Trustees discuss surplus, end of semester updates

by News Editor Breanna Littrell

The UNA board of trustees held its quarterly meeting Dec. 19 in the Guillot University Center to discuss a surplus in the budget, as well as give updates on topics such as the Anderson College of Nursing building.

During the 2016 fiscal year, the additional revenue received was $1,333,532.31.

“We have a $1.5 (million) surplus in the unrestricted funds,” said Acting Chief Financial Officer Evan Thornton. “Of that, $1.3 (million) is savings in departmentalized expenses that will rollover and be available by future terms.”

The plans for the other $252,057.79 in funding was not specified.

Plans for the construction of the Anderson College of Nursing building is on schedule, according to the Audit, Finance and Administration Committee. The construction period is scheduled to begin in March 2017 and continue through July 2018. The projected opening date is Aug. 1, 2018.

Trustee Libby Jordan said they should focus on the library’s leaking roof as a future project.

“The library has needed a new roof for almost a decade,” Jordan said. “It has been patched many times, and it is still leaking. The biggest issue is that there is a leak over the archive section. If those are destroyed, they are lost forever, there is no way to replace them.

“Before we look at building any new buildings, we need to take care of the buildings we have.”

The UNA board of trustees also made changes to the 2017-18 undergraduate catalog.

The changes included two new centers, the Center for the Study of Exercise Science and Health Promotion and the Center for the Study of Sport and Recreation.

“These are programs in the (Health Physical Education and Recreation) department to give attention to those areas,” said Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost John Thornell. “The goal is to create collaboration across campus for those who are interested in these topics.”

Donna Lefort, Dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences, said the centers will open in the fall. These will allow for faculty and students to apply for grant and conduct research, she said.

Geographic Information Science was also added as a new program.

The spring 2017 semester will bring a Management and Retention Task Force to grow the university, said Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management Ron Patterson.

“There will be information going out to our campus community in the spring,” he said. “I will set a charge with this group and a purpose for this fall, and we will come back to the board with a status report as it relates to this community task force and what our plans are.”

The UNA Foundation also adopted the Memorandum of Understanding which is a document approved by the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges to clarify its relationship with UNA. The new document allows for a trustee to be on the UNA Foundation board, and William Trapp will hold that position.

At the end of the meeting, they held an executive session in which they decided to give an honorary doctoral degree for UNA alumnus Wendell Wilke Gunn. He was UNA’s first African American student. Undisclosed pending legal matters were also discussed.