Photo courtesy of MTSU News
Story by Aaliyah Johnson / Contributing Writer
MTSU President Sidney McPhee kicked off the 2017 fall semester with the State of the University address Thursday at the Tucker Theater on campus. McPhee recapped highlights of the school from past years, celebrated achievements the university has received and shared his vision of the coming future.
He began by recognizing the deans and members of the President’s Cabinet, honoring them by name and college and recognizing the Board of Trustees.
McPhee said that “as our Board (gains) even better understanding of our great institution,” they will “help us shape our ability (and) make new opportunities” at MTSU.
McPhee went on to acknowledge campus achievements from each college, discussing the recent addition of several new degree programs being offered in the fall of 2017, such as Fermentation Science, Religious Studies, Africana Studies and Dance, as well as some additions to Audio Production, Journalism and Video and Film Production.
In addition, both the undergraduate track and masters track for Criminal Justice have been extended to be fully online.
In the College of Basic and Applied Science, the Tennessee Highway Patrol has adopted an interview process for new cadets designed by MTSU’s Center for Organizational and Human Resource Effectiveness, according to McPhee.
McPhee touted the successes of the debate team and the awards of the Jones College of Business as well.
In the latter half of the address, McPhee discussed certain points regarding the university’s budget and salary changes.
Tuition and fees will likely be raised by 3.9 percent to cover salary increases and to account for inflation, according to McPhee. He said that even though the school’s budget is not where they want it to be, the university remains Tennessee’s most efficient producer of university graduates. MTSU students, on average, receive their degrees with fewer tax dollars, according to McPhee.
McPhee addressed the recent construction between Bell Road and Middle Tennessee Boulevard, which is approximately halfway complete. He said the expected outcome will be a gated campus and a tree line entry into campus with the target completion date being December, 2018.
In addition to the new entry, construction of a new fermentation lab for the new Fermentation Sciences major and a new building for the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences with more classrooms and labs is in development.
In closing, President McPhee acknowledged the once in a lifetime phenomenon that happened on campus Monday. The Great Solar Eclipse event welcomed nearly 10,000 visitors to MTSU’s campus, was nationally televised by over 200 stations across the country and NASA had designated MTSU as one of the few official viewing sites in Tennessee, according to McPhee.
“All of us are responsible for the success of the students that come to this university,” McPhee said. “I want to thank you for your dedication, thank you for hard work and, as always, I hope you all will remain true blue.”
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