Legislators after Arkansas Tech again | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Legislators after Arkansas Tech again

Posted By on Wed, Aug 23, 2017 at 2:39 PM

click to enlarge SUFFICENT RESOURCES: Legislators question devotion to Agriculture Department at Arkansas Tech. - ARKANSAS TECH
  • Arkansas Tech
  • SUFFICENT RESOURCES: Legislators question devotion to Agriculture Department at Arkansas Tech.
A Russellville-based website, The Local Rundown, reports that area legislators are on the attack again against Arkansas Tech University.

The legislators include some those who objected to a sex education event on campus earlier, but this time it's a criticism of university support — or alleged lack of — for the Agriculture Department, despite a growing enrollment.

Rep. Mary Bentley, whose district doesn't include Tech, nonetheless signed and released the letter. There's been an update on the website to its original post and now it doesn't specify all legislators who signed.

They complain of  "insufficient farmland," the lack of a laboratory facility, and insufficient effort to prevent loss of a  faculty member. You can read the full letter at the website.

Legislators want to meet with Board of Trustees to bully them. The Board has responded. The university released this:

We are appreciative of and share in the passion for Arkansas Tech University’s Department of Agriculture that was expressed at today’s meeting. Our passion is demonstrated by the fact that the Department of Agriculture ranks among the top five departments in funding per student at Arkansas Tech University while serving the 10th largest population among our 23 departments. The Board of Trustees has a responsibility to advocate for each Arkansas Tech University student so that we may maximize quality instruction and educational opportunity. The administration, faculty and staff of Arkansas Tech University continues to recruit, retain and graduate one of the three largest student bodies in the state despite inequitable funding as compared to peer institutions. Until that funding situation is addressed for the benefit of ATU students, we will continue to be flexible in the use of our facilities and resources to meet our mission of success for every student. We have full confidence in President Robin Bowen and her leadership team to address any further questions related to progress and planning in the ATU Department of Agriculture and the university in general.

ATU Board of Trustees

Leigh Whiteside, Chair
Charles Blanchard, Vice Chair
Fritz Kronberger, Secretary
Tom Kennedy
Eric Burnett
In other words, legislators, do YOUR job in supporting Tech sufficiently. Problem is that state support as a percentage of costs is on a long downward slide.

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