UALR Facilities Management and central Arkansas business leaders are helping grow the student body by supporting a new tuition supplement for maintenance workers who want to enroll in classes.
The construction managers and executives participated in the first UALR Facilities Education Scholarship Tournament, destined to be an annual event. The fund will supplement the employee tuition discount for groundskeepers, maintenance workers, and housekeepers.
“The tournament is all about providing the funds we need to make up the difference between the generous benefit that UALR already provides for tuition,” said Dave Millay, director of Facilities Management.
A committee of presidents, CEOs, and other administrators of local general contracting and engineering firms organized the tournament at Chenal Country Club on Tuesday, Sept. 27, drawing 37 four-person teams. Athletic Director Chris Peterson joined in, as did several professors from the College of Business and the Construction Management Department in the Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology.
Currently, 20 workers in Millay’s 155-employee division are taking higher education classes. UALR offers its employees a tuition discount, but it doesn’t cover the full cost of tuition, fees, and books.
“For some people, that $200 to $400 difference to take a class can make the difference between putting food on the table or paying the gas bill and taking a course to improve themselves,” Millay said. “The whole idea is to provide the funding we need to offer tuition assistance to make up that difference.”
Millay’s office surveyed employees to see if a tuition supplement would increase the number of workers interested in taking classes.
“We asked, ‘If you could take a class at UALR absolutely free, would you?’” Millay said. “Of the 92 responding, 70 percent said yes.”
Currently, the Facilities Management Scholarship Fund offers some assistance for application fees, testing fees, book vouchers, and other costs. The program also offers cash incentives for employees working toward a degree, offering $50 and $100 for maintaining a grade point average of 3.0 and 3.5.
Any full-time employee can apply for the scholarship. They must maintain a 2.0 for up to 30 credit hours and a 2.5 for more than 30 hours to maintain the scholarship.
Members of the UALR GolfFEST Tournament Committee and their affiliations were:
- David Sargent, Witsell Evans Rasco
- Lloyd Garrison, CDI Contractors
- David Porter, Polk Stanley Wilcox
- Mark Wright, Development Consultants, Inc.
- Alan Hope, Powers of Arkansas
- Clay Gordon, Nabholz Construction
- Vince Rodgers, UALR
- Mike McClellan, Trane Arkansas
- Ed Tinsley, TME, Inc.
- Bill Gray, Taggart Foster Currence Gray
- Greg Cockmon, Cromwell
- Van Tilbury, East Harding Construction
- Jake Nabholz, Nabholz Construction
- Dan Beranek, McClelland Engineers
- David Millay, UALR
- Tricia Strayhorn, UALR