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AAMU Making Strides on Retention, Renovations

trustees in february 2023
February 24, 2023

Team Members "Exceeding Expectations"

Huntsville, Ala. ---- The Alabama A&M University Board of Trustees approved a flurry of action items after listening to reports and updates from administrators on Friday, February 24, during a regular meeting held in the Clyde Foster Auditorium.

President Pro Tempore Roderick DeWayne Watts thanked the administrative team for its responsiveness to requests as the board continues to “work for the betterment” of the institution.  He noted that team members often “exceeded expectations.”

Under the Academic Affairs agenda item, Provost John Jones provided a brief update on the University’s retention initiative, a thrust which included the addition of four associate deans, two academic advising coordinators, and four additional academic advisors in the Freshman Academy to improve the advisor to advisee ratio.  Dr. Rhonda Moore Jackson, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) liaison, reported that AAMU is “on schedule” and working to ensure its compliance with all accreditation standards.

Faculty Senate President Jeanette Jones reported that faculty members have been able to consistently interact with AAMU President Daniel K. Wims and his Cabinet through monthly meetings.  Jones also addressed such topics as “flexible Fridays,” research incentives, the proposed science facility, mental health support systems, and other faculty-related matters.

The board approved: (1) the dedication of an ROTC classroom in Frank Lewis Gymnasium in honor of the late Captain Robert Milton King, a 1977 AAMU alumnus; (2) the amended operating agreement between AAMU and its Foundation; and several items relating to Student Affairs and Building and Grounds.

Under Student Affairs, the board approved a memorandum of understanding between AAMU’s social work program and Calhoun Community College; increasing work-study program hourly pay to $11; a disciplinary expungement policy; the naming of a Career Closet in honor of the late AAMU staffer Diann Greer; and expansion of the support animal policy.

Building and Grounds approvals entailed a master plan amendment; Hillcrest (old president’s home) building plan; renovations to Thomas and Grayson Halls; and tailgate plaza upgrades.

Trustee Nichelle Gainey will lead the board’s newly formed International Initiatives and Affairs subcommittee.  The board will meet again in June 2023.

- Jerome Saintjones