Last Thursday we moved over 1,400 new students into the residence halls during OPERATION MOVE-IN. This was in addition to the 859 students who moved in earlier last week. I want to thank the faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community friends who volunteered to help our students and their families. You did a magnificent job!
Move-in is a wonderful opportunity to welcome our students to UTC and for the volunteers to see the excitement on the faces of our new students and understand what families are going through as their students begin college. I know every family appreciated the help all of our volunteers provided. I was on the south campus and found my trips to the third floor of Guerry to be rewarding and tiring. I had no idea Guerry has no elevator! We had a few issues that we will work on for next year, but overall, OPERATION MOVE-IN was a great success.
We have also welcomed 53 new faculty to campus this fall. We are hiring the best of the best to come to UTC, and this is a credit to all of our current faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community who make UTC such a special place to work and learn. Here is a link to a list of the new faculty that includes a picture.
Convocation on Friday, August 19th was great fun. Thanks to all of the people who helped make it a huge success! Having the band and spirit squads participate made it particularly special. The highlight was our new students, the class of 2020, standing in the outline of “2020” on the floor of McKenzie Arena. Here is a link to the video.
Our athletic programs are gearing up for the fall season. Women’s soccer has already played their first match, and women’s volleyball has its first match on Friday, August 26th in Maclellan Gym at 7:00PM. Our first football game is Thursday, September 1st at 7:00PM at Finley Stadium, and other fall sports are also gearing up. See schedules for all sports at www.gomocs.com. Come out and support our student athletes, catch some Mocs Pride, and see the first ever “Mocs Flock” as our new students run onto the field to start our football season.
We are off to a great start for the fall semester, with enrollment up slightly. We continue to be a campus of choice for students across Tennessee. This is great news for our budget, which is dependent on student tuition. Our official fall enrollment is based on the 14th day census – stay tuned for the official count.
Strong enrollment means competition for parking places. Dr. Richard Brown and I sent a memo to the campus describing changes in parking for 2016/17 and plans for the future. Here are the details.
A luncheon was held to honor our “Blue Ribbon Award” winners from January to June 2016. These staff awardees go above and beyond the call of duty to serve our students and university. Those honored were: Faith Garner, Chris Howard, Ethan Hereth, Rebekah Caldwell, Jay Blackman, and Madison Dell. See here for more information on our winners.
Goal Four of our strategic plan states: We “Embrace Diversity and Inclusion as the Path to Excellence and Societal Change.” One of our core values as a university is to embrace diversity and inclusion. Our journey to excellence requires us to embrace this core value and strategic goal. I hope each of us takes the time to respectfully consider opinions and thoughts that may differ from our own. Debate and discussion of controversial topics will lead to greater mutual understanding. Sometimes, we will agree to disagree. This is fine when we respect the rights of others to hold their opinions and they respect our rights as well.
Over this coming year, we will have several opportunities to engage in dialogue that broadens our horizons. I encourage each of you to participate and learn from each other. UTC is striving to ensure our students will be good citizens of our society. If we are to be successful, we will have some difficult discussions and will hear ideas that challenge us. By conducting ourselves in a respectful manner, all of us will be better prepared to compete in a global economy and in a world facing huge challenges. More importantly, our university will be positioned to achieve true excellence.
I plan to send out a “C-Note” the second and fourth Thursdays of each month, so stay tuned for more.