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Chancellor | NewsMarch 03, 2023

Chancellor Riley Reports Staff Senate Actions, Budget Updates

Written By: Terisa Riley

Dear colleagues and students,

As the weather warms up, I am so grateful for the signs of spring I see across our beautiful campus. I don’t know about you, but I was really getting tired of leafless trees and dry or dead plants/grass. The rain this week will cause a quick greening up of campus, but it may also mean flooding in our area. If you drive around our region, please be careful. As always, your safety is most important…not a meeting, work, or classes. Take precautions to stay safe and remember to “turn around, don’t drown” when you come to any roadway covered in water.

UAFS Mini-conference: Thank you to all the faculty and staff who planned, implemented, and presented at the 2nd Annual UAFS Mini-Conference: Together We Roar. This day has provided us an opportunity to celebrate the hard work and accomplishments of our staff while learning about creating a more inclusive university environment for everyone. This afternoon, 20 sessions are being offered by faculty and staff, and I wish I could attend them all.

Added Full-Time Employee Tuition and Fees Benefit: I have approved a resolution from Staff Senate which will add fee waiver benefits to current full-time employee tuition waiver benefits for classes taken at UAFS. Beginning in fall 2023, full-time UAFS employees will no longer be required to pay for the following fees: Student Recreation and Wellness Fee, Library Fee, Campus Center Fee, Athletic Fee, and Fitness Center Access Fee. This is an expansion of the current full-time employee waiver and a recognition that full-time employees receive free use of these spaces and should not be charged simply because they are taking classes.

UAFS Employee Dependent Scholarship: Also stemming from a resolution from Staff Senate, I have approved all employee dependent children to receive a $250/semester scholarship when enrolled at UAFS. This scholarship is dependent upon satisfactory academic progress and must be awarded according to current policies and regulations in the Office of Financial Aid. Although this scholarship is not new for staff member’s dependents, it is new for faculty members’ dependent children. This addition to the dependent scholarships will be added to our employee handbook and will begin in fall 2023.

Academic Excellence: The EMT class will be doing a trauma simulation on the campus grounds in the open field behind the CHEHS building on March 7th at around 5:30 pm in the evening. No need to be alarmed when you see the simulation that evening.

Budget: UAFS Office of Budget, VCFA, and a variety of campus leaders are having discussions about budget needs and considerations as we move into proposing a budget for FY24. There are committees discussing tuition and fees as well as reviewing each departmental budget. I have asked for the Budget Committee to consider how we could offer a base salary increase for our employees as well as budgeting funds for faculty promotions, and some funds in hopes that the Arkansas Legislature allows classified staff to become non-classified. If so, we hope to give modest but important salary increases to those employees, too. I hope to announce how we will begin to respond to the report generated by the Faculty Salary Equity Task Force no later than the end of this semester.

I hope you have a wonderful and safe weekend.

As always, it is an honor to serve as your chancellor. 

Terisa Riley

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