“Begin with the end in mind.” Stephen Covey
The first couple of weeks of this 2014-15 academic year indicate an exciting and productive year ahead. The energy level on campus is contagious with student activities in every corner, at all times of the day. Although the 2014 freshman class is not the largest, it may well be the smartest, with the approximately 1,900 freshmen averaging just short of 24 on the ACT.
We have also realized a 2 percent enrollment increase overall, partially due to another increase in first year retention, now at 76 percent. That is a six percentage point increase in freshmen retention in just two years! The strategic budgetary investment we made two years ago has already been paid back by the associated tuition revenue, and we have more than 100 additional continuing students making successful progress toward their degrees.
With the recent release of the 2014 U.S. News and World Report College Ratings, Tennessee Tech finds itself once again in good company and very familiar territory, ranked #34 among southern regional universities overall, #13 among southern public universities. We continue to be recognized as one of the most affordable, high value universities anywhere, with the best return on investment among Tennessee institutions.
Yes, as we head into our Centennial Celebration, this year promises to be one of the best for Tennessee Tech. We are blessed with tremendous potential and great opportunities. To help you keep track of all the many ongoing projects and activities, please refer to the new blog firstname.lastname@example.org. Best wishes to everyone for another great school year. Let’s plan to finish as well as we have started.
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Appearance matters and perceptions become reality. Just as my mother always said, “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.” Whenever I visit another university, I enjoy getting up early for a run through the campus before it comes to life. You actually can get a pretty good feel for the university in the quiet of the early morning as you absorb the look and feel of the campus itself.
Research into why students select a particular university to attend consistently indicates that campus appearance is one of top reasons behind cost and academic reputation. And, of course, since cost and reputation are heavily influenced by enrollment pressure, other factors such as campus appearance become even more strategically important.
However, we realize that it is much more than that. Our campus culture and appearance is a direct reflection of our core values, mission and vision as an institution constantly reaching for excellence in everything we do. Make no mistake, Tennessee Tech makes a statement every day by the appearance of our beautiful campus, and the public pays attention to the impression we make.
On Friday, August 8, the second annual campus cleanup day has been scheduled. Last year was a tremendous success with approximately 400 campus volunteers pitching in to clean up our campus before the students returned for fall semester. T.E.C.H.—Team Effort for a Clean House — is this year’s opportunity for TTU faculty and staff volunteers to take a short break from their normal routine, wear some work clothes, get their hands a little dirty, and enjoy this awesome community of colleagues and friends. It is our chance to collectively show pride in our campus and the statement it makes to the outside world about who we are and what we are all about. Click the video above to see last year’s fun. I hope you can join us again this year.
In case you have not heard the news, the proud 63-year-tradition of ROTC at Tennessee Tech continues! Thanks to tremendous support from Senators Alexander and Corker, Congressman Black, Governor Haslam and countless alumni and friends, the Army has reconsidered its plans to immediately close 13 ROTC units around the country including TTU. We officially will be placed on a two-year probation and be given the opportunity to prove once again that Tech is where we need to be.
This is all we have been asking—to have the chance to review the Army’s criteria, understand the expectations and strengthen our program in response. I am confident and fully committed to ensuring that ROTC remains at TTU for many years to come. I have come to know and appreciate our tremendous cadet corps even more in the past few weeks. I have no doubt they will continue to make us all proud and serve our country with honor. I applaud the Army’s change of position and commend them for doubling back and ultimately doing the right thing.
Thanks again for all your support.
For details about the Army’s plans for the next two years, please read the notice to members of Congress.
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