Board of Trustees makes preeminent decisions at annual meeting

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North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University’s Board of Trustees held their annual full body meeting on November 17 where many important decisions were made concerning the direction of the university moving forward.  Topics discussed in the meeting included the Chancellor’s male mentorship program, the student health center, university funding, enrollment, tuition, and the restructuring of the Political Science & Criminal Justice department.

Recently, it was announced that the university was planning on combining the Political Science department with the History department. Students and faculty of the Political Science department became offended by the news because they were not involved in the process. The Board of Trustees votes on every decision made during the meeting. Kayla Tate, Student Government Association President, Political Science student, and Trustee,  refrained from voting on the decision to restructure the department because it was a conflict of interest.

Chairman Timothy King opened up the floor for questions from any of the Trustees when the topic was being discussed. Although she could not vote, Tate expressed the frustrations of herself and her peers in the department. “We are very concerned about what is to happen with our department,” said Tate. “For us as Political Science students, it just alarmed us because we would have liked to have been a part of the process.” Since the department was not a part of the decision to restructure the departments, Trustee Bluford had proposed that the board delay the vote on making the decision. Chairman King denied the motion to delay, suggesting that the board move on with the original solution.

The Board of Trustees continued to vote in favor of the decision to combine the Political Science department with the History department which will be made effective on January 1, 2018. The departments will now be tilted the “History & Political Science department” and the “Criminal Justice department.” The Political Science students that were in attendance were disturbed by the decision and proceeded to leave the meeting. “I do think that it would have been beneficial for the vote to be delayed,” said senior Political Science and Journalism & Mass Communication student Braxton Brewington. “All of the people who are on the Board of Trustees and the people who made these decisions are not informed about Political Science.”

Chancellor Martin made his report during the meeting to speak on projects that are occurring at the university. He began a mentorship program for male students this year. “In one area we found that we were having a greater level of achieving challenges were with young men on our campus,” said Martin. “We created opportunities to have more dialogue with engaging students on our campus, young men in particular, who are having difficulty navigating the rigors of academic support on our campus.”

The mentorship program is entitled “Aggie Prep.” Men faculty members mentor male students through Athletics, Academics, and Student Support Services. The program currently consists of 26 mentors and 125 mentees. “We make time for them to talk about their success,” said Martin.

In addition to decision-making, the board announced various updates on the university. Currently, the university’s investment fund totals $67 million, enrollment of undergraduate students has increased by 33%, and an alumnus giving has increased by 60% since last year. For more information, visit the university’s website www.ncat.edu.

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