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Saint Augustine’s University announces spending reductions

(Raleigh, NC) – Today, in a meeting with all faculty and staff, Interim President Everett Ward announced a plan to strengthen the financial stability of the University. The plan includes a personnel reduction resulting from an organizational restructure and realignment of duties and a weeklong furlough in July. In addition, some campus facilities will be closed over the summer to reduce energy costs. These decisions are all related to the necessary steps for a stronger financial picture.

The personnel reduction, which is effective immediately, will include certain positions being eliminated and some personnel moving from a 12-month schedule a 10-month schedule. This new schedule will be effective May 29 until August 1. The eliminated positions reflect only 4% of the total workforce and the employees with the adjusted schedules reflect 10% of the total workforce.

The furlough, which will take place after summer school, will be July 7-12 for all employees, except essential personnel such as campus security and the Office of Student Health. During the furlough, some departments such as admissions, financial aid and business and finance will be on alternate furlough schedules to ensure continued recruitment and service to our campus community.

All grant funded summer youth programs will be supported over the summer such as Upward Bound, the Collegiate Success Institute and Educational Talent Search.

These actions will result in an immediate cost savings to the institution of approximately $360,000 and a long-term cost savings of approximately $680,000 for a total savings of little more than $1 million.

“These types of decisions are never easy and I have the utmost respect for each and every one of our employees. Although we have identified other areas to improve our financial efficiency without compromising the needs of our students, the personnel decisions were necessary as these expenses represent the largest part of the university’s annual budget. This was a difficult decision, but essential for the long-term financial health of Saint Augustine’s University,” said Interim President Everett B. Ward.

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About Saint Augustine’s University

Saint Augustine’s University, established in 1867, is a four-year liberal arts university in Raleigh, N.C. With an average annual enrollment of 1,500, the University offers 25 undergraduate degree programs in five academic divisions. Saint Augustine’s University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The school’s name and status changed from Saint Augustine’s College to Saint Augustine’s University August 1, 2012.

Men’s Track & Field Team are national champions…Again!

The Saint Augustine’s University men’s track & field team received a hero’s welcome on campus Tuesday, May 27, 2014.

Interim President Everett B. Ward and the campus community honored the Falcons, who captured the NCAA Division II Outdoor Championship over the weekend to match the NCAA Indoor Title they won in March 2014. The men’s track & field team is the two-time Division II national indoor and outdoor champion.

The ceremony took place in front of the Prezell R. Robinson Library on campus. A throng of supporters including faculty, staff and students in addition to a horde of media members gathered near the library steps and listened to Interim President Ward praise the track & field team, which is led by Athletic Director and Head Coach George Williams.

The legendary head coach, standing on the steps behind the podium with Interim President Ward and the track & field team, gave a brief speech before the team members introduced themselves. The celebration concluded with Interim President Ward receiving a championship hat and a championship watch from Coach Williams. Both the indoor and outdoor championship trophies were on display.

“The celebration was good for the student-athletes because they had never been honored like this before,” said Williams, the 2014 CIAA Athletic Director of the Year and 2014 four-time CIAA Coach of the Year who has guided the SAU track & field program to 35 NCAA Division II national titles. “It lets them know that somebody cares. It will encourage them to work even harder academically, athletically and live a controlled social life.”

Food off the grill was served following the championship celebration as team members mingled with the crowd. Ty’reak Murray (Sr./Portsmouth, VA), the 2014 Division II outdoor 110 hurdles and indoor 60 hurdles men’s national champion, was impressed with the event.

“I enjoyed the environment,” Murray said. “To actually go up there (on the steps) and be recognized was good.”

Roxroy Cato, the second-ranked men’s 400 hurdler in the world, says it was neat to see the track & field team highlighted for their accomplishments.

“To get the recognition was good,” said Cato, the 2014 men’s Division II national 400 hurdles champion. “I enjoyed the moment.”

Saint Augustine's University wins four CIAA team highest GPA honors

Saint Augustine’s University captured the CIAA Team Highest Grade Point Average Award in baseball, football, women’s basketball and women’s volleyball for the 2013-2014 athletic season, the conference office announced on May 19.

“This is what athletics is all about,” Saint Augustine’s University Athletic Director and Legendary Track & Field Head Coach George Williams said about the honors. “Academics first, athletics second and a controlled social life third.”

Saint Augustine’s University won four Team Highest GPA honors, which is the second highest in the CIAA this season. The baseball team boasted an average of 3.09 while the football team won with a 2.75 average. The women’s volleyball team recorded a 3.36 average and the women’s basketball team achieved a 3.24 average. The student-athletes of the respective sports garnered academic success under the guidance of Head Coaches Rachel Bullard (Women’s Basketball), Nikki Bynum Bumpass (Women’s Volleyball), Michael Costa (Football) and Charles Whitaker (Baseball). The award is based on the overall GPAs of the returning players from the previous season throughout the conference.

The accolade was the fourth in five seasons for the football and women’s volleyball teams. The football team took its second consecutive award and the women’s volleyball squad won its third straight honor. This is the second award in four years for the baseball team and the fifth straight for the women’s basketball team.

Lauretta Ihenatu is a Falcon on the Move!

Lauretta Ihenatu, a senior biology major from Charlotte, N.C., has been accepted into the East Carolina School of Dental Medicine’s Preparing Tomorrow’s Dentists Summer Program. This program, which will be held June 2-4, is designed for pre-dental students. It is a unique gateway into the dental pipeline for underrepresented minority students. The format of the program will include an overview of the freshman year in dental school, hands-on lab experiences, seminars in time management and test-taking skills and more.

Ihenatu, an Honors College student, was also awarded two travel grants that will allow her to present her research, “Evaluating Screening Methods for Salt Tolerance in Soybeans.” She will to go to Portland, Ore. to attend the American Society of Plant Biologists conference scheduled July 11 through July 17, and to Vancouver, Canada for the 25th International Conference on Arabidopsis Research from July 27 to August 1. Both awards are all-expenses paid opportunities.

Congratulations Lauretta!

Lab equipment will help students excel in research

The School of Sciences, Mathematics and Engineering held a workshop titled “Faculty Instrumentation (HPLC) Workshop” on May 7. The workshop was led by Mr. Ted Root of JSP Instrumentation and Controls, LLC.

The purpose of the workshop was to train all science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) faculty on the proper use and maintenance of High Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) Instrumentation. HPLC is an analytical technique used for the separation of compounds and small soluble molecules in a particular solvent. HPLC has contributed to analytical solutions in diverse fields such as pharmaceuticals, food science, life sciences, environmental sciences, forensics, etc.

“Students will be trained on these instruments and will come away with laboratory skills that will prove very useful for immediate employment in diagnostic laboratories that employ HPLC equipment for qualitative and quantitative analysis and product development,” said Mark Melton, associate professor of biology and dean of the School of Sciences, Mathematics and Engineering. “Additionally, the training will be useful in graduate and professional school programs that require implementation of the instruments in research.”

Two HPLC instruments are now housed in the School of Sciences, Mathematics and Engineering’s Instrumentation Analysis Laboratory, which were donated by FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies, USA, Inc. The instruments, if they were purchased new, are valued at $120,000. The two HPLC instruments and other equipment were donations to the School as a result of an ongoing partnership/collaboration between Dr. Melton and Professor Alieu Wurie with JSP Instrumentation and Controls, LLC.

Each faculty member received a Certificate of Participation for their attendance at the workshop.

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