UT President Reports Significant Progress in 2005

MEMPHIS — University of Tennessee President John Petersen recapped positive momentum in enrollment, private support, economic development and federal research activities in a report made to the UT Board of Trustees at its winter meeting held today.

Petersen said aggressive statewide fundraising efforts have resulted in $157 million in 2005, up from $80 million in 2004. New federal grants related to the nation-s priorities in homeland security, alternative fuel sources and emerging science and technologies led to $40 million in congressional funds in 2005, up from $18 million in 2004.

The board received drafts of the university-s statewide strategic plan that focuses on the mission and activities related to student access, student success, research and scholarship, outreach, economic development and globalization. Drafts will be formalized through the end of this fiscal year. Petersen said that higher education and state government have a critical responsibility to manage resources and seize opportunities that allow for delivery of the highest quality education.

-We teach the people who solve the problems and prepare the people who change the world,- he noted, referring to a recent national survey that found Americans identified education as a key solution provider.

He noted that ongoing discussions with the Tennessee General Assembly related to state appropriations will focus on remaining competitive and positioning the university to fulfill its core mission in educating students and driving the economy of Tennessee.

Board Chair Don Stansberry thanked Petersen for his nearly two years of service, saying his leadership has brought great credibility and great promise for the future of the university. Stansberry-s congratulations were met with applause by the board.

Other board actions:

— Authorized the administration to pursue purchase of the Metron property, 191 Metron Way, near the northwest end of the Knoxville campus. The building has more than 42,000 square feet of office space, 32,000 square feet of storage space and 354 parking spaces.

— Approved the university-s plan to expand the College of Pharmacy-s program in Knoxville by adding on to the Graduate School of Medicine building at UT Medical Center. The university will enter into a long-term lease with University Health Systems for the additions in which UT will pay for the building-s actual cost of construction and operational costs. The board approved a year ago an expansion of the program that will increase the college-s enrollment to 200 by the fall, up by 75 students. Construction is set to begin in late spring, with occupancy projected for March 2007.

— Approved by consent in the Advancement and Public Affairs committee updates to the university-s guidelines for Naming Opportunities and Endowments. The guidelines help to recognize donors through naming opportunities for endowments, colleges, schools, departments and programs. The board maintains authority to name all buildings, colleges, schools, departments and programs, and gives chancellors and the vice president of agriculture the ability to name interior spaces and grounds.

— Approved proposals for programs of study leading to separate degrees in electrical engineering and mechanical engineering at UT Chattanooga. The proposal makes two free-standing majors from one broad engineering curriculum. Local employers and students over the past 10 years have asked for additional depth in both areas, and the accrediting body prefers the new structure.

Contact: Karen Collins (865-974-5186 or 865-216-6862)