Arkansas Tech Names New Academic Facility

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RUSSELLVILLE, AR_ (Press Release)–The Arkansas Tech University Board of Trustees voted unanimously on Saturday morning to name the academic, student support and administrative facility currently under construction on the Arkansas Tech campus at Russellville in honor of retiring president Dr. Robert C. Brown and his wife, Jill Lestage Brown.

The vote was taken in the Green and Gold Room at Tucker Coliseum during a special called meeting of the board on commencement Saturday for the spring 2014 semester at Arkansas Tech.

Ground was broken earlier this month on the new $11.6 million facility, which is scheduled for completion in December 2015.

The building named in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Brown will be located near the intersection of North Arkansas Avenue and West O Street on the parcel of land previously occupied by Bryan Hall, which was demolished in 2013.

Once complete, the new 66,900-square foot facility is scheduled house the following operating areas: admissions on the first floor; financial aid, student accounts and the student identification card office on the second floor; registrar, Upward Bound and Student Support Services — a pair of federally-funded programs that provide students that have identified barriers to higher education with resources to achieve their academic objectives  — on the third floor; and payroll, budget and human resources on the fourth floor.

There will be classrooms and conference rooms on all four floors of the facility.

Brown announced on Aug. 23, 2013, that the current academic year would be his last as active president of the university.

President at Arkansas Tech since July 1, 1993, Brown has the longest tenure at his present institution among all four-year college and university presidents and chancellors in Arkansas. He is the second-longest serving president in Arkansas Tech history. Only Joseph W. Hull, president at Tech from 1932-67, held the office for a longer period of time.

Enrollment at Arkansas Tech has increased by 168 percent since 1997, and the institution set its 15th consecutive record enrollment with 11,369 students for the fall 2013 semester.

Among all degrees that Arkansas Tech has awarded during its 105-year history, 61 percent have been earned during Brown’s 21-year tenure as its president.

Upon his retirement from the active presidency on June 30, 2014, Brown will hold the titles of president emeritus and distinguished professor of economics at Arkansas Tech. He will become just the second person to hold the title of president emeritus and just the third to hold the title of distinguished professor at Arkansas Tech.

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