A look at the fall 2017 semester was presented to the Henderson State University Board of Trustees Friday morning.

A look at the fall 2017 semester was presented to the Henderson State University Board of Trustees Friday morning.
According to Dr. Glen Jones, president of HSU, the university welcomed 619 first-time freshmen for the fall semester.
Jones reported there are 3,342 students attending Henderson for the fall semester. The number is down by 6.4 percent from the fall 2016 semester. There are approximately 497 graduate students, 1,454 students in residence halls and 203 students attending Henderson’s Hot Springs campus.
According to Jones, a large percentage of Henderson’s students are from Garland County. Because of Henderson’s partnership with National Park College, Jones said students from Hot Springs have the option of starting and finishing their college experience in Hot Springs.
In addition, Jones reported a fall retention rate of 64.5 percent.
“That’s the highest it has been in 10 years. That’s a very impressive number. It speaks to the efforts of our academic advisors and our faculty who are doing all they can to retain students,” said Jones.
In addition, the university’s four-year graduation rate is in an excess of 21 percent for the first time in several years, while the six-year graduation rate was 33.2 percent.
In regards to moving forward, Jones noted the university will look at its programs, its processes, its partners, its people, its promotion and its philanthropy.
Other items addressed:
• Brett Powell, vice president for finance and administration, reported that The Reddie Café dining area renovation was completed this summer.
“Working with the Student Government Association leadership, the space was re-designed to be more flexible and inviting to students,” said Powell.
The renovation included new flooring, fresh paint, the addition of cloud ceilings, adding a stage, and more comfortable seating. SGA hosted a grand re-opening during the first week of fall classes.
In addition, Powell said the third phase of renovation work on the old Caddo commenced this fall.
“The work will include finishing out the museum and display areas in the front of the building and is expected to be completed by summer 2018,” Powell said.
The project is being funded through an Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources grant.
Powell reported that several departments or programs have been relocated as a result of renovation of the Ross House.
“The STEM Center and Educational Renewal Zone offices have moved to the Ross House. The Ramsauer House has become the home of the Innovative Media program. The Harvey House will now be used for greek organization programming,” said Powell.
In addition, Powell reported that Smith Hall is undergoing some unexpected repairs.
“A section of brick fell from the building in late July as a result of a failed support. A number of other brick sections have been tested and reinforcing will be necessary to prevent additional failures,” Powell said.
A ventilation project has been completed in the Nursing Building to solve on-going moisture issues in the building during humid summer months.
• Trustees confirmed a request to name Dr. Richard “Dick" Jacobs, Jim Garland and Mr. Derek Webb as voting members of the Henderson State University Foundation Board. The terms are for four years and will expire on June 30, 2021.
• Multiple amendments were made to the university’s Staff Senate Constitution. The changes were made to better reflect the university’s current staff workforce and to better meet the Staff Senate’s role in the shared governance of the university.
• Trustees granted a request to offer the title of emeritus to Dr. Michael Miller, professor in the university’s communications and theatre arts department.

• A policy regarding animals on campus was approved.