The increasingly global world is demanding graduates that can solve cross-cultural problems and think globally. Southern Arkansas University is satisfying this demand by continuing to diversify their degree offerings with the addition of a BBA in International Business. The approval of this degree program was just one of the items on the agenda for the Southern Arkansas University Board of Trustees.
The board met Tuesday, October 1, 2019, on the SAU-Tech campus in Camden, Arkansas. The meeting included presentations from Dr. Trey Berry, SAU President, and Dr. Jason Morrison, SAU Tech Chancellor.
Berry reported to the board that enrollment for fall 2019 has all-time increases in on-campus residency. “We have a tremendous freshman class, and our students are from everywhere,” Berry said. SAU currently has students from 74 of Arkansas’s 75 counties, as well as students from 41 states and 35 countries around the world.
Upgrades to Wilson Hall, work on a new agricultural shop, and the opening of Arkansas Hall were among the physical improvements that Berry reported to the board. Negotiations are also underway for construction of a new College of Education building as well as an expansion of the Oliver Band Hall. Berry noted there are 164 band members this year and that performances at Mulerider football games have been extremely impressive.
The new Farmers Bank & Trust Trap Shooting Facility is progressing on the Laney Farm; and SAU’s new driving range, for use by both the golf team and the community, should also be ready within the coming weeks.
Berry enthusiastically informed the board that SAU’s Engineering program has received ABET accreditation. Being fully accredited is “a great thing for our region and our industrial partners,” Berry noted. He also proudly told trustees that graduates of SAU’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program (pre-licensure track) finished the 2018-2019 academic year ranked third in Arkansas for its first-time NCLEX pass rate.
Morrison began his presentation by reciting the new mission statement: “Southern Arkansas University Tech is a comprehensive community college that meets educational, training, and cultural needs of the communities it serves.”
He also announced numerous dramatic changes to the campus, including a 5.9 percent growth in enrollment and a 13.9 percent increase in full-time equivalent (FTE) students. “We are a holistic institution and we are proud of the changes we have seen,” Morrison said.
In other business, trustees approved the following program changes at SAU Tech: the addition of an Associate of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering, and a revision to the Associate of Applied Science in Multimedia Technology Film & Video Production. SAU Tech also requested adding an online designation for a large number of programs available completely online and sought to have them designated as such on the list of approved programs published by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education.
In other business, trustees heard and approved the Minority Recruitment and Retention Reports from both SAU and SAU Tech, approved the SAU Tech handbook resolution, and approved the SAU Tech audit.
After executive session, trustees approved personnel changes. The meeting was then adjourned.