Assembly Discusses Converting Phone Lines, Renovations

By Kelly Reed
Staff Writer

tv_News 10dbMONTICELLO– The University of Arkansas-Monticello General Assembly discussed a new phone system to be implemented on campus at a Thursday, Feb. 7 meeting.

   Heritage Communications provided phone service to the Monticello, McGehee and Crossett campuses until the phone system suffered a major failure on Jan. 20.

   After the failure, the office of Finance & Administration began to consider switching providers. After examining the options, Jay Jones, vice chancellor of finance & administration, stated that the University of Arkansas-Monticello system will now contract its phone services on all three campuses through Cisco Systems.

   By the end of next week, all the equipment needed for the transition should be on campus. The office of Finance & Administration projects that the transition to the new phone system should take 10 business days to get online, with projected completion on March 1.

   Cisco Systems will convert 500 lines on the Monticello campus alone, costing the university $400,000. Funding, according to Chancellor Jack Lassiter, is not a problem for the University at the present time.

   The Assembly also discussed the Hornaday Outstanding Faculty Award, an award given to an exemplary faculty member annually. Students may nominate a faculty member for the award, provided the nominee is willing. Chancellor Lassiter noted the majority of nominations received thus far have been from students and the nominations have been extremely positive. All nominations must be submitted to the chancellor’s office no later than Friday, Feb 15.

   The Department of Advancement/Development reported projected student enrollment at 3,951, down 95 students from the previous semester. This is the first downturn in enrollment the University has suffered in several semesters, although it was still higher than the projected 3,500 students the University set at the beginning of this semester.

   Despite the current downturn in enrollment, Student Affairs reports that renovations of Bankston Hall and the Wellness Center are still underway. Scott Kuttenkuler, dean of students, commented that the renovations on Bankston Hall are positive. Kuttenkuler stated, “We’re giving students the kind of hall they want,” a sentiment echoed by Chancellor Jack Lassiter.

   The General Assembly also approved three new student organizations. The Arkansas Federation of College Republicans, the SIS Club and the Law & Justice Society are certified student organizations on campus.

   Student Affairs reported that Who’s Who nominations reached 201 students. Those applicants must meet requirements, and those that pass will receive applications. Student Affairs expects that the final selection for Who’s Who will take place the week before Spring Break.

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