Members of the newly created Advisory Board for UTC met Jan. 7 in the University Center Tennessee Room.


Fred Decosimo is chair of the newly created Advisory Board for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, which elected him at its inaugural meeting on Monday.

The UTC Advisory Board was created by the UT Focus Act, which the Tennessee General Assembly passed in 2018. Five members are appointed by the governor and approved by the General Assembly, a faculty representative is appointed by the UTC Faculty Senate, and the board appoints one student representative.

In addition to Decosimo, UTC Advisory Board members are:

  • William “Muecke” Barker, Signal Mountain
  • Serina Desai, Chattanooga
  • Carole Hoffman, Hixson
  • Scott LeRoy, Chattanooga
  • Gretchen Potts, UTC faculty

The Board appointed UTC Student Government Association President Jujuan Lewis as its student member, a post he will occupy until June 30, 2019. Starting July 1, terms for student members will be one year.

UTC Chancellor Steve Angle recommended that his chief of staff, Terry Denniston, serve as secretary of the Board, which elected Denniston to that post.

The Board also approved its bylaws drafted by the UT Board of Trustees and set its next meeting for Jan. 30.

Passed by the General Assembly in March 2018, the UT Focus Act reduced the UT Board of Trustees from 27 to 12 members as of July 1, 2018, and established advisory boards for UTC, UT-Knoxville, UT-Martin and the UT Health Science Center. Gov. Bill Haslam’s appointments to the campus advisory boards were announced in December 2018.

At the meeting, Angle and Yancy Freeman, UTC vice chancellor for enrollment management and student success, jointly presented a summary of the University’s strategic plan and student profile. Angle noted that the four-point strategic plan, which began in 2015, is scheduled to be updated in 2020.

In his presentation, Freeman showed that first-year student retention rates and the number of degrees awarded each year have steadily increased since 2012.


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