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Chattanooga, TN (UTC/The Loop) -

 

 

 

Should Assault Rifles and High Capacity Magazines be Banned?

WASHINGTON (AP/theloop) — Braced for a fight, President Barack Obama on Wednesday unveiled the most sweeping proposals for curbing gun violence in two decades, pressing a reluctant Congress to pass universal background checks and bans on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines like the ones used in the Newtown, Conn., school shooting.

A month after that horrific massacre, Obama also used his presidential powers to enact 23 measures that don’t require the backing of lawmakers. The president’s executive actions include ordering federal agencies to make more data available for background checks, appointing a director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and directing the Centers for Disease Control to research gun violence.

But the president, speaking at White House ceremony, focused his attention on the divided Congress, saying only lawmakers could enact the most effective measures for preventing more mass shootings.

“To make a real and lasting difference, Congress must act,” Obama said. “And Congress must act soon.”

The president vowed to use “whatever weight this office holds” to press lawmakers into action on his $500 million plan. He is also calling for improvements in school safety, including putting 1,000 police officers in schools and bolstering mental health care by training more health professionals to deal with young people who may be at risk.

The National Rifle Association promptly took issue with Obama’s proposals, and even supportive lawmakers said the president’s gun control measures face long odds in Congress.

“Attacking firearms and ignoring children is not a solution to the crisis we face as a nation,” the NRA said in a statement. “Only honest, law-abiding gun owners will be affected and our children will remain vulnerable to the inevitability of more tragedy.”

House Speaker John Boehner’s office was non-committal to the president’s package, but signaled no urgency to act on the legislative proposals. “House committees of jurisdiction will review these recommendations,” Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said. “And if the Senate passes a bill, we will also take a look at that.”

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy said ahead of Obama’s presentation that he didn’t know whether an assault weapons ban could pass the Senate, but said there are some measures that can, such as improved background checks.

“There are some who say nothing will pass. I disagree with that,” Leahy, D-Vt., told students at Georgetown University Law Center. “What I’m interested in is what we can get.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., called Obama’s package “thoughtful recommendations” and said the Senate would consider legislation addressing gun violence early this year.

“The tragedy at Sandy Hook was just the latest sad reminder that we are not doing enough to protect our citizens – especially our children – from gun violence and a culture of violence, and all options should be on the table moving forward,” he said.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus dismissed Obama’s measures as “an executive power grab.”

“He paid lip service to our fundamental constitutional rights,” Priebus said of the president, “but took actions that disregard the Second Amendment and the legislative process.”

Acknowledging the tough fight ahead, Obama said there will be pundits, politicians and special interest groups that will seek to “gin up fear” that the White House wants to take away the right to own a gun.

“Behind the scenes, they’ll do everything they can to block any commonsense reform and make sure nothing changes whatsoever,” he said. “The only way we will be able to change is if their audience, their constituents, their membership says this time must be different, that this time we must do something to protect our communities and our kids.”

The president was flanked by children who wrote him letters about gun violence in the weeks following the Newtown shooting. Families of those killed in the massacre, as well as survivors of the shooting, were also in the audience, along with law enforcement officers and congressional lawmakers.

“This is our first task as a society, keeping our children safe,” Obama said. “This is how we will be judged.”

Seeking to expand the impetus for addressing gun violence beyond the Newtown shooting, the president said more than 900 Americans have been killed by guns in the month since the elementary school massacre.

“Every day we wait, the number will keep growing,” he said.

The White House has signaled that Obama could launch a campaign to boost public support for his proposals. Nearly six in 10 Americans want stricter gun laws in the aftermath of the Newtown shooting, with majorities favoring a nationwide ban on military-style, rapid-fire weapons and limits on gun violence depicted in video games, movies and TV shows, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll.

A lopsided 84 percent of adults would like to see the establishment of a federal standard for background checks for people buying guns at gun shows, the poll showed.

The president based his proposals on recommendations from an administration-wide task force led by Vice President Joe Biden. His plan marks the most comprehensive effort to address gun violence since Congress passed the 1994 ban on high-grade, military-style assault weapons. The ban expired in 2004, and Obama wants lawmakers to renew and expand it.

Other measures Obama wants Congress to take up include limiting high-capacity ammunition magazines and requiring background checks for all gun buyers in an attempt to close the so-called “gun-show loophole” that allows people to buy guns at trade shows and over the Internet without submitting to background checks.

Obama also intends to seek confirmation for B. Todd Jones, who has served as acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives since 2011.

The president’s plan does little to address violent images in video games, movies and entertainment, beyond asking the CDC to study their impact on gun crimes. Some pro-gun lawmakers who are open to addressing stricter arms legislation have insisted they would do so only in tandem with recommendations for addressing violence in entertainment.

The president’s long list of executive orders also include:

— Ordering tougher penalties for people who lie on background checks and requiring federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.

— Ending limits that make it more difficult for the government to research gun violence, such as gathering data on guns that fall into criminal hands.

— Requiring federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.

— Giving schools flexibility to use federal grant money to improve school safety, such as by hiring school resource officers.

— Giving communities grants to institute programs to keep guns away from people who shouldn’t have them.

_

Associated Press writers Ken Thomas and Jim Kuhnhenn contributed to this report.

 

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

Suspect Arrested in Robbery Near Campus

Chattanooga, TN (The Loop) –  With the assistance of the Chattanooga Fugitives and Property Crime Division working in conjunction with the UTC Police Department, an arrest was made in connection with the armed robbery that occurred this past weekend. The suspect also was charged with a second armed robbery that occurred near campus.

Although this suspect has been apprehended, law enforcement officials continue to search for another suspect in the Saturday evening robbery.

Remember to be aware of your surroundings and take steps to protect yourself. If you are a victim of a crime or have information about a crime, contact the UTC Police immediately.

Remember these other campus safety tips.

To contact UTCPD for help or to report a crime in progress; you may use any of the following options:

  • Pick up a Blue Light Phone from any location
  • From a campus Red Phone – dial 911
  • From a cell phone (423) 425-4357. Consider adding this number to your cell phone’s quick dial list.
  • Call 911 from a safe location to reach local police.

Remember these very important tips:

  • Trust your instincts. If you sense that something is wrong, get away from the situation. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
  • Don’t let strangers into your apartments, and don’t go into strangers’ apartments.
  • Please keep apartment doors looked.
  • Report suspicious activity and vandalism immediately.

If you are held up:

  • Don’t resist. No amount of money is worth taking chances with your life.
  • Notify the campus police or local police immediately.
  • Try to give a description that includes approximate age, height, weight, and details on hair, clothing, jewelry, scars, tattoos – anything that is noticeable.

 Where you live: 

  • Keep your doors and windows locked day and night. Don’t let strangers in. Ask to see proper identification.
  • If you are not expecting a service worker, call UTC Police to dispatch anofficer to investigate.
  • Don’t leave a door unlocked for someone planning to come back later.

UTC Homecoming Kick-off; Court Nominees Announced

By UTC Staff

Chattanooga, TN (UTC/The Loop) – The 2012 Homecoming celebration is underway at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Organizers moved the kick-off pep rally from outdoors at Heritage Plaza to indoors in the Tennessee Room because of the threat of rain.

Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger announced Sept 17th through Sept 22nd UTC Homecoming Week in Hamilton County. The celebration was capped with the announcement of the UTC Homecoming Court.

Queen Candidates:

  • Chatrice Barnes
  • Caroline Dale
  • BayLee Long
  • Kaila Warren
  • Dacey Winkleman

Top Moc Candidates:

  • Terrence Banks
  • Bradley Bell
  • Justin Huggins
  • Colton Sadler
  • Matt Wayne

For complete information on the 2012 Homecoming week, click here.

Dr. Bogue Announced Interim Chancellor for UTC

Chattanooga, TN (UTC/The Loop) – UT President Dr. Joe DiPietro announced who will take the place of Dr Roger Brown as interim chancellor at UTC. Here is that email.

UT Chattanooga Leadership Change
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Chancellor Roger Brown notified UTC faculty and staff earlier today that personal circumstances have led him to decide to leave his post earlier than initially planned.In discussing his need to retire at the end of September, Dr. Brown and I have agreed on arrangements that best accommodate his personal circumstances and our priority on ensuring continued and effective leadership for the Chattanooga campus.On Sept. 20, Dr. Grady Bogue will become UTC’s interim chancellor, and Dr. Brown will be on paid administrative leave until his retirement, effective Sept 30.

Dr. Bogue was a professor of leadership and policy studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville from 1991 until his retirement earlier this year. He was chancellor of Louisiana State University in Shreveport from 1980-1991, was interim chancellor for one year at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, and named chancellor emeritus of LSU Shreveport by the LSU Board of Trustees in 1991. Dr. Bogue was chief academic officer for the Tennessee Higher Education Commission from 1974 to 1980. Prior to joining THEC, Dr. Bogue was on the administrative staff at the University of Memphis for 10 years.

Dr. Bogue earned the first doctoral degree granted by the University of Memphis, from which he also earned a master’s degree, and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics.

In considering Dr. Bogue for this interim post, I sought advice and received strong support for his appointment from UTC leadership, Board of Trustees members, the Chair of the UC Foundation Executive Committee, and members of the Chattanooga community.

Their support for Dr. Bogue – and his broad and varied background including heading campuses within the LSU system, in higher education policy with THEC, and as graduate faculty in higher education leadership at our Knoxville campus – was unanimous.

Dr. Bogue has agreed to serve as UTC’s interim chancellor until a permanent successor takes office. As a condition of his appointment, he has agreed not to be a candidate for the permanent position. The search process was launched at the end of August and is expected to have a new chancellor in place by summer 2013.

While I regret the circumstances that hasten Dr. Brown’s departure, I support his decision.

Chancellor Brown has guided UTC through a period of major growth and significant milestones including the institution’s 125th anniversary and record-high enrollments. Among the strengths that enhanced his effectiveness are his understanding of the Chattanooga community and its unique and strong attachment to UTC. Chancellor Brown has recognized and appreciated the value of the community’s care and concern. As a result, he and the city of Chattanooga worked together and now have a better university to show for it.

Dr. Brown led UTC even as he faced the loss of his beloved wife, Carolyn Thompson. I’m grateful for his strength and courage through that difficult time. Having discussed with me his personal health challenges and his belief that it is in both his and UTC’s best interests that a change of leadership – even for an interim period – be made now, Chancellor Brown sought to work with me to best facilitate his immediate retirement.

He, I, and Dr. Bogue, along with the Chattanooga community, all share a commitment to ensuring UTC’s continued progress and prosperity.

Dr. Bogue is clear on his task of guiding the campus through this transition, and I’m confident he will do so with a calm and steady hand. UTC is an important and valued member of the University family, and I will be closely engaged throughout this interim period and chancellor search.

Chancellor Brown and I will host a press conference to discuss these developments at 1 pm today in the Chattanooga Room of the University Center. UTC faculty and staff are welcome to attend the press conference. If you can’t attend but would like to watch the live webcast, please go to this link.

UTC faculty and staff also are invited to visit with Chancellor Brown, Dr. Bogue and me during an informal coffee, also in the UC Chattanooga Room, at 2 pm.

Brown to Step Down Earlier as UTC Chancellor

Chattanooga, TN (UTC/The Loop) — UTC Chancellor Roger Brown will step down sooner that first announced and Dr. Grady Bogue will take over as interim chancellor.

In June, Brown had said he would retire in spring 2013 or when his replacement was found. Now Brown says the loss of his wife took a greater toll than he first realized and he will step down September 20th to make way for an interim chancellor.

In an email, UT President Joe DiPietro announced that retired UT professor Dr Grady Bogue will temporarily take Dr. Brown’s place. Dr. Bogue was a professor of leadership and policy studies at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville from 1991 until his retirement earlier this year.

Here is the letter released to UTC staff:

Dear Colleagues, As many of you know, this has been a particularly difficult year for me personally. The death of my wife Carolyn was a severe blow. I now realize that my emotional and physical health demand that I take some time to heal, reflect, and prepare for the next challenge in my life.  Therefore, I have decided to retire earlier than I previously announced. My last day on the staff of UTC will be September 30, but I will welcome the Interim Chancellor and be on administrative leave as of September 20.

 

This decision has not been made lightly. It has been a privilege to serve as Chancellor of this campus, and I will miss the interactions with all of you, faculty, staff, and students. No one knows better than I what we have at UTC—a tremendous group of talented and dedicated people who work very hard to make this campus great. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this blue and gold family.

 

I have been fortunate to receive comfort and support from so many of you. Words cannot express my sincere gratitude. The friendships and the experiences that I have enjoyed here will be with me forever. My best wishes to each of you.  

 
  Sincerely, Roger G. Brown
Chancellor

UT President Reacts to UTC Chancellor’s Retirement

Update June 8 3:30pm

University leaders are reacting to news that UTC Chancellor Roger Brown has decided to retire.

Here is the release from UT President Joe DiPietro:

After a successful career in higher education including a dynamic and productive seven years at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Chancellor Roger Brown informed me earlier today of his plans to retire.

I have enjoyed working with him since 2006, when he and I both were chancellors. As chancellor, Roger has done an excellent job leading UT Chattanooga and ensuring its success in fulfilling a mission that is vital to the city, the region, and the state.

He is a proud UT alumnus, and his rapport with the community has established a solid foundation for future opportunities. I know community leadership will join us – both in reluctance to see him go and in wishing Roger the very best going forward.

June 8 1:30pm

Here is the information released by email to UTC staff Friday afternoon:

Dear Campus Colleagues,

 

As all of you know, this has been a tremendously difficult year for me personally, and yet, throughout all of the ups and downs, Carolyn and I received so much love and support from our campus and community families. You will never know how important this has been for me.

 

And that is why I wanted to make sure you received this announcement from me personally as soon as I was able to let you know that I have decided to retire from the position of Chancellor of this wonderful campus.

 

It has truly been a privilege to work at UTC and to be welcomed in the hearts of so many. From the beginning, Carolyn and I felt the friendship and warmth from both the campus and the community. As many of you know, we had already begun to make arrangements to retire and make Chattanooga our home, and I certainly plan to still do so.

 

With the search for a new provost already in the hatching stage, this year already promised to be a busy one. After talking to President DiPietro, we have agreed that the search for a new chancellor should take precedence so that the new leader can have input into the selection of a new provost. With that idea in mind, I anticipate that President DiPietro will name a chancellor search committee soon with the hope of having a new chancellor in place in spring 2013. I have agreed to remain in place until a new chancellor can be sworn in or until March 31, 2013.

 

Given this timetable, I suspect that a provost search for this campus will begin a little later than earlier reported, perhaps mid-fall semester, with the thought being that final provost candidates could be identified soon after a new chancellor is selected. This would allow for President DiPietro’s wish that the new chancellor be involved in the provost selection.

 

I realize that this announcement comes while many of you are away for the summer, and I wish I could tell each of you individually, but that is just not possible.

 

In closing, there is still much to be done this year. All indications point to another record enrollment this fall. Construction projects are spread across campus. Our retention rates are improving. New academic programs have launched and others are in the works.

 

I appreciate all you do for our students and I pledge to do everything in my power to keep the Chattanooga spirit of achievement strong as I prepare to relinquish the reins to a new leader in the spring.

 

We shall achieve!

 

Sincerely,

Roger Brown

 

 

 

 

UTC Provost Oldham to be named TN Tech President

Chattanooga, TN (UTC/The Loop) — UTC Provost Phil Oldham will apparently be named the new president of Tennessee Tech.

According to a report published on the Tech website, Oldham is recommended for approval by the Tennessee Tech Board of Trustees.

Here is that release:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (May 2, 2012) – Philip Oldham is expected to be named the next president to lead Tennessee Technological University pending approval by the Tennessee Board of Regents on Friday.

The Board will meet via telephone at 10:30 a.m. CDT on Friday, May 4, to consider TBR Chancellor John Morgan’s recommendation for Oldham to replace Bob Bell, who will retire from TTU on July 1 after leading the campus for 12 years. Oldham currently serves as provost and senior vice chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

“Dr. Oldham will lead TTU with a commitment to academic integrity, student success and public accountability,” said Morgan. “He has outstanding credentials and is well respected among his colleagues and peers nationwide, and I am pleased to recommend him as the next president for Tennessee Tech University.”

Oldham was selected after an extensive nationwide search that began earlier this year.

He has served the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga since 2007 and has had advisory or direct responsibility for almost every area of university operations. His prior experience was at Mississippi State University, where he joined as a faculty member and held various positions, departing as dean of Arts and Sciences before moving to UTC.

At UTC Oldham has served as the chief academic officer with direct responsibility for all academic and research programs at the university as well as the library, admissions, financial aid, records, institutional research and planning, and partnerships and sponsored programs, among other offices. While there he led efforts to improve the university’s first-year retention rates, which jumped 12 percent in two years.

Along with a number of professional awards, publications and presentations, Oldham is the joint owner of two patents for research-related projects. He has also been solely or partially responsible for some $4.2 million in research funding provided by government agencies and private industry.

Oldham holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Freed-Hardeman University and earned the Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from Texas A&M University. His full resume is available at http://tinyurl.com/poldham.

TTU, which is governed by the TBR, is located in Cookeville and enrolls almost 12,000 students in more than 60 programs of study, including doctoral degrees in engineering, environmental sciences and exceptional learning. The university is recognized by the state for its unique mission as the state’s only technological university and for outstanding programs in engineering, the sciences, and related areas. TTU also provides strong programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, agriculture and human ecology, nursing, music, art and interdisciplinary studies. Tennessee Tech serves students from throughout the state, nation, and many other countries, but it retains a special commitment to enrich the lives of people and communities in the Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee.

The May 4 meeting is open to the public and the press as listeners. Those wishing dial-in information for the call should contact Monica Greppin-Watts at monica.greppin-watts@tbr.edu or 615-366-4417 before 4:30 p.m. May 3. Anyone with a disability who wishes to participate should use the same contact to request services needed to facilitate attendance. Contact may be made in person, by writing, by e-mail, by telephone or otherwise and should be received no later than 4:30 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, May 2.

The TBR is the nation’s sixth largest higher education system, governing 46 post-secondary educational institutions, including TTU. The TBR system includes six universities, 13 two-year colleges and 27 technology centers, providing programs in 90 of Tennessee’s 95 counties to more than 200,000 students.

Bees Swarm Part of UTC Campus

Chattanooga, TN (UTC/The Loop) – UTC Safety and Risk Management personnel and a beekeeper are monitoring a swarm of bees located between Davenport and Frist Halls.

Please avoid the area if possible.  This situation has called for cordoning an area around several cars.  If you are the owner of one of these cars, please call UTC Campus Police for assistance at 425-4357.

Update: UTC Engineering Building Re-Opened After Fire

Update from Chuck Cantrell, University Relations

EMCS reopened. Classes resume at 1 p.m.

From Chuck Cantrell, University Relations

The EMCS Building is currently evacuated. A small fire has been extinguished by Chattanooga Fire Department. The building is being ventilated to remove smoke and will reopen soon. Text and email messages will be sent when the building reopens.