ATU Trustees Grant Promotions, Tenure for Faculty

Credit: University Relations

Twenty-three members of the Arkansas Tech University faculty were promoted and 11 ATU faculty members were granted tenure by the ATU Board of Trustees during its meeting on Thursday, March 19.

Policies and procedures regarding faculty evaluation, promotion and tenure were approved by the Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees on May 17, 2018, following a faculty-led, three-year process of review and modification.

The promotion and tenure actions taken by trustees on March 19 will become effective at the beginning of the 2020-21 academic year.

The following individuals were promoted to professor:
*Dr. Carey Ellis Laffoon, Department of Nursing
*Dr. Jason Patton, Department of Physical Sciences
*Dr. Alaric Williams, Department of College Student Personnel

The following individual was promoted to professor and granted tenure:
*Dr. Newton Hilliard, Department of Physical Sciences

The following individual was promoted to associate professor:
*Dr. Jamie Stacy, Department of Emergency Management

The following individuals were promoted to associate professor and granted tenure:
*Dr. Turaj Ashuri, Department of Mechanical Engineering
*Dr. Laura Jobe, Department of Nursing
*Dr. Virginia Jones, Department of Communication and Journalism
*Dr. Muhammad Khan, Department of Electrical Engineering
*Dr. Gina Kraft, Department of Health and Physical Education
*Dr. Debra Murphy, Department of Curriculum and Instruction
*Terri Toland, Department of Curriculum and Instruction
*Dr. Brendan Toner, Department of History and Political Science

The following individual was promoted to assistant professor:
*Stan Apple, Department of Mechanical Engineering

The following individuals were promoted to university instructor:
*Laura Griffin, Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics
*Jessica Hogan, Department of Mathematics
*Nancy Horton, Department of Mathematics
*Susan Jordan, Department of Mathematics
*Kristi Spittler-Brown, Department of Mathematics
*Teresa Taylor, Department of Mathematics

The following individuals were promoted to senior instructor:
*V. Jill Balaster, English Language Institute
*Brent Hogan, English Language Institute

The following individuals were granted tenure:
*Dr. Jeanine Myers, Department of Mathematics
*Megan Toland, Department of Communication and Journalism

The following individual was promoted to associate librarian:
*Angela Black, Library

In other business on Thursday, the ATU Board of Trustees approved:

*a transfer of educational and general unappropriated funds in the amount of $5,000 as partial funding for the renovation of a dining hall at 404 N. El Paso Ave. for the hospitality program;

*an expenditure of $325,000 to install a new elevator in Witherspoon Hall pursuant to the terms of a method of finance for educational and general fund balance renovation and maintenance projects approved by the ATU Board of Trustees on Aug. 15, 2019;

*a resolution expressing Arkansas Tech University’s willingness to utilize federal aid Transportation Alternatives Program grant funds for a forthcoming campus entrance project in coordination with the Arkansas Department of Transportation and the City of Russellville;

*a request by ATU’s Upward Bound programs to participate in the Arkansas Department of Human Services summer food service program;

*a reclassification of the ATU international student service fee such that those funds will now be eligible to purchase assets as needed for international student events;

*emergency policies related to remote work and leave for ATU employees for the duration of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as defined by the World Health Organization;

*and all presented requests for continuation of existing or implementation of new provisional positions funded by third-party entities.

In personnel matters, trustees approved hiring the following new, full-time employees:

*Asfana Ahamed, visiting assistant professor of electrical engineering, for the spring 2020 semester; Dr. Natalie Cooper, visiting assistant professor of agriculture, for the spring 2020 semester; Dr. Chantell Corkern, assistant professor of nursing, for the 2020-21 academic year; Jason Geiken, vice president for advancement, effective March 9, 2020; Dr. Russell K. Jones, dean of the College of Business and professor of accounting, effective July 6, 2020; Michelle Vardeman, accounting supervisor in the Office of the Controller, effective Feb. 3, 2020.

Tera Simpson, who previously served the institution as front-end web designer, was named webmaster and digital strategy specialist for University Marketing and Communications as of Feb. 1, 2020.

Meredith Lawson, previously the coordinator of graduate enrollment management position at ATU, was appointed associate director for recruitment in the ATU Office of Admissions as of Feb. 17, 2020.

Ronda Hawkins was confirmed as director of the ATU regional office of the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center. She had previously worked in that same office as a training coordinator.

The board accepted the following resignations:

*Jennifer Coleman, assistant professor of nursing, effective June 30, 2020; Dr. Geoffrey Ecker, assistant professor of biology, effective May 9, 2020; Aubrey Holt, director of campus life, effective Feb. 14, 2020; Amanda Jones, culinary instructor at Arkansas Tech Career Center, effective June 5, 2020; Linda Jackson, senior instructor of college student personnel, effective Feb. 7, 2020; Doug Ruse, offensive coordinator for the Wonder Boys football program, effective Feb. 11, 2020; Dr. Ivan Still, professor of biology, effective May 9, 2020; and Dr. Wayne Williams, professor of educational leadership, effective May 9, 2020.