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Chancellor’s Update

We are in the final days of the fall semester.  Reading Day is Tuesday, December 6, followed by final examinations on December 7-13.  For those of you taking final exams for the first time in college, relax and take a deep breath.  You’ve got this!

Fall commencement is nearly here.  Congratulations to the nearly 750 undergraduates and 120 graduate students who will receive their degrees this month.

  • The graduate student ceremony is at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, December 16, in McKenzie Arena.  Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Jerold Hale will deliver the graduation charge.
  • Two undergraduate commencement ceremonies will be held on Saturday, December 17: College of Arts and Sciences/College of Engineering and Computer Science at 9 a.m. and Gary W. Rollins College of Business/College of Health, Education and Professional Studies at 1 p.m.  Dr. Michelle Deardorff, Adolph S. Ochs Professor of Government and Department Head of Political Science and Public Service, is the featured speaker for both ceremonies.

In advance, I would like to thank the faculty members who have agreed to serve as marshals during commencement and our staff who volunteered to help.  Having you there means the world to our graduates.  You truly make a difference in the lives of our students and have had a significant impact on them.  By preparing them for life after UTC, you help bring forth the best in our students in and beyond the classroom.  Thank you for everything you do.

A new chapter has begun in UTC’s commitment to enrich, engage and connect with the community on every possible level.  The Chancellor’s Community Council is an advisory group that will help UTC identify and find ways to better serve Chattanooga.  Those purposes include serving as a “think tank” to help forge strong relationships with the diverse Chattanooga community and making suggestions for enhancing knowledge of UTC programs and services for students.  I am very excited about the opportunities on the horizon.

I am excited about the addition of Brent Goldberg as UTC’s new vice chancellor for finance and administration.  Brent, an experienced chief financial officer with two degrees from UTC, officially assumes his new duties today after serving as the CFO for the City of Chattanooga.  Welcome back to UTC!

Leading up to Thanksgiving, our students, faculty and staff were involved in projects focused on helping others.

  • Students with the SGA led members of UTC administration and campus and city safety officials on a roughly three-mile walk around campus during two “Safety Walk” events to highlight concerns about sidewalk surfaces, pedestrian safety at traffic intersections, handicapped-accessible building entrances and sidewalk ramps, and the periphery of campus and adjacent areas.
  • The Percussion Ensemble held its annual “Beat Hunger” concert, which raises funds and food donations for the Chattanooga Community Kitchen.

Kudos to Dr. Emily Blackman and her staff in the Student-Athlete Academic Enhancement Center.  When Emily came to UTC in 2010, the Graduation Success Rate (GSR) for Mocs student-athletes—a measurement developed by the NCAA to more accurately quantify the success of Division I student-athletes as part of its academic reform initiative—stood at 48%.  In the NCAA’s latest announcement, Mocs student-athletes recorded a program-record GSR of 91%.  Figures released reflected graduation numbers among student-athletes who entered school in 2015; of the Mocs’ 13 measured programs, 10 scored a perfect 100% graduation rate and 11 beat the national average for their respective sport.  Congratulations to our student-athletes, coaches and academic support personnel for this remarkable achievement.

The UTC wrestling team home opener takes place next Saturday (December 10) when the Mocs welcome Iowa, ranked 2nd in the country, to McKenzie Arena for a 7 p.m. dual.  Tickets are free for students and are now on sale for everyone else on GoMocs.com.

A big “Go Mocs” to the volleyball team and first-year head coach Julie Torbett on advancing to the Southern Conference semifinal round.  The Mocs finished the season with an overall 17-16 record for their first winning mark since 2016.  The 17 wins were the most for a first-year head coach in program history.



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