$100 million dollars from private investors have already been poured into the ASU-Queretaro Campus in Queretaro, Mexico. ASU System President Dr. Charles Welch says over 4,000 students have inquired or applied for the open positions that are available for the first class that will be open in August.
The new campus is actually a mixed-use design with the new campus as the anchor. The total master plan community consists of over 2,000 acres…370 acres consist of the campus, with the rest a mix of residential and commercial properties.
It will include a downtown area, an industrial park, an entertainment center, retail space, botanical gardens and more.
Phase 1 of the project is underway, which consists of 10 buildings for construction. three academic buildings, four residence halls, maintenance building, a football field, and more are in the first phase. The second phase of four phases will continue next year with more buildings. he first phase will focus on the services area, residential area, academics and sports areas. When all four phases of the project are done, the student capacity is expected to be about 20,000 students. All four phases of the project are expected to be complete by 2021.
While there are not a lot of pieces of legislation dealing with higher education going through the legislature, Arkansas State University System President Dr. Charles Welch says the pieces that are going through are significant. One of those that Dr. Welch says he is concerned about is the current campus carry bill. He says previous attempts of the bill would have left it up to the Board of Trustees of universities to decide about campus carry bills. In the past, all of the Universities in the state declined to allow campus carry. The bill going through now would bypass the Board of Trustees and allow for campus carry. Dr. Welch stated that specifics of the bill are constantly changing, such as whether or not those who carry need training. He says he is watching the bill closely.
Dr. Welch also stated that the higher education funding formula has passed through the legislature and will be in effect for fiscal year 2019. It would allow for higher education funding to be determined by graduation rates instead of enrollment.
The next chancellor of Arkansas State University-Jonesboro is continuing as applications have been taken and they are being taken through mid-April. A finalist is to be named in May and is expected to be introduced in June. Dr. Welch praised Interim Chancellor Dr. Doug Whitlock for his leadership in the transition to the new chancellor.
Dr. Welch says legislation is moving through the legislative session that bring the non-classified and classified staff positions into one. He says moving everything to the Higher Education department will make things more efficient and will help with staffing, specifically with salaries of positions.
Dr. Welch also states that NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine is getting ready to accept a new class in August. 120 students are in the current class and 115 are in the next class. He says at least 2,000 people have applied for the positions and those applications are being reviewed. As well as the class being selected, residency slots are also becoming more available. The Delta Regional Authority has contributed $200,000 to a consortium that will be used to open more slots in residency programs over the next several months.
Dr. Welch says that 4,228 students have made inquiries and have applied to the ASU-Queretaro campus in Mexico. The first class is expected to start taking classes in the fall. He says this is happening and a grand opening will take place in August.
In other resolutions that were passed by the ASU Board of Trustees:
- Howard Slinkard was named as Trustee Emeritus from the Arkansas State University System Board of Trustees. He was on the Board for 10 years and he was praised by other members of the Board of Trustees for his leadership.
- The Arkansas State University System approved creation of a Board of Visitors policy. It allows each campus in the system to have a Board of Visitors that would consist of either five, seven or nine members. The Board of Visitors will serve as a liaison and advisory function between each member institution and residents of the member institution’s service area.
- The Arkansas State University System has approved revisions in the Staff Handbook for the Sexual Discrimination Policy and Sexual Discrimination Grievance Procedure. The System approved adding specific individuals to the Sexual Discrimination Policy and Sexual Discrimination Grievance Procedure as employees with supervisory responsibilities to clarify mandatory sexual discrimination reporters. The System also approved extending the time period to give a Title XI Coordinator 45 calendar days to complete a full investigation to allow for an adequate, reliable and impartial sexual discrimination process while still meeting promptness requirements under Title XI.
- The Arkansas State University System approved regulations governing operation and parking of motor vehicles on the campuses.
- The Arkansas State University System approved Arkansas State University-Jonesboro’s rental rate for units in the Aspen Building in the Village Apartments Complex. The building will be rented out for $5,320 per semester.
- The Arkansas State University System approved an easement to City Water and Light to install water, sewer and electric infrastructure through portions of property that are owned by Arkansas State University-Jonesboro.
- The Arkansas State University System approved proposed members and terms for the ASU-Beebe Board of Visitors. They are Howard Chapin (Heber Springs), Hazel Dickey (At Large) and Butch Rice (Beebe) for three years; Felipe Barahona (Searcy) and Diane Tiner Logan (Heber Springs) for five years; Buck Lane (Searcy) and Cathy Oeff (Beebe) for seven years.
- The Arkansas State University System approved Arkansas State University-Jonesboro’s request to remove the Shared Governance Process from the Faculty Handbook and to place it in a stand-alone document.
- The Arkansas State University System authorized an agreement with the Association for the Advancement of Mexican Education to establish a campus in Queretaro, Mexico. Construction on the campus is almost complete and students are enrolling at the Mexico campus. Classes will start in the fall. The agreement will be for ten years and will be automatically be increased by five-year increments. Both institutions will agree on the tuition and fees and the budget for faculty salaries as well as direct instructional and student support services.
- The Arkansas State University System has approved a request for ASU-Beebe to offer the Certificate of Proficiency in Health Information Assistant. ASU-Beebe will also combine the Certificate of Proficiency in Marine Engines and the Certificate of Proficiency in Power Sports Engines Technology (Four-Cycle Engines), and to rename the combined certificates as “Certificate of Proficiency in Power Sports Technology.”
- The Arkansas State University System has approved a request to establish the ASU-Mountain Home STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Academy, as well as tuition rates. Courses will be delivered in a variety of methods and tuition for each method approved includes:
- A public school instructor teaching as an adjunct instructor is $40 per credit hour.
- An adjunct instructor with ASUMH of full-time instructor teaching at a public school is $80 per credit hour.
- A public school student attending an ASUMH seating class during the school day is $80 per credit hour.
- A public school student enrolling online for fall or spring semester is $80 per credit hour.
- The Arkansas State University System has approved a request by ASU-Mountain Home to apply for federal grant funding from the Recreational Trails Program for support of the Walking and Biking Trail. This agreement would be an 80% federal participation rate and a 20% local match/in kind labor to help with the project.
- The Criminal Justice Department at Arkansas State University-Mountain Home will be renamed for the late United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia. Scalia visited Mountain Home in the spring of 2015 to present a lecture to classes in the Criminal Justice program and will be named as the U.S. Supreme Court Associated Justice Antonin Scalia Criminal Justice Institute.
- The Arkansas State University System has approved a request by ASU-Newport to approve an Associate of Applied Science degree in Agriculture.
- The Arkansas State University System has approved a request by Arkansas State University Mid-South to offer the Certificate of Proficiency in Advanced Emergency Medical Technician.