A-State Board makes change to weapons policy, college realignment

A-State Board makes change to weapons policy, college realignment

NEWPORT, AR (KAIT) - The Arkansas State University Board of Trustees approved a change to their weapons policy and a plan to realign the 9 colleges at A-State Jonesboro.

The change to the weapons policy follows Act 1078, which was passed by the Legislature in 2015. It allows students who have a concealed carry license to have a weapon on campus.

What students with that license need to know is the weapon must be concealed in a locked vehicle in a parking lot. The gun must also follow concealed carry guidelines.

University President Dr. Chuck Welch said the board wanted to keep the policy up to date with the decisions from the government.

"Obviously we have to comply with the law and we feel like in these limited instances where it remains in that locked and unattended vehicles that the cause for concern should be very low," Welch said."We will continue to be vigilant in making sure that the law is followed and our students are as safe as possible."

Welch added that students should not worry about the change because it would affect a small percentage of students.

Another change made was the approval of a plan that would cut the amount of colleges on the campus of A-State Jonesboro.

Instead of having 9 colleges, they will narrow it down to 6. Welch said this move will not remove any programs and was made with efficiency in mind. They hope the merge will save money and allow for more collaboration amongst the departments.

The plan was in the making for a while and Welch said they do not plan to lay off any current employees.

"We had several vacant and had purposely not filled those positions because we knew this was coming and then in other instances there may be some change where they go be the director of a certain program or do some things," Welch said. "The good news is as I say we did have a number of vacancies. Agriculture and Engineering is a good example and will automatically be an easy process."

The realignment is scheduled to take place during the 2015-2016 academic year and colleges will be tasked with changing their names by next year.

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