Fall break is behind us and Thanksgiving will be here before we know it. As the semester is speeding by, I want to encourage everyone to take the time to participate in some of the many activities going on at UTC. There are talks, seminars, performances, athletic events, and community events going on every day, so take the time to meet new people and engage with our campus and community.
For example, over fall break, the UTC Diversity Advisory Council (DAC) held an important campus discussion on diversity and inclusion, Moving Our Campus (MOC) Forward: Exploring Inclusion as a Path to Excellence. Many faculty, staff, and students gave up their fall break to participate. Among the highlights were the opening keynote address by Ron Harris, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion at BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, and the closing address by our very own Dr. Richard Brown, Executive Vice Chancellor for Finance and Operations. The conference included presentations on topics such as the Importance of Diversity in the Curriculum, the Science of Skin Color and Talking About Race, Diversity and Inclusion in the Classroom. Openly discussing these subjects, even if some are a bit uncomfortable, is essential if we are to embrace diversity and inclusion as a path to excellence. Putting together a conference like MOCForward is not an easy task, and I want to thank the organizers and volunteers for their hard work.
Congratulations to Chloe Arnold, our freshman soccer player who was named the Player of the Week by the Tennessee Sports Writer’s Association. In a game against the Citadel, she scored two early goals then hit the game-winning Golden Goal in double overtime. Congratulations, Chloe!
Last week was Startup Week in Chattanooga. The recent Entrepreneurship Breakfast, organized and hosted by our College of Business, was part of Startup Week and a rousing success. An audience of more than 160 students listened to special guest Mitch Patel, founder and president of Vision Hospitality, which has built or is building 47 hotels in nine states. Mr. Patel engaged the audience with his personal story about his father immigrating from India with $8 in his pocket. Although he earned a degree in civil engineering from UTK, Mr. Patel said it was not his passion. He found his passion by quitting his job as a traffic engineer and building his first hotel.
The search for our new Vice Chancellor of Student Development is moving forward. Interviews with four finalists begin next week. In addition to meetings with specific groups and individuals on campus, each candidate will hold an open-forum discussion for the campus. We hope you will attend and ask questions. Information about the candidates and dates of their visits can be found at: https://www.utc.edu/chancellor/executive-searches/vice-chancellor-student-development-candidates.php.
In response to concerns about safety, the City of Chattanooga has installed new all-way stop signs at the intersection of Douglas and Oak streets, one of our busiest pedestrian crossings. We also are working with the city to create an additional pedestrian crosswalk at the State Office Building at 540 McCallie Avenue.