Faculty tenure, promotions approved at Board of Regents

Charles Rankin

The Washburn Board of Regents gathered April 12 in the Union’s Kansas Room for its second meeting in the last three weeks.

Most notably, and as is typical with the April meeting, the board approved tenure and promotions for various Washburn faculty members.

Jason Emry, biology; Cynthia Nebel, psychology; Takrima Sadikot, biology; Craig Trienen, music; Kelly Watt, art; Zachary Frank, allied health; Pamela Schmidt, accounting; and Emily Grant, law were granted tenure on the recommendation of university President Jerry Farley. These eight faculty members, along with Norma Juma, management, were also promoted to professors of various levels.

Also included in the meeting was the approval of changes in curriculum at Washburn Tech. The changes will add a building automation systems program, which will be the first such program in the state of Kansas. According to the proposal, this program is expected to add seven to ten students each year and will begin in Fall of 2018.

The board also approved spending just over $1.4 million for various projects. Most of this will be spent on building and maintenance, many of which will occur during the summer.

Some of the higher spending projects include a partial roof replacement for the Memorial Union, estimated at $311,968; a refreshing of the Washburn Village, at $234,080; and the repair and reconstruction of parking Lot 7, near the Village, at $123,222.

One of the non-building expenses is a $92,328 piece of equipment for Washburn Tech for use in training local Mars Chocolate employees. It was noted by Jim Martin, vice president of administration and treasurer, that, after this piece of equipment is purchased, Washburn will request reimbursement of the cost to the university by Mars.

Another notable expense the board approved is the upgrading of restrooms on the second floor of the Union to be ADA compliant and the addition of a single gender-neutral ADA restroom. The total cost for this project is estimated at $72,599.

Issues of ADA compliance and gender-neutral restrooms were both included in resolutions that WSGA has passed in the last couple of years.

“I think [this is] a step in the right direction,” said Zac Surritt, WSGA president-elect, in a Facebook message. “It seems that the Board is finally making decisions FOR the students. We will use this as an opportunity to expand the discussions about what priorities the university should have going forward.”

Finally, the board heard from a couple of groups on campus. Eugene Williams, general manager of KTWU, talked about a television program that the station is currently producing, “Make48.” Bruce Mactavish, assistant professor of history, spoke about at trip that he and several students took over spring break to the American South, a trip designed for students to understand history better by visiting various locations important to the Civil Rights movement.

The next Board of Regents meeting is scheduled for Thursday, June 21, at 4 p.m. All Board of Regents meetings are in the Kansas Room of the Memorial Union and are open to the public.