Faculty Senate discusses export control, updates

By Jamie Alvord
On February 3, 2014

Faculty Senate met Friday to discuss updates on the development of the osteopathic school and further implications of international regulations for the university. Jason Penry, vice chancellor for university advancement, summarized advancements on bringing an osteopathic school to A-State.

The addition of an osteopathic school would provide ASU students an opportunity to progress with their education along with giving them with health care access.

Osteopathic medicine provides all of the benefits of modern medicine including prescription drugs, surgery and the use of technology to diagnose disease and evaluate injury, according to the American Association of Colleges in Osteopathic Medicine.

Penry said the university has been in contact with the New York Institute for Osteopathic Medicine.

“They are in good financial footing, are well respected and have been around a long time,” he said.

“Talk has been made of building a new facility, using open slots on campus or using a facility off campus, but it is still up in the air,” Penry added. “This will be a great opportunity for students in ASU, or prospective students coming into ASU. It has the opportunity to be a total game changer, not just for the university, but also for the community.”

The idea was originally proposed in 2009 when the Arkansas Osteopathic Medical Associate came to Jonesboro to meet with professors.

Serious discussion began in mid-2010, but was abandoned in lieu of the $25 million price tag.

Discussion has been reopened as A-State has been met with more offers for the program and found statistics revealing benefits that come with adding a medical school to campus.

Study inquiries into the benefits will be finalized Tuesday.

Faculty senators also raised the issue of export control, which deals with the regulation of release of goods and technologies that affect U.S. security or foreign policy interests.

As colleges and universities enroll international students, send professors abroad to research or study, hire international faculty or develop advanced technologies on campus, compliance must be maintained with U.S. information export control laws.

“These are not new rules, just newly enforced ones,” said Katie Prescott, associate university counsel.

However, personal security concerns must also be addressed when considering the implications of information monitoring.

“To what extent does this reach?” Warren Johnson, associate professor of French, asked. “To what extent is the university going to monitor my email?”

Prescott said there is no firewall up to protect university emails from hackers.

“This is why it is so important to be your own keeper. You will just have to know the laws because there is no one going through your emails,” Prescott said.

She also said these rules are not put into place to keep faculty from branching out, but to comply with federal laws.

“I know it is a lot to get your arms around but we are doing our best to get everyone caught up,” she said.

Changes to the Academic Calendar dealing with processing foreign students have not reached an immediate result.

These changes will deal with the amount of time after Christmas that students will remain on break.

“We have become more efficient with processing foreign students,” said Lynita Cooksey, vice chancellor and provost. “We are moving a little faster. Transcripts can now be done electronically, so we are no longer waiting on a paper trail.”

The changes to the academic calendar will be voted on in the next meeting at 3 p.m. on Feb. 7., on the top floor of the Delta Center for Economic Development.

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