Regents approved the demolition of three buildings on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University to clear the way for the construction of a new facility for science, technology, engineering and mathematics education.
"One of the stated planning goals of the SFA 2020 campus master plan is to support the STEM initiative," said Dr. Danny Gallant, vice president for finance and administration. "The university has been authorized by the Texas Legislature to construct a STEM building with $46.4 million in tuition revenue bond funding, and we are taking the necessary steps to begin this construction."
The facility will be constructed between Raguet Street and Clark Boulevard. The location is the current site of Todd Hall, which was constructed in 1963 and has a capacity to accommodate 108 students, and Gibbs Hall, a former residence hall that has been used as a maintenance and custodial warehouse for housing operations since the early 1990s.
"Plans for the STEM facility include a planetarium, and to accommodate visitors, we will need to expand the available parking in that area," Gallant said. "This also will accommodate the school groups that we expect to visit the new building."
A new facility for housing operations will be constructed on property east of University Drive, in the area of the University Woods apartments. The apartments in that location, constructed in 1980, will be demolished.
Demolition is expected to begin in the summer of 2016, when the buildings are unoccupied. Kirksey Architecture of Houston is the architectural designer for the STEM Building project, and J.E. Kingham Construction Company of Nacogdoches will manage the construction. The building should be ready for use in 2018.
Regents also approved the purchase of property at 3034 Raguet St. Located at the corner of Raguet and East Austin streets, the property is adjacent to land that is owned by the university.
In other business, regents approved changing to the name of the Department of English to the Department of English and Creative Writing. They also approved the ratification of $131,849 in additional grant awards for the 2015 fiscal year and $6.1 million allocable to the 2016 fiscal year.
Personnel appointments approved by the regents included Leah Kahn and Carolyn Stufft, who were promoted to assistant professors of elementary education in the James I. Perkins College of Education.
Other appointments approved in the Perkins College of Education included Haley Jameson, associate professor of kinesiology and health science; Jodi Jordan, clinical instructor of human services; Jennifer Newquist, assistant professor of human sciences; and Heather Samuelson, assistant professor of kinesiology and health science.
Faculty appointments approved for the Nelson Rusche College of Business include Ashley Hall, visiting lecturer of business communication and legal studies; and Whitney Sienko, visiting lecturer of accounting.
Appointments within the College of Sciences and Mathematics: Keli Barrios, Kesha Becnel and Kimberly Deaton, clinical instructors of nursing in the Richard and Lucille DeWitt School of Nursing; Christopher Ivancic, assistant professor of computer science; Hector Ochoa, assistant professor of physics and astronomy; Colin Timmons, visiting lecturer of physics and astronomy; and Stephanie Weatherford, visiting lecturer of mathematics and statistics.
Other faculty appointments approved include Elaine Bezold, visiting assistant professor of art, and B. Slade Billew, visiting assistant professor of theatre, in the College of Fine Arts; Yuhui Weng, assistant professor of forestry in the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture; R. Nicholas Nelson, visiting assistant professor of history in the College of Liberal and Applied Arts; and librarians Spencer Acadia, Edward Iglesias and Anjum Najmi, in the Ralph W. Steen Library.
Status changes in the Nelson Rusche College of Business approved by the regents included Todd Brown, associate professor and chair of economics and finance, to associate professor and interim associate dean, and Shirley Ann Wilson, professor and chair of business communication and legal studies to professor and interim associate dean. Treba Marsh professor of accounting, was named interim director of the Gerald W. Schlief School of Accountancy, and Matthew Lindsey, associate professor of management, was approved as interim chair of management, marketing and international business.
Clint Richardson, an associate professor, was approved as interim chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.
John Yerger, director of printing services, was approved as interim manager of the SFA Post Office.
Athletics appointments approved included Garrett Altier, athletic marketing coordinator; Brionne Clark, assistant men's track coach; Sally Higgins, athletic teams coordinator for women's basketball; Charles Hurley, assistant director for athletic media relations; Jonathan McLaughlin, head tennis coach; Emily Montana, athletic trainer; and Brent Odziana, athletic strength and conditioning assistant. Lindsey Chronister, former assistant director of student engagement, was approved as athletic academic services assistant.
Additional staff appointments include: Lindsay Callaway, regional coordinator, and Monica Gonzalez-Sanchez, counselor, in the Office of Admissions; Tatron Crane and Nancy Parr, early childhood lab teachers, and Anita Spadaro, outreach Gear Up coordinator, in the Perkins College of Education; Michael Tubbs, gallery preparator in the College of Fine Arts; Kristin Reese, nurse practitioner in Health Services; and Michael Carmical and Julian Fenison, programmers/analysts in Information Technical Services. Kafayat Akapo, Heather Burns, Reba Carroll, Kathleen Morris and Blane Mynatt were approved as Residence Life hall directors.
Approvals for University Marketing Communications included the appointment of Kasi Dickerson as senior marketing communications specialist and Jason Johnstone, university webmaster, as assistant director.
Additional changes of status include:
Jennie Blough, from accounts payable clerk II to accounts payable manager;
Heather Munro, from clinical instructor of human services to instructor of human services, and Pamela Vaughn, from instructor of elementary education to assistant professor of elementary education, in the Perkins College of Education;
Nathan Armer, from senior technical specialist to programmer/analyst II, and Tracey Wilbanks, from student information specialist to security access specialist, in Information and Technology Services;
Michael Martin, from associate professor and director of multidisciplinary studies to associate professor of English, and Shanta Scott, from adjunct faculty in social work to visiting clinical instructor of social work, in the College of Liberal and Applied Arts;
Lisa Rodrigues, from assistant to the dean to academic adviser in the College of Fine Arts; and
Carol Fountain, from procurement card coordinator to assistant director of procurement services.
A one-year leave of absence was approved for Norjuan Austin, associate professor of English.
The Board of Regents approved the retirements of faculty members with more than 120 years of combined service to the university. Retirements include Kathleen Belanger, professor of social work; Donald Clasquin, post office manager; Steve Condon, athletic trainer; Sandra Delgado, associate director of Project CTE in human sciences; Sheila Dyer, lecturer of human services; Virginia Walker, accounts payable manager; and librarians Carol Scamman and Wade Carter.
Regents also approved policy revisions and acknowledged receipt of the audit services report. They received updates regarding the SFA Envisioned strategic plan, the university's branding campaign and the redesign of the university website. Regents heard reports from the Faculty Senate, the Student Government Association and from Dr. Baker Pattillo, SFA president.