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Chancellor’s Update

Today is one of the most important dates of the year for our University.  On this date 136 years ago—September 15, 1886—Chattanooga University opened its doors for the first time.  The university had a teaching staff of seven, an enrollment of 118 students and was housed in one building named Old Main, located on the campus quadrangle near Founders, Hooper, and Race Halls.  We have come a long way.  Happy Founder’s Day!

As part of the Founder’s Week activities, I would like to cordially invite faculty, staff and students to my annual State of the University address, which will take place tomorrow (September 16) at noon at the Chamberlain Field Pavilion (LiveStream link).  Tours of our recently renovated Lupton and Hunter Halls will be available immediately following the State of the University address.

National Hispanic Heritage Month celebration kicks off today from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on the first floor of Lupton Hall.  Every year from September 15 to October 15 we celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month and honor the many contributions that have been made by those of Hispanic heritage with a variety of events, and I encourage you to participate in as many as your schedule allows.

Special thanks to everyone involved in event planning for Founder’s Week and Homecoming Week, which culminates with Saturday’s Homecoming football game against North Alabama at Finley Stadium.  Come out, sport your “Blue and Gold,” and support our student-athletes, Marching Mocs, Cheerleaders, Sugar Mocs, Ladies of GOLD and Scrappy.

Mocs Flock Finley is a campus tradition of welcoming new students to UTC football.  Before the 6 p.m. kickoff, freshmen and sophomore students are the guests of honor for food, fun and pre-game tailgating outside the First Horizon Pavilion before they get to run across the Finley Stadium football field.  All participants receive UTC freebies and are entered to win a grand prize.  This is such a fun event to watch!

Also on Saturday, the Marching Mocs’ annual Band Day will take place, an event that brings area high school band students to the game as VIP guests for a day.  Approximately 250 high school band members—and hopefully future Mocs—will engage in game day festivities, giving them a taste of what it is like to be in the UTC marching band.

Fresh off the excitement of Homecoming, the football team travels to Champaign, Illinois, next Thursday (September 22) to play in a nationally televised game against the University of Illinois.  The game will be shown on the Big Ten Network, carried by most major television providers.  Go Mocs!

Official campus enrollment numbers for the Fall 2022 semester have been recorded, with UTC seeing an increase in new freshman and new graduate students; however, the overall headcount at UTC this fall is down 1.5% with a total enrollment of 11,283 students.  As many of you know, our budget from the state is based on student FTE, not headcount.  The decrease of 1.3% (-132) student FTE presents us with a $2M budget challenge that will be addressed with one-time reductions for the current fiscal year.

It was a pleasure joining UT System President Randy Boyd on his visits to Cleveland High School and Central High School in Chattanooga earlier this week as part of his statewide tour promoting the UT Promise scholarship.

I want to congratulate staff and faculty who were recognized this week at our annual Service Awards Luncheon.  It is a pleasure to work with such exemplary people who work so hard to provide an outstanding educational experience for our students.

Mark your calendars for the third annual Mocs Give Day on Tuesday, October 4.  The Division of Advancement has a goal of 750 donor gifts in 24 hours to support the people and programs that make UTC unique.  There will be exciting matching gift opportunities and donor challenges throughout the day, meaning your gift can make even more of an impact.

UTC is proud to be one of the locations of the Kyiv City Ballet’s first-ever U.S. tour, with the members of the Ukrainian dance company performing on the nights of October 5-7 at the Fine Arts Center.  All ticket sales revenue for these shows goes directly to the Kyiv City Ballet; ticket sales help keep these artists financially solvent until they can return to their home country.  Tickets may be purchased at the Fine Arts Center box office or through the Fine Arts Center’s online ticket site.

A new student mentoring initiative aimed at helping active-duty service members, military veterans and their families successfully transition to college launched this fall.  The Veteran and Military Affairs Student Ambassador Program is designed for service members currently enrolled in classes at UTC, military veterans, dependents and spouses.

Finally, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and the UT system will occasionally distribute surveys on various topics, from student experience to campus climate to employee engagement.  Please take the time to participate when you receive one of these surveys.  Staff recently received an email from McLean & Company asking for participation in an Employee Engagement survey, and students will receive notice of a Student Engagement survey that opens the last week of September.  Please watch for these surveys and take part.  Your input is valuable and makes us better!


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