SFA hires research firm to conduct public affairs audit

A Virginia-based marketing research firm hired by the Stephen F. Austin State University Board of Regents Tuesday will conduct an audit of the institution’s marketing and communications initiatives this spring.

SimpsonScarborough was one of three firms that made presentations to the board’s finance and audit committee Monday morning, and the agency’s selection was approved by the full board Tuesday.

“We will receive a complete assessment of our marketing communications activities, along with recommendations for streamlining and increasing the efficiency and consistency of our efforts,” said Shirley Luna, executive director of public affairs and marketing for SFA.

The firm’s assessment will include a review of all relevant materials, two on-campus visits and travel expenses. The project is expected to be completed in approximately two months’ time.

“SimpsonScarborough has unmatched expertise and a reputation as the leader in higher education research and strategy,” Luna said. “The agency has provided consulting services for more than 1,000 colleges, universities and higher education associations throughout the United States, and their representatives frequently teach marketing, branding and media relations workshops at higher education conferences.”

Tom Hayes, vice president of SimpsonScarborough, is the author of “Marketing Colleges and Universities: A Services Approach,” which won the 2009 Alice L. Beeman Award for outstanding research from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

In other business, regents approved:
o an audit services report that included campus programs for minors, NCAA external financial compliance, the SFA Charter School, and the annual audit plan;
o review of the investment policy and strategy;
o qualified financial institutions and investment brokers;
o depository contracts with BancorpSouth, Citizens 1st Bank, Commercial Bank of Texas, First Bank and Trust of East Texas, Regions Bank and Wells Fargo Bank;
o outsourcing of insurance billing for health-clinic services to Vivature;
o acceptance of grant awards;
o revisions to policies; and
o submission of a renewal application for the SFA Charter School.

SFA Board of Regents approves faculty, staff changes

The Stephen F. Austin State University Board of Regents approved faculty and staff changes during its quarterly meeting Tuesday.

Faculty appointments include Jodene Pappas, librarian II, and Rebecca Parr, assistant professor of biology. Faculty changes of status include Sheila Lumar, from visiting assistant professor to assistant professor of human sciences; Brook Poston, from instructor to assistant professor of history; and William Bruton, from interim associate dean to associate dean of the College of Sciences and Mathematics.

The following staff appointments were approved for the Department of Athletics: James C. Harper, head football coach; Arlington Nunn, assistant head football coach; David Gibbs, Jake Taylor Morrison, Kevin Carberry, Harold Christopher Truax, Jeremy Moses, Devin Ducote, Nathan Paul Schneider, and Troy Rogers, all assistant football coaches; and Marie Flores, assistant track coach.

Other staff appointments include: David Gehrels, assistant director of career services; Olegario Madera, Gear Up outreach coordinator; John Handley, art gallery director; Brandi Engstrom, programmer/analyst I in information technology services; Osaro Airen, director of multicultural affairs; John Yerger, director of printing services; Kathryn Howell, Mirannda Lindberg, and Shea Roll, hall directors; and Michael Johnson, residence life program coordinator.

Staff changes of status approved Tuesday include: Laura Turner, from administrative assistant to coordinator of disability services support; Kevin Davis, from academic adviser to associate director of admissions; Monique Williams, from alumni scholarship coordinator to academic adviser; Charles Aston, from cultural heritage research assistant to cultural heritage research associate in the College of Liberal and Applied Arts; Dewain Ray Robberson, from maintenance mechanic supervisor to physical plant manager; and Allen Singleton, from building management system coordinator to assistant manager of the physical plant.

The Board of Regents also approved the following retirements: Janice Alexander, assessment director-elementary education; David Gundersen, professor of management in the Department of Management, Marketing and International Business; Dixie Mercer, professor of human services; Marthea Turnage, librarian IV; and Beverly Farmer, director of student activities.