meeting time that is convenient for all of the many faculty and professional staff who have labs and other duties. Much of our business is conducted via e-mail prior to the meetings and short of voting, most business is concluded prior to the actual meeting itself."

   The UAM Assembly serves as the official voice of the university faculty and staff. The Assembly continues to work on re-developing its own constitution to further incorporate the two College of Technology campuses in Crossett and McGehee. Officers of the 2004 Assembly include Dr. Linda Webster, president; Dr. Rick Club, vice president; Dr. Dorothy Everts, secretary; and Dr. Adam McKee, parliamentarian.

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The Voice, 2004
Revised 041025 —