A-State Board of Trustees approve disaster preparedness facility

A-State Board of Trustees approve disaster preparedness facility

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - From a new weapon's policy to disaster training facilities, the Arkansas State University Board of Trustees covered a lot of ground during their meeting Friday.

A-State University President Dr. Chuck Welch started the meeting speaking about employee benefits.

Citing a survey across five A-State campuses, Dr. Welch said 80 percent of employees were satisfied with their current health insurance. The survey also revealed to the administration there was no need for massive wholesale changes.

Dr. Welch also discussed work on an efficiency study surrounding transfer students. He was hopeful research could begin by October or November.

Chancellors from across the system gave individual reports concerning their campuses.

Later, Dr. Welch spoke to the board about a proposed resolution to revise the A-State weapons policy. He said with the necessary training, it would be early 2018 before an individual could carry a weapon on campus in accordance with Arkansas law.

The resolution was passed by the board.

"We don't anticipate that they will have that curriculum completed until the first part of 2018," said Arkansas State University System President, Dr. Charles Welch. "Then of course you have to go train the trainers and the trainers have to set up the classes and actually begin to enroll people."

Particularly concerning the ASU-Jonesboro campus, a resolution was brought forth about possible lease agreements with the cities of Imboden and Walnut Ridge.

The resolutions referenced constructing disaster preparedness facilities in those areas.

The board approved working with Walnut Ridge and Imboden to create a disaster preparedness facility.

Arkansas State said in a press release, "A-State offers a bachelor's degree and associate's degree in disaster preparedness and emergency management. The campus will now seek grants and private funding for the project, which will be one of only 10 in the country and is expected to attract emergency management professionals nationwide."

Another resolution made the renaming of the third-floor lounge of the Carl R. Reng Center the "Vaughn Student Lounge." It's currently known as the Heritage Plaza Lounge but will now be named after Jame E. and Wanda Lee Vaughn.

All of the resolutions for the Jonesboro campus were approved.

Finally, two resolutions were discussed from ASU-Newport.

Among them was the renaming of the criminal justice department to the "Lieutenant Patrick Weatherford Criminal Justice Department."

"Lieutenant Patrick Weatherford was very dear to all of us," said Arkansas State University Newport Chancellor Dr. Sandra Massey.  "Having the opportunity to name our criminal justice department after him is very exciting."

Those resolutions were approved before the meeting came to an end Friday morning.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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