Regents approve new board member, Blackboard software

Amanda Castro-Crist |Regent Michele Fortunato reviews the Amarillo Museum of Art calendar at the Aug. 26 board of regents meeting.
Amanda Castro-Crist |Regent Michele Fortunato reviews the Amarillo Museum of Art calendar at the Aug. 26 board of regents meeting.
Amanda Castro-Crist |Regent Michele Fortunato reviews the Amarillo Museum of Art calendar at the Aug. 26 board of regents meeting.

The Amarillo College board of regents approved Zachry Industrial Senior Vice President Daniel Henke as a new regent during their Sept. 23 meeting. Henke will take the seat former regent John Hicks left vacant four months ago.

Regent Michele Fortunato was part of the committee that selected Henke as the main candidate for the board’s approval.

“He has a real strong background in industry, which ties to what we’re doing in power and energy,” Fortunato said.

Board President Don Nicholson agreed.

“We needed somebody strong in industry, degree-wise as well as in work experience,” he said.

Henke is a former AC student who obtained his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at Texas Tech University and his master’s degree in business administration at West Texas A&M University.

Nicholson said Henke is active in the community, which he said is important because the board needed somebody who knows what’s going on.

The new regent’s term will end in May 2015, and he will go through an election to see if he’ll continue on the board.

“We look forward to working with him,” Nicholson said.

Also approved was the purchase and implementation of Blackboard Learning Analytics.

The software costs $122,000 and should provide students an online overview of course success, faculty an overview of student efforts and administrators the ability to help students with their own learning style.

President Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart said the student learning module is the first in a series that will be included over time.

“It will take us three to four months to learn it and to implement it, so we may not see the outcome until spring semester,” Lowery-Hart said. “I’m hopeful that it will allow us to make the data we have more useful and user-friendly.”

An additional subject approved by the board was a complete elevator modernization at Lynn Library.

The purchase will cost $310,000 and includes a complete digital, controlled system. Both cabs will be renovated.

The next regents meeting will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 28 in room 103 of the Hinkson Campus at 1115 W. 15th Street in Hereford.

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