Good afternoon, everyone. I’ll call the meeting to order. It’s my pleasure to welcome everyone to the eighth meeting of the ETSU Board
of Trustees. Making progress. We’re really moving up in the numbers here. Today’s
meeting is yet another in a series of firsts for the Board. As we meet here at
the Millennium Centre for the first time. As you will recall, we approve the
purchase of the Millennium Center at our last meeting. I hope that you will take
some time this afternoon to explore this facility and consider the
potential that it affords the University. We will continue to operate the facility
as a conference centre and I encourage each of you to consider ETSU and the
Millennium Center as you’re planning your next event. In time, this building
will become the home of our nationally ranked computer science program and it
is a vital part of our strategic efforts to enhance our academic infrastructure.
This is a great addition to the University’s classroom portfolio and I’d
like to thank our staff and the leadership of Johnson City who work
tirelessly to make this happen. I would also like to take a moment to
affirm the University’s commitment to deepening our partnership with Ballad
Health as we strive to improve population health outcomes across the
Appalachian Highlands. Yesterday, Ballad announced the restructure of trauma and
emergency care within their system. ETSU stands ready to assist Ballad and
we thank Dr. Blanc and his staff for their leadership as we move through
transition with them. As a Board, we are keenly interested in ensuring that ETSU
develops structures, staffing, and expertise to ensure that we maximize the
opportunities presented by the research commitments of the COPA. We trust that
Dr. Noland and Mr. Levine will rise to bring the inherent potential to grow
research at ETSU. Throughout the course of today’s meetings, you will hear
reports related to efforts underway across the campus to meet the growth of
objectives our strategic plan. The Board is interested not only initiatives to
grow enrollment but also in work of the campus, but also in the work of the
campus to graduate students and prepare them for meaningful employment
opportunities post graduation. I would like to learn more about the work of our
Career Services staff and I hope that we can receive an overview of their work
at an upcoming meeting. On behalf of the trustees, I would like to congratulate
the staff for their dedication to student success. As measured by the data
in the THEC outcomes formula, ETSU has outperformed other state institutions
and I trust that we will maintain the momentum as we approach the new year. Our ability to maintain this momentum is predicated on our efforts to implement
the vision outlined within our strategic plan. Central to this work is our ability
to ensure that Dr. Noland and his family remain part of the ETSU family for a
long long time. As mentioned at our last meeting, the executive committee has
completed its evaluation on the President, it was pretty good, and delegated the authority to me to
execute an employment services agreement with the president before the close of
this calendar year. Unless any member of the Board have questions or
concerns I will proceed with the execution of the employment services
contract that has been drafted reviewed and endorsed by the members of your
executive committee. As we move forward into the last weeks of the fall semester
and approach the holiday season, I would like to encourage all of us to reflect
on the work of the University and the importance of its missions. We are
realizing great accomplishments and our position to grow to continue to grow
both in size, quality, and reputation. On behalf of the trustees, I would like to
extend my gratitude to the staff for their continued hard work and dedication.
I would also like to extend our best wishes to Coach Sanders, the entire
football program as we prepare to take the field against Sanford tomorrow
afternoon. This has been on a this has been an historic season for the Bucs and
let’s bring home a SoCon championship playoff bid. Our seniors came to ETSU
with the dream of building a program and one day winning championships and it’s
wonderful that they can see those dreams come true. I now turn to the next item on
the agenda and I ask Dr. Linville to call the roll please. Dr. Alsop? Present. Ms. Ayers? Mr. DeCarlo? Mr. Golden? Here. Ms. Grisham? Present.
Dr. Latimer? Here. Ms. Miller? Present. Mr. Powell? Here. Mr. Ramsey? Here. Chairman Niswonger? Here. Mr. Chair, you have the floor. Thank you. The minutes from the regular meeting in September are
found behind tab 1 of your board materials. Do I have
a motion to approve those minutes? So moved. Do I have a second? A second. All in favor please say aye. Aye! Opposed, like sign. As stated. Next is the report from the Finance and Administration Committee chaired this morning by Governor Ron Ramsey. I would like to thank Ron for leading the committee in
the absence of Steve DeCarlo. As you may not be aware, Steve’s brother-in-law passed away earlier than this week and his funeral
services are in fact this afternoon. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Steve and
his family. Governor. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. This morning the finance
administration committee met to discuss the October, the October budget revision
for the current fiscal year as well as an audited financial statements from
last year. Additionally, we discussed factors the Board will use when
considering tuition and mandatory fee increases. These identifying factors
where our responsibilities of the Board as provided in the Tennessee Tuition
Transparency Act. At this point, I’d like to ask Dr. B.J. King come
forward to briefly present the committee’s two recommendations from this morning’s board considerations. Good afternoon. I think that your materials
for this section are in tab number two, if you want to turn to those. The first
item is our October budget revisions and I want to briefly explain some of the
work that goes into this budget revision for October. As you may remember, we were in April and we approved a proposed budget for this fiscal year 19. At that point in
time, not everything was known it was a proposed budget we have implemented
as of July and since then we have more information and are able to make
adjustments. One of the largest adjustments that you will see what is on
the expenditure side of the budget. This happens every year in the October budget.
We do not expend all our budget for the prior year and when we have those
leftover funds we basically do a reappropriation in the next October’s
budget to make those monies available for spending in the current fiscal year.
So, these are carry forward funds from the prior year and they impact that
expenditure side of the budget, but we’ll go through this together. I believe you
have the main campus budget on page 11. You’ll see that our revenues were
increased by 4.7 million dollars and the increase in revenue is
due to our enrollment being over the budget that we prepared in March. We had
budgeted down one hundred students and we were much more successful than that
so that generated additional revenue for the university. We also had course fees
that were approved in that April meeting and they were not able to go into the
budget before that April meeting until the approval came through so those
course fees are also in this tuition and fee increase. We also have some
investment income that was has proven to be better than we anticipated, that’s
increased our revenue budget as well. Those are the two major components that
impact that 4.7 million dollar increase. We also have increases
in expenditures and if we look at them from our functional expense categories
of instruction research public service the first side you’ll see is under
instruction we’ve increased expenditure by 8.7 million dollars. That is the approved course fees and the
carry-forward of those funds that were not spent last year from the course fees. So those are available for spending in this current year. Research a budget went
up by 3.8 million. That is also carry forward budgets from the prior year and
research improvement funds that were made available in FY 19. Academic support
is increasing by 2.5 million dollars and that is related to the
Opioids Center State Appropriation which we use it received but we’re not able to
budget because it hadn’t come through the state process to put it in our
budget yet. So we put it in this October budget and I believe that was 500,000 dollars. We also have with the implementation of the new
budget model the ability for our academic units to carry forward funds
that remained in their budget from the prior year. They’re allowed to retain 50%
of those what we call fall out dollars at year-end to spend in this next year,
in the current fiscal year. So that’s a new outcome of our new budget model and we were very pleased to be able to provide almost 2 million dollars to
the colleges for FY 19. Student activities took forward some money from
carry forward funds as well the administrative units are also
participating in the new budget model. They also were allowed to carry forward
half of the fall out funding that they had. And I want to tell you that the
colleges had agreed to give the the central administration 50% of their fall
out dollars if we would take half of that amount and use it for reserves. We
did and then the main campus the administrative units they met a match on
that so we transferred $1,000,000 to reserve fundings from our fall out
dollars this last year which is really good news. Facilities is experiencing an
increase in the cost of utilities and part of that is actually for the
building you’re in right now. We’re now paying for the utilities here so we’ve
added that and there just were utilities escalations that are now in the budget
and we also had some scholarship growth. If we look at these categories by their
natural classifications, which is salaries, benefits, operating, those type
of activities, we realize that we’ve put in about 700,000 dollars for adjuncts, job audits, and some institutional priorities for positions.
We have we allocated some money from operating expenses to both travel and to
capital outlay which are priorities for units. So we have an increase in our
expenditure budget of 19 million dollars and as I said the primary driver of that
activity is to fall out dollars from the University and what this says is that we
were good stewards last year, so we should be thankful that we were good
stewards. We all are participating under the new budget model in this carry
forward funding and it’s a different mindset that we’ve got on campus now and
I’m really pleased to say that we were able to provide the support to our
academic and administrative units on the main campus. Through this October budget revision we also are moving some positions around and adding a few
positions. So then that position growth for the main campus is 12 positions. The
majority of those about three-quarters of those are in faculty which are needed
to support the additional academic activity going on on campus. One of the
programs that is getting some of that benefit is a nursing program and you may
have heard how much growth there’s been in the undergraduate nursing program.
We’d like to thank Dr. Nerhing and her staff for all they’re doing in that in
that regard. Are there any questions on the main
campus budget? The main campus is our only formula unit budget. The the rest of
the items College of Medicine, Family Practice, and College of Pharmacy are non
formula units in the budget and they undergo a different process with the
state when we get to our spring budget or July budget. The College of Medicine
is on page 12 and your handout they had an increase in revenue due to tuition,
enrollment growth, and an orthopedic program that was put in place. They also
had carry forward funds and instruction. They will receive some research
improvement funds for their research function. They had additional cost
related to medical library library databases. And a few other items that
were funded through carry forward funds and for institutional priorities one of
those being cleaning the clinical education building. So, their revenue
increased by a little over $600,000 and their expenditure budget, before
transfers, is increasing 3.3 million dollars. Again, the increase in
expenditure budget is primarily related to the carry forward funds from the
prior year. Their positions have not changed since the July budget was
created. So, there are no new positions being added and no movement between
classifications. The family medicine October revised budget is on page 13. You
will see that their revenue is actually going down. The Finance Committee had a
good discussion of this this is related to benefit that we’re having to fund
through the state that’s called Other Post-Employment Benefits. We call it OPEB for short. OPEB the state had to adjust our appropriation due to the implementation of an OPEB trust fund that will fund our
employees post entire retirement medical benefits. It has not been funded in the
past, it was not a funded it was on the pay-as-you-go plan and now they’re gonna
set the trust up and fund it so we will be paying into that funding for the
trust and with it it it decreased our state appropriation. We also had a health
insurance holiday this year. This is really interesting. We haven’t I think
we’ve had one before in the entire time I’ve been at the University, so 21 years.
And so, what happened it’s really it goes hand in hand with this OPEB benefit. We
found that we were really paying through our health insurance for both our active
employees, the OPEB liability for active employees, and our retirees benefit for
OPEB. And now that we’re just going to be paying for our own health insurance we
have a health insurance holiday because we’ve paid too much in, all the active
employees have paid too much in. So November is your holiday from your
health insurance so Merry Christmas. The university also had a health insurance
holiday and that sounds good but we actually pay a little about about a
100,000 more in expense than we were being funded by the state so that’s
our share of the of the health expense for the month of November, runs about
100,000 more than what our appropriation is. Well they’re obviously
going to take that appropriation away so it actually ends up as an expense on our
books. But, it’s a great thing for employees to have the health insurance
holiday in November so we’re very pleased with that. But, that is what made
family medicines revenues decrease was the implementation of the OPEB trust and
the health insurance holiday. Their instructional expenses are going up
about a quarter of a million dollars and that’s related to some hospital coverage expenses that they have. And about the only major thing left on
the expenditure side is they’ve got some clinical projects and repairs that are
going to occur this year and so they’ve budgeted a 117,000 dollars out of their carried forward funding for that. They had a
reallocation of two faculty positions that were not filled. They reallocated
those two support positions. So they aren’t asking for any new positions
they’re just reallocating within their own budget. The College of Pharmacy is
the last unit that will talk about. The college’s revenues are increasing by a
175,000 thousand dollars due to enrollment and also through some fees that got added to their revenue
budget for October. In instruction, they’re fully funding a couple of vacant
positions, or more than a couple, I should say. In instruction so there’s an
increase in expenditures there. They have some research expenditures related to
new faculty startup money and they also increase their funding for scholarships
for the year and all those increases again are funded through fall out
dollars from the prior year’s budget. So, their revenue budget is going up a
175,000 dollars and their expenditure budget is
going up 753,000 dollars before transfers. They
also were moving one position that had been classified as faculty that should
have been classified as administrative job and so that’s been reclassified.
They’re not asking for any new positions they’re working within their own budget
on that. Those are the four budgets for October. If you have any questions I’d be
happy to answer. Okay. First of them is the vote for the
October budget revisions. Are there any further questions for BJ? Since this is a
recommendation from committee a motion to approve is not necessary. No further questions I would ask for a vote all in favor say aye. Aye. Opposed like sign. I sabbith. Thank you. And secondly, a vote on factors related to tuition increases.
Are there any questions by the board? Well, Dr. King would like to provide a
couple of comments about that. Okay. No problem. The Tennessee Code Annotated requires that we implement this Tuition Transparency Act this year. And the first
item that has to be taken care of is board approval for the factors that are
to be considered when we’re talking about tuition and fee increases. And the
state statute actually provides guidance on a large portion of this but we have
five areas we would like but to propose that the board consider when we’re
looking at tuition and fee increases. The first one is part of the statute and
that is the level of state support. We will find out what that level is. We have
a THEC recommendation for a level, which Dr. Nolan will be talking about
later, but we’ll find out when the governor presents his budget and then
when that budgets approved we’ll find out what our level of state support is.
We also need to be looking at the total cost of attendance and we need to look
at that in light of what the landscape is for public higher education in the
state of Tennessee and we that is what we do we’ll continue to do that. We also
need to look at efforts to mitigate financial effects on students so we need
to look at what costs we’re trying to save, what improvements we’re trying to
make, what efficiencies we’re putting in place. Those three items are part of the
statute. In addition to that, we also think it issue that we need to consider the Tennessee Higher Education Commission,
binding tuition, and mandatory fee limits. They have presented a recommendation as
of their November meeting and that also will be approved later in the year,
generally in the month of May. And we also would like to look at some other
factors as we’re looking at tuition and fee increases. We want to look at factors
that impact the university’s financial stability such as projected student
enrollment, university enrollment goals, market costs and factors for higher
education, new programs, new facilities such as this one, and cost related to
operations, programs of study, or individual courses. So those are the five
basic elements that we would like this board to consider as we’re looking at
tuition and fee increases. Okay. Now, we’ll entertain a vote for the factors related
to tuition increases and a motion to approve it’s not necessary. All those in
favor please say aye. Aye. Opposed like sign. Ayes have it. Thank you. Thank
you. Next is a report from Academic and Student Affairs Committee chaired by Dr. Linda Latimer. The Academic and Student Affairs
Committee had a very productive morning. You heard from Dr. Mike Hoff who provided
an update on the university strategic plan. We also heard from Mr. Scott Carter
who discussed various initiatives and success metrics in athletics. Our
committee members took time this morning to reflect on the work that we have been
doing and we brainstormed in our meeting on how we can maximize our time best so
that each of us as individual trustees can be the best we can be for this
university. Committee also took action on a number of items from enrollment to
research and even a revised pricing model for the online Masters of Arts
degree in criminal justice. Dr. Wilsie Bishop will present to the full board
for your consideration this degree. Thank you, Dr. Latimer. The Department of
Criminal Justice is proposing a complete offering of their masters in
criminal justice online of 36 hours. They’re doing this to increase access
and they also are proposing with it a unique model for funding which would be
a consistent set rate for a period of three years for the students so that
they would know how to budget for and plan for this program. This is a critical
program to support the development of criminal justice officers and other
officials within the area it will allow outreach within the state of Tennessee
and across state borders and it was discussed, reviewed, and at the meeting
this morning. On adding the aforementioned degree, all those in favor? Aye. Opposed, like sign. Thank you, ayes have it. And Chairman, Larry Miller is here and we want to
thank you for the work that you’ve done to bring this to the board today. Our
next report is audit. David Goldman chairs the Audit Committee. David
will you comment please. Thank You, Mr. Chairman. It’s not been much time since our last audit
committee meeting and so Ms. Lewis and her staff while they have been busy we
didn’t have nearly as much to go through this time as last time. As Louis walked
through the audit work performed since September included an audit of our
football expenditures, the annual required President’s expenditure report,
which I think set a record for the cleanest audit in the history of the
university, and my commendation to the President his staff for that, and a
few other items. We reviewed we have recommendation log where we review findings from past audits and where the completion stand it
is of management action plan. Happy to report all items are still green or blue,
which I know yellow sometimes is a good color but not here. So, green and blue is
good and then we did our annual required review of internal audit salaries and the
audit internal audit operating expenses. And that is my report. Item seven under
tab five in your included materials. Several items have been reviewed by our board committees
this morning, these items and approval committee minute committee meeting
minutes. Are there any items on the consent agenda that members would like
to pull for consideration by the full board? Seeing none then do I have a
motion for adoption of the consent agenda? So moved. Thank you, Dorothy.
Do I have a second? Second. Okay, further discussion all those in favor please say,
aye. Aye. Opposed like sign. Item 8 Student Success. At this point, I would like to
ask our vice president of student affairs Dr. Joe Sherlin come
forward providing presentation on our plans relating to ensuring student
success a critical part of the university strategy for marketing key
performance for meeting key performance indicators. In addition to
hearing from Dr. Sherwin, we will hear from ETSU students about how our
initiatives have impacted their undergraduate experience here. Thank you.
It’s a privilege to be here today on behalf of our talented faculty, staff, and
student leaders who work every day to promote student success on our campus. We have some ambitious student success goals. An 85 % first-year retention
rate and a 60% graduation rate by 2026. We are currently at 73% in the first year and 44% in terms of our graduation rate. So we have a long
way to go. But, in terms of our progress, we have a good story to tell.
Since 2012 all of our overall metrics are up significantly in terms of trends.
Our undergraduate credit load which is a significant statistic because it’s
really important that our undergraduates are taking 15 hours a semester for four
years. That’s a key indicator of graduation. That statistic is up. Our
first-year retention rate is up. That’s the most important year in student
retention because it cascades through the sophomore, junior, and senior year. The
overall metric of our graduation rate is up. We’re particularly happy about the
increase in degrees awarded 16% over the last six years. That speaks not
only to the other metrics but to the efficiency with which our students are
getting through the pipeline. That speaks to the hard work that our advisors are
doing and we’re particularly happy about the last bullet a 44% increase in state appropriation since 2012. That speaks to how we are
doing in the system related to the outcomes formula related to our peers.
We’re consistently seen as a model institution related to student success
in the state and that speaks to the hard work of a lot of folks at the
institution. So that’s our progress today but I also want to talk a little bit
about our process and what we’ve learned as we pursued our student success goals. We’ve learned that information is critically important. You can’t move
forward without accurate and detailed information. It’s important that we have
knowledge and information about the external environment, that we understand
best practice related to student success, that we understand the trends that are
affecting our students and their families as they try to pursue a college
degree. It’s it’s important that we understand the internal environment that
we understand the who, the what, the when, the where, the why of
student attrition and success. Who is leaving, when are they leaving, what is
happening to them, where are they going and why are they leaving, and we need to
understand that in terms of student success as well. If you have that
information, it gives you the opportunity to innovate. Only the opportunity.
Innovation takes intentional leadership. People need to be incentivized to pull
up out of their daily responsibilities, collaborate, share ideas about how we can
move forward, but it’s not only collaboration, you have to have talent in
the room, you have to have the right expertise and the right knowledge to
really make innovation work, and once you create innovation becomes investment. Now at ETSU, I wish Dr. Bach were here because we would follow an investment
strategy much like the Kansas City Royals. In 2015, they won the World Series.
They had the 13th highest payroll in the league. They did that because they used
data and analytics to target their investments. They invested in key
positions on their team and they developed their farm team. They developed
their staff. As opposed to the Yankees who have the highest payroll in baseball
and they throw money at every problem, we don’t have the ability to do that at
ETSU but I think we’re the better for it. It makes us leaner, it makes us smarter,
and that is and that is key on the investment side and then once you make
those investments the next question is how do you integrate them. How you been
begin to collaborate share information and scale and adopt those investments
that are really going to make a difference then you start to address
culture at an institution, then you really start to move the needle. I’d like
to talk a little bit about some successes that are in the books. I
referenced these last year but I think they illustrate the model that I’m
talking about. One is embedded learning support. As we talked about last year, a third to a quarter of our students need developmental education in reading and
math in order to move into credit-bearing courses but what we saw
were students language languishing and developmental courses without the
ability to move into those credit-bearing courses and never getting
on the path to degree. So what our faculty did was completely innovate that
experience and embed the academic support just-in-time into the credit
bearing course. We integrated that into 1530 in English 1010 and we
tripled the pass rate in math to 76% and we significantly increase
the pass rate in English by 18%. That’s impacting hundreds of students
and getting them on the path to degree. Now, what did we learn from this? We
learned that timing of the innovation is critical and the innovation has to occur
when students are ready to receive it, providing developmental education before
the credit bearing course didn’t work, it had to be at the right time, but we
didn’t lower the bar in terms of that investment the student still had to hit
that mark. It took talent. It took talented faculty to understand
what was needed just-in-time while those students were receiving this
academic support to learn this information.Talented faculty had to make
it work. Time and talent are important. Another success that’s in the book is
the in the books is a work that we’ve done in financial services and process
review. It did not take a Rhodes Scholar to understand that we had a problem in
financial services. We had two to three-hour wait times during peak
periods in the fall. We had processing delays in terms of awarding our students
their financial awards at the beginning of the semester and our outstanding
accounts receivable was heading in the wrong direction. So, the dollars that were
owed back to the university was heading in the wrong direction. We knew we had to
act. So we engaged in a full 360 degree review of our financial aid processes, we brought in financial aid directors from around the country, we
hired a new financial aid director, all of those investments were key and
working with the Bursar’s Office, and working with the larger financial
services division. We overhauled our structure, our processes, and our
communication among offices and with students. As a result, our first batch of
loans that would take us two and a half months to process we got out the door in
48 hours. And when you make that kind of change the lines disappear. We had no wait times no wait times but at peak periods and we have reduced the
accounts receivable by two million dollars. So some really astounding
successes but the lessons learn from this process. When you see bunkers and
silos you’ve got to look for root causes. So, what does that look like? Well it
starts with some basic questions. Why are these people in line? Well they’re in
line because they’re in the promise to pay process. What’s the promise to pay
process? Why haven’t they paid? Well, they haven’t paid because they haven’t
received their financial aid awards yet. Well, why haven’t they received their
financial aid awards? Well we’re working really hard but it’s difficult when
you’re doing these awards by hand. Why are we doing these awards by hand?
Well we don’t have the technical knowledge in the office to invest in the
system that integrates with our information system to make this happen.
Why don’t we have the technical knowledge? Well you have to pay staff a
higher rate in order to get them to have this knowledge. Well where are these
people? Well one of them was in Florida and she was looking for a new
opportunity and we made an investment in her salary and got her up here in the
financial aid office and that was Catherine Morgan and she was able to
help us identify those root causes. I will say that investment was much less
than two million dollars so we came out in the black and not to make light of it the real savings came when all of those students were
awarded on time and they had money for books and monies that would help them
succeed. So that’s the process at work here and that’s how you can really make
a difference as you work together. We also have a number of key efforts in the
works. Our advising area is perhaps the most critical process related to student
success. We talked about this last year. We saw that our credit hour production
was not where it needed to be. Students were not taking enough credit hours per
term. They were wandering through the curriculum. They were not on track in
terms of their degree plans. Many of them did not have degree plans and our
advisors were saying our loads are such that we don’t have time to engage in
holistic advising in the way that we need to. Okay. Well let’s talk about
degree planning. Why aren’t students engaging in degree planning? Well it’s a
cumbersome system. It’s paper, students don’t like paper, it’s not
accessible to them, it’s hard to use. Well is there another way to do it? Yeah,
there’s a nice online system. It’s called Degree Works. Okay. How much is that? It’s
$15,000 a year. Okay. I think we can handle that. Well we need more than that
we need a system to help us reach out to these students and to integrate the
information that we need to share on campus, okay. But it’s more than that. We
need enough staff in order to do the kind of advising that will really help
students. What does that investment need to look like? I think we can do it for 14
advisors. That’s a Kansas City Royals level investment. We invested in all
those systems and advising took off our advisors were able to focus in on 15 to
finish campaigns. They focused on degree planning. They made outreach to keep
students on track. They were also able to innovate now. They had time so in our
undeclared advising area, Stacey Aunts got her advisors to take a hundred and
thirty hours of career certification training so when they’re advising undeclared students they have a real understanding
of what major selection processes are like and what the larger career
opportunities are like they can integrate those together. It’s as if our
University Career Services office got an additional 15 staff members. Those are
the kinds of targeted investments you need to make. Modest investments but high return. And the results of our advising work we’ve seen a 300% increase in to
green plans over three years and that’s increasing basically, by 10% every year.
Our advisors conducted 23 outreach campaigns this fall and that metric of
degrees awarded 16% increase. I think that’s directly related to folks
getting through the advising pipeline in a more efficient, more focused, more
meaningful way. I think Mike Hoff will tell you that when we hired these
advisors you could literally see the met the metrics tick off like a tote board
as students went through the system. This is where we needed to be investing. We’ve
also sent we are also seeing great work in the colleges. One of the wonderful
things about the budget model is that that it promotes shared responsibility
and it decentralizes accountability across the institution. It incentivizes
colleges to innovate from a student success standpoint because as you grow
enrollment you increase your opportunities to grow your program, to
engage faculty, to recruit new faculty so it’s creating innovation across the
University in the College of Education and Allied Health, but one of the leaders
in this area is the College of Public Health. A few years ago at a retreat, Dean
Wyckoff said, “you know, it really comes down to the student experience” and he’s
absolutely right. In the College of Public Health they have made it a
priority to understand the student experience. They have mapped the student
experience from entry through graduation. They know the gaps, they know the
barriers, they know the factors that promote success, they
have appointed a college recruitment and retention committee with representation
from all the departments to really focus on how they’re moving students through
that program. They know that active learning is critical. So, they have an
essentials course for every student. They work in teams on public health issues
out at Valley Brook. They’re doing amazing work. These kinds of experiences
early bind students to the college, but they also bind students to the
institution and to each other in very powerful ways. They’re assessing the
skills and competencies that they want their students to gain throughout their
program and they’re making sure that every student participates in a field,
internship, or experience. And they’re constantly assessing the experiences of
their students at exit, as alumni, and they are assessing their students in
employment settings. Look at the last finding. 95% of employers rate their
graduates as high or highest and overall confidence in their practice field.
They’re building a culture. It’s more than strategy. It’s a culture that works
and it’s a culture that I think our budget model can help us incentivize and
replicate. Outside of the curriculum, we’re working in a number of key areas.
Living Learning Communities are a high-impact practice. These are
communities in communities in which students live together in a residential
setting, they take courses together, they participate in academic development and
career mentoring, it helps them academically and socially integrate and
engage in an institution, but one of the challenges with Living Learning
Communities particularly for Generation Z. Many of them are not joiners. How can
you get them to participate in organizations and experiences that will
help them in terms of their success and align with our mission? So we’re
exploring scholarship opportunities to incentivize participation in these come
particularly for students who might not otherwise enroll at ETSU. And two new
communities that we have focused on in the last two years or public service and
in the inspire Living Learning Community. Now the Public Service Scholar Community
is focused on out-of-state students so we’re bringing in students from the
region who are interested in service and leadership. The data will tell you that
students who come from out-of-state and come to school in an institution they
tend to stay in that area. These are students we want to come to ETSU these
are student leaders who are committed to service and we’re engaging them in
service in the community but not just in service broadly in literacy, education, in
our elementary schools, in our after-school programs, and in community
programs. So, our students are out bending building bonds with high school
principals, with guidance counselors, with teachers, and most importantl,y with
young people who can become future students at ETSU. This year we’ve had
over 1,700 hours of service in those communities staffed by Joy Folkirson
and her team. Over 1,400 children have been served and the retention rate in
this program for those scholars out of state scholars is 88%. That’s beyond the
metric that we’ve set for 2026. That’s what happens when you have a full
level of support in a program. The inspire scholar program is a residential
scholars a scholarship for students who have solid academic records. You wouldn’t
say they are the top academic records but they have demonstrated financial
need and we are marketing this program to students who are outside of our
immediate region. We’re looking to Knoxville, Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga to bring students to our campus who might not otherwise attend. For whom that
residential scholarship can make the difference in their ability to come to
ETSU and we’re putting that wraparound support around them and what we’re
seeing is they’re excelling. They’re excelling in our first-year courses,
they’re participating in student organization, they’re getting involved in service, and you can see the quotes that these
scholars are providing. I really like the inspire scholar quote: “I worried a lot
about how as I was supposed to pay for school, where I was going to live. This
experience helped me with both those things. Living on campus has given me
more opportunities to get involved in organizations.” That just makes a
difference these experiences are making a difference for students. One of the
areas in which we really need to make progress, and we are not where we need to
be as an institution, is in the student success rates of our underrepresented
students, particularly African American students, Latino students, and
Native American students. We have found that significant numbers of these
students are not connecting to our services early on in terms of transition
and support and we’re seeing consistent retention and graduation gaps. We also
know that there is money out there, particularly from the Lumina Foundation,
to innovate and begin programs that focus on closing those equity gaps. So we
put a team together over the past year and year and a half over the past year and a half with support from academic affairs and under the leadership of Krishanda Harris
we developed a Summer Bridge Plus Program specifically focused on tie
eligible students. It was a three week summer residential program in which we
brought in 52 students this summer. They participated in a first year experience
course, in career exploration, in mentoring with faculty, staff, and student
leaders. We didn’t stop there. We added a plus experience because those activities
are going to carry out beyond the summer through the first year. Our results: 100%
of his participants in the summer program came back in the fall.
Ramona Williams would kill for that level of yield. She’s our admissions director. 100% of those students expressed
satisfaction with the program and all of them are participating in fall program activities. So it’s it’s succeeding. Every now and then you have
lightning in a bottle and that’s what we have with our veterans initiative. We
have the right leader in place Kernel Tony Bunch and his staff are
innovative, they’re forward-thinking, and they are productive. They ran an internal
study and found that there are 10,000 veterans and family members within a 200
mile radius. These folks are ready to move if the
right support is there. Then they partner with GI jobs to assess web traffic and
provide analytics about where these folks are and they didn’t stop there.
They went out to get them. So they dedicated some funds and they visited
educational fairs in Camp Lejeune, Fort Bragg, Fort Campbell, and we’ve dedicated
resources on campus to a new military affiliated student resource center. It’s
a one-stop shop for veterans and their families to come and gather and get
support while all of this activity is going on. They’re executing an $80,000
THEC grant to evaluate military training. So, we’re maximizing the experience of
these veterans and encouraging them to come to ETSU. They’ve become a
one-stop-shop for support here are the results. We’ve been designated military friendly, spouse friendly, best of the best for
2018. Monthly visits to that mark space have tripled. This year, this was just
open this year to 1300. We’ve increased the population by 28% in two
years, they’ve set a goal for 1,000 by 2026. I think they’re going to blow
past it. The lesson here is when you have a strategic opportunity and a
high-performing team feed them and let them run, and that is exactly what
they’re doing. The last area that I like to focus on is
the first-year experience and it is so important in terms of its scale, because
half of all institutional leaving occurs in the first year. We are really focusing
on the experience of our students in the first year. Under the leadership of Dr.
Bill Kirkwood and academic affairs. We are completing a
full review of our general education experience. The first year in academic
coursework is general education. He and the key faculty on that team are asking
“why would students choose to come to ETSU academically? Beyond program, what is the kind of experience they’re going to get in the classroom? Why would they
start here over Northeast State? Why would they start here over the
University of Tennessee or Appalachian State or the University of North
Carolina? What are we delivering to our freshmen
in the classroom in terms of active learning and experience that we can
deliver and market?” And Bill Kirkwood along with Heather Levesque and new
student and family programs are looking at all aspects of the first-year
experience from pre enrollment activities to first-year course
participation, co-curricular experiences, career development and mentoring,
particularly peer mentoring is something that we think we can make great progress
with. Lee Adinolfi, our Assistant Dean for Student Engagement, came to me a couple
of years ago she had looked at a program at Stephen F. Austin in which they had
peer leaders peer student leaders who were meeting with incoming freshmen and
the role of those peer leaders was just to meet with them and get them involved
on campus. They saw great increases in the level of involvement AT Steven F.
Austin. She said, “I like to take that idea but I like to take it to the next step. I’d
like to partner and integrate that idea with our first-year experience courses
so these leaders are not just meeting with freshmen on a couple of occasions,
they’re building relationships and I’d like to see what happens.” Then she went
out and got a grant to make that happen. Well here’s the data from this program.
It’s called the BIGs. And you can see on the right-hand column the increased
level of involvement for students who have met with their BIGs at least twice,
the total number of events they attended was 1,841as opposed to 278 for those who only attended
meeting with their BIG. We expected some increase in student engagement because
that’s what had happened in Stephen F. Austin, but look at the GPAs. The GPAs of students who met with their peer mentors twice are double
those who did not meet with the peer mentor. That’s more than about a meeting,
that’s about a relationship that’s developed. Look at the persistence rates: 93% as opposed to 70%. This is a relatively low
investment high yield potential. We can use the talent of our BIGs, our student
mentors. This is the kind of activity that the Kansas City Royals would invest
in and they would work to scale. So the path forward, we’ve met a lot of great
progress and we are a leader among our peers in the state but it’s not good
enough. We’re not moving fast enough to hit 85
and 60. We’re gonna have to begin to scale like we haven’t scaled before.
We’re gonna have to integrate these activities, we’re gonna have to push, Dr.
Nolan. And I have to smile when I say that because I hear that once a week
from Dr. Noland. But, I believe we can, we’ve got the right talent in place and we
know how to do this but it comes down to building a culture. It’s about creating
environments for students to succeed. We have to have outstanding facilities on
this campus. We have to have outstanding residence halls, outstanding classrooms,
outstanding lab spaces. Those are the spaces where students connect and and
where those experiences take shape, but it’s more than facilities. I was
driving as a young boy with my dad through a neighborhood, really nice
neighborhood, we were looking at homes and I said, “Wow, Dad. These homes are really nice.” And he said, “but you know what the most important thing about a home is?
What happens on the inside.” The experiences that happen in these
classrooms, in these residence halls, and on this campus, that’s what the culture is, that’s where our students live, we have
thousands of students who bring their life savings to us and their dreams and
we have a responsibility to them all. Our staff were accountable to you but we’re
all accountable to them and I like one of those students to come forward right
now, Leon Humphrey Jr. to talk a little bit about his experience at ETSU. You can
see his key activities. In addition to this, my daughters would say he’s the
coolest undergraduate on campus. I’m gonna turn it over to him. Well, good
afternoon, guys. How are you all? Smile. Come on relax. My name is Leon Humphrey, Jr. and I’m a
student here and I’m graduating on December 15th. So, this is also open
invitation for you guys. But before I talk about my involvement, I want to kind of
tell you a little story about myself. I came here to ETSU, I was recruited to be
on the football team under Carl Torbush and I was excited, you know, I was like
yes, whoo! Go Bucs! Walk the team and when it came to it I got the opportunity to
go through a quest and preview and then that changed my life in general. Going
through a quest and preview, I met tons of friends, tons of role models that really
meant a lot to me and when it came to it I was prepared for freshman year. I had a
3.5 GPA at the end of the year and I was like you know what college is easy and
then 2015 happened. And that was probably the worst year of my life, in general.
Life had happened. I had troubles in school, had troubles on the team, I was
always an injured. I told my tricep, strained my ACL and MCL. And I ended up
having problems at home, my GPA slipped, and it was it was kind of rough. It got to the
point where I was like you know what I came here to play football and you know
it’s not going where I wanted to go. I ended up asking my mom I was like you
know mom might want to transfer. My mom was like,
you know, I’m from Knoxville so there was you can come to UT, your dad works there,
like it’s fine. My dad said boy you lost your mind. You already committed to this you going to have to find something. And so, thanks to the
connection that I made through preview and quest and then joining other
organizations, especially the organization that you see here, I found a
home. I found the community. Thanks to my involvement, I’ve definitely
found the importance of the community especially that ETSU gives you. ETSU
gives you the opportunity to make your own community because especially
learning that you always have to find support from friends, faculty, and staff,
and it’s a it’s a whole whole team effort, especially y’all see on the
under there Preview and Orientation Leader Organization. POLO had definitely
changed my life because it definitely gave me I was when I fell in love with
student affairs in general. I found my purpose; I found my career choice, the
career path I wanted and it actually helped me kind of focus on what I want
to do it and in the future. I want to work for student affairs because I want
students to have that community that I did, especially that helped me stay in
school. You know, they usually talk about, you know, school students leaving school
to transfer and everything but they either transfer or drop out and that’s
the last thing we want students to do. And thanks to involvement it kept me
here and I can say I’m about to graduate December 15th. Thank, God. Because, man like Dr. Shirley said my life savings went in this. Man, but thanks to all those
organizations, thanks to all the involvement I met amazing people, people
that were in my corner Kyani Miller like I said friends to support you.
Staff members like Leah, Heather, Jeff Howard. Faculty members like Tammy Hayes, who was in my major at the time had been very amazing and when it comes to
involvement involvement involvement plays a key factor in all students lives.
And so, other than that. T0hank you, guys, because they definitely
prepare me for my future endeavors. I’m actually getting ready to take the GRE
Monday. If y’all would wish me luck cuz lord knows I need it. But thank you, guys. I want to say thank you in particular I want to say thank you to Leon because as you look at the things that are listed on
the screen in front of you what you have no sense of is the number of hours that
he and others who are in these groups volunteer for the University. When we
have open houses during the summer, when we welcome two, three, four, eight hundred
students and their families to the institution. Who’s up front welcoming
them? Leon. When it comes time for students to have tours across campus,
who’s there leading those tours? He and other students who are members of these
organizations. He’s a BIG. So when Dr. Charlaine mentioned the impact that
student mentors have on undergraduate students he’s part of that group as well
but there are students all across the campus who found a home here and it’s
been fun to watch you grow at the institution and I just want to say thank
you for allowing us to share your story today. Not only great blocking tackling
but also you Dr. Shirley running these things to ground and getting to the root
cause. It’s just so important it didn’t take millions of dollars to
get there. It just took some application and getting through there. Thank you.
That was a great presentation. Next item number nine in today’s agenda
tab seven for the Directors Trustees Community College Leadership overview.
I’d like to ask Dr. Rich Rhoda to come forward. As former executive director of
the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, we are privileged to have Dr. Rhoda here at the University as the director of the ETSU
Center for Community College Leadership. Dr. Rhoda. Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman, members of the board, Dr. Noland. Good afternoon. It’s
a pleasure to come before you this afternoon and I have been asked to give
a brief status report on the Center for Community College Leadership. I’m pleased to do that. I didn’t know I would be following such a tough act, however. And
Leon, if you’re ever considering a graduate program at ELPA we’d like to
talk to you after. Included in your meeting materials as a brief summary of
the work of the center and I’m not going to repeat it that I may elaborate on
some of it. About the center, we’re a relatively new unit. It was established in
2016 and I believe we were adopted proved by the Board of Regents at its
last meeting as the governing board for ETSU as a distinction.Tthe center is
housed administratively in Clemmer College of Education and reports
directly to the Dean. The faculty who teach in the center are in the
Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis or ELPA. The purpose of
the center is straightforward. It’s to increase and sustain the pipeline of
Community College leadership in Tennessee and the Appalachian region. And the center is practitioner oriented. That’s the focus of what we do in terms
of our graduate program, professional development, and policy research. A few
word but worried about our students. As they said we’re halfway through our
third year of the program. Our first cohort was some seven students. We
started humbly. Last year, we doubled that to 14 students and now this year were at
17 students, so we’re we’re building, we’re growing, we’re diversifying principally
in the area of attracting students or with the TCATs or the technical colleges
in Tennessee as faculty or administrators. All of our students are
employed at technical or community colleges. To be in the program an individual must
be nominated by his or her President or Chancellor. Many of our students are
senior administrators most are from Tennessee employed with the Board of
Regents institutions but we have a few from other states. A word about our
faculty. I’d like to introduce to you our newest faculty member Dr. Jill Channing. Jill, if you’ll stand. She joined us this fall we recruited her from Truckee Meadows
Community College in Nevada where she was Dean of Liberal Arts and we’re very
glad that she’s she’s with us. Another faculty member who is here Dr.
Bethany Flora and has been is the Associate Director for the center and
we’ll say some things about her later. Dr. Emily House teaches for us as an
adjunct and I believe you’ve met her. She was doing a fellowship for a
presidential fellowship here. She’s the chief research officer at the Higher
Education Commission and the fact using her as an example that she was teaching
in the program, basically how telling the students how to do her job, how she does
her jobs a better way to say that. Dr. Noland was a member of our charter
faculty two years ago and he set the high standards for volume of readings
and assigned policy analysis. They still talk about that, Brian. I teach in the program and I’m the director one last person I want to mention, and you may not be have
met him, Dr. Michael Torrence, who until recently was a member of the
Administration of Volunteer State Community College and talked with us as
an adjunct. But he was just named this fall as President of Motlow State
Community College so he’s he thought he was going to still be able to teach with
us be we disabuse him of that. So, a word of context in kind of the environment
that were in. This is a tremendously exciting time for Community and
Technical College’s in Tennessee. With the Focus Act that just is being implemented, the Tennessee Board of Regents is essentially a new system with
the 13 community colleges and 27 colleges of Applied Technology and they enrolled
over 80,000 students system-wide. So the Regents have a relatively new chancellor
Dr. Flora Tydings who had been president of Chattanooga State and now assumed
this new position. They have a new executive vice chancellor whom is known
to some of you Dr. Russ Deaton. Mr. Powell he worked with us at THEC and governor
you two remember him a close friend and colleague of Dr. Nolan. And they have
new presidents throughout the system and they always will have new presidents
with some 40 institutions under their control. So, this was an excellent time to
start a Center for Community College Leadership in in Tennessee. A little bit
of a backstory, the higher education in this state the changes really go back 10
years or well more than that but with the Complete College Tennessee Act in 2010
that was landmark legislation that was really signaled a new way of thinking
about and funding higher education in Tennessee, The Drive to 55 which was just
a few years ago. Again, with its signature programs in Tennessee Promise, a
Tennessee reconnect on how to encourage more Tennesseans to either start or
resume their education at a community or a Technical College. And then, of
course, the Focus Act which addressed governance. So, it’s that’s kind of the
the landscape and I mean therein lie all the leadership challenges they were
trying to address. The operations of the Board of Regents campuses are
increasingly complex. The services and policies they’re to have our, you know, are
quite sophisticated and the policy areas they’re dealing with. Our workforce
development, increasing student completion, and graduation rates. Closing
the achievement gaps among students, increasing college going rates overall,
and student financial assistance beyond tuition and those are the things we’re
dealing with. But the kicker, and came from a memo from the Board of
Regents recently, they also there of their objectives is a more in-depth
training of college presidents and senior administrators. So, like I said,
this is a great time to be doing what we’re doing. Features of the program. It’s not a garden-variety graduate program and we
recognize the work of Dr. Jim Lampley and Dr. Flora and in ELPA, as well as Dr.
Burt Bach and President Noland for designing a program that is just it’s
not ordinary. It’s post masters, it’s a nom as I mentioned nomination by a
President or a Chancellor. It’s a commitment to a block of five courses
over the course of a year in a cohort so everybody starts, goes through, takes the
same courses at the same time, two in the fall, two in the spring, one of the summer
and they’re out. The courses we offer are like a practitioner oriented everything
from the operation is the schools to the policy types of policy research to
internal and external administrative requirements and then field research
into the area of Community and Technical College Leadership. So, it’s it’s a it’s a
sound program. All the instruction is online but we do have two weekend
seminars each semester and that’s like a Friday evening, all day Saturday, and
they’re being hosted at Volunteer State Community College. But, we’ve been able to attract speakers to those seminars the Chancellor and senior staff of the Board
of Regents, the executive director and senior staff of the Higher Education
Commission, and a good number of the sitting presidents. Now just make an
editorial comment, I’m not sure who gets more out of these seminars, I think the
sitting presidents who have joined us enjoy engaging with emerging leaders and
in walking things through and Tiffany has a great story on that as well.
But anyway, so that’s like they say it’s not an ordinary program. It’s a
standalone credential, it’s 15 graduate hours or it goes right in as a concentration within the EDD program, and again, that’s
a unique feature and Bethenny, I’m guessing at least half of the students
have gone directly into the EDD. So, again, what do we try to do? We try to
facilitate in depth and leadership, management, career development,
discussions. We get students to apply case studies within the context of
their own institutions. They engage in problem-solving kind of debates very,
very real problems. So, again, we think this is a it makes a lot of sense. One
last thing I would say and thanks to this board of trustees, right when we’re
getting started you made it possible where faculty and staff who are employed
by institutions within the community colleges of Appalachia Association are
exempt from out of state tuition and it’s a pilot basis and it’s, again, we’re getting
having kind of a slow start on that. But boy, it’s way it’s a great it’s a great
relationship to have with with the region. So, looking ahead, just four areas
real quickly. We will continue to build the certificate program both in
Tennessee and then the Community College of Appalachia. We need to expand the
curriculum. You know with additional community college and Technical College
courses, again very practitioner oriented courses. A second area that’s been on the
drawing board, we just need to to do it now now that I’d say the certificates
kind of anchored. Working closely with the Board of Regents and the community
colleges of Appalachia to initiate a professional development program.
Conferences, Institute’s dealing with leadership development or specific
skills that are in demand both those entities, Board of Regents, and CCA have
requested that we design leadership academies and once we know if that means we will certainly try to do that. But, you know, I think it’s in residence and it’s
a more intense what they have in mind and we the center are going to
collaborate with ETSU School of Continuing Studies an academic outreach
on that. A third area the Technical Colleges, you know, these are the TCATs
have a special need of providing for their instructors teaching skills.
To be an instructor at a TCAT, a person needs industrial credentials but no
teaching or learning credentials and we think that’s something we can do on a
non-credit basis that really will help them significantly. And then the fourth
area is policy research. Again, that would be part of the central to the mission of
the of the center. Relevant studies to the work of the Community College’s
sponsored research will be pursued. We want to engage the students as much as
possible and Dr. Channing and two of our students have been invited our first
venture in this area to give presentations at the annual meeting of
the lead for innovation in the community colleges. So, that’s that’s
excellent. In closing, I want to mention one other project that we were asked to
undertake by the Board of Regents a few months ago and it is to
produce an oral history of the Board of Regents and essentially, the way this has
evolved is that it’s involved a series of one-on-one interviews, filmed
interviews with individuals who over the history of the Board of Regents all 46
years have been involved in major events. And the impetus to do it now is because
basically the Board of Regents has entered into a new chapter that’s about
documenting what has come before them now while we’re still while we can and
they also the number of this is hard to believe the community colleges are
turning 50 years old. There was all of our year or two either way and they’re
gonna be having 50th anniversaries and want to be part of the project. So, some
20 interviews have been filmed so far, another 10 are scheduled. The interviews
average about a half hour in length and they will be housed on a server
at the Board of Regents but with links like to our website and others so the ILY will be posted. So I would say the Board of Regents has a powerful history when you
put all that in one place strong leadership over the years by governor’s,
larboard members, Chancellors, Presidents, faculty, staff, and to to be a
part of that has just been a real pleasure. So, Mr. Chairman, that’s our
those are remarks. I’ll be glad to answer any questions or comments. Questions for
Dr. Rhoda? From the board or audience? I Do. Yeah. So, great presentation, I appreciate it. As you think about the
next chapter of teaching, what future community college presidents need to be
good at and fill that skill gap, it just reminds me of a conversation I had with
the president of a very large University, not this one, and just asked the
philosophical question how fast do you think the world is spinning as far as
demands of the world, the skill sets that students need coming off of college
campuses with the graduate, as a graduate, so they can hit the ground running
and be a productive member? Because, you know, one of the reasons you’re really
happy about graduating is either going to go to grad school are you gonna get a
job but ultimately you want a job. And so, understanding what you need to do well
in a jobs probably important in education. And so, he answered and he said, “yeah, it’s been a pretty fast.” I said, “well, how fast do you think your universities
spinning to do that?” He goes, “much slower.” And so, one of the ways, and then you know how fast is k12 spinning too because he can only pull so much vacuum on freshmen, right? So one of the ways you can kind of short-circuit that cycle is to teach
Presidents and Dean’s and others of how do you connect to the real world so you
can bring it back to the classroom so the university can spin faster so
graduates can be ready and that’s a skill set. You may might consider
teaching that. I’ve dealt with a lot of academia and I think there’s an
opportunity to teach is what I’ll say. I agree 100%. Anyone else? Thank you. Okay. If I could, if you could join me at the podium for a second? I will but I have a comment first about because I spent a lot of time with TCATs
through our businesses and also community colleges and I think of them
often is sort of the unsung heroes in the building block of education in
Tennessee and I can say that pretty clearly as an employer as a specific
need and they could turn on a dime to produce 21st century jobs with the
skills that we need as employers. And the other thing I like is it allows young
people and adults now to either have a meaningful job when they come out or an
introduction for the next building block of higher education. So, thank you for
your work. Well, thank you for the opportunity because this really is and
it is a special time. We get to have some fun. In a second. I’m gonna set the
context I’ll meet you in the front, I’ll be up there, okay. Okay. On behalf of the
institution and as a colleague it’s rare that we have the chance to have one of
our own transition from the institution and become a President. Dr. Rhoda and
Chairman Niswander getting ready to surprise someone but I want to as a
colleague say thank you. Dr. Flora is now President. Flora and I team taught two
classes together she actually taught the classes I just kind of went along for
the ride. But I look forward to working with you at Northeast and with that Mr.
Chair, there’s a resolution right on the other side of that podium and I’ll come
join you. Dr. Flora, come on up. So, this is a Resolution of Appreciation on behalf of the Board of Trustees for you, Dr. Flora. Bethany Flora has served
brilliantly as associate professor of post-secondary and private sector
leadership, an online program coordinator, Department of Leadership and Policy
Analysis in ETSU since 2011, and whereas Dr Flora has mentored many doctors
students BGSU sharing their dissertation committees on subjects such as stress
levels and tenure-track faculty members, student retention and first-year
programs, and many others and whereas whereas whereas Dr. Flora will be returning to the place where her high education career began. Having
worked the North East State Community College’s Workforce Investment Act
Grants at Sullivan East High School. Therefore, we have resolved as Dr. Flora
assumes the Presidency of Northeast State Community College that the Board
of Trustees of ETSU extends its highest commendation for her work in our
university and its highest hopes and strongest confidence for her at Northeast State. Dr. Flora, congratulations to you. You’re President, you get to make comments. Make some comments. Sorry, I’m emotional. I’ll say what I said in the open for him when I told my mom that I had made it to
the final interview the top two. She said, “I cannot believe a little girl who ran
barefoot on the dairy farm through cow piles is interviewing for a presidency.”
And it’s very very overwhelming and then to go back to where I began my career at
Northeast State and serve with people that I have worked with it’s and we all
know Northeast states been through a little bit of a tough time so to be part
of that family again means a lot. But it’s been an emotional time and saying
goodbye to ETSU is very emotional too. So I just want to thank the Board, I want to
thank Dr. Noland. He invested in my career with the presidential fellowship
program a couple of years ago and he sent me and David Linville and another
two of our colleagues to the ACE program and that’s a just such an important
investment when you have a mentor who sponsors you like that. And then Dr. Rhoda
who has has built more careers in higher education in Tennessee than I’ve ever
seen and is just an incredible man of integrity. I can’t say enough about Dr. Rhoda. So, thank you and I look forward to working with ETSU soon so thanks. Just as Dr. Rhoda mentioned, kinda how do you follow that, how do you follow that. I do have, whoever’s running the screens, I have a PowerPoint. But before jumping in the slides I what a touch upon what I hope
you see as a theme and that’s a theme that as we prepare to close this
academic year it’s a period in which we as an institution reflect back on what
we’ve accomplished and look forward to what is to come. It’s also a theme in
which we as an institution have the opportunity to say thank you. Thank you
to individuals who invested in us who made the success possible, thank you to
students who’ve invested their time to ensure that those students who come
after them are successful, and then thank you to our faculty for not only having
big dreams but having the opportunity to realize those big dreams. So, it’s that
theme of thanks within which I want to frame my comments this morning or this
afternoon. Quite often there are things that we work through as staff with the
board that made all together be easy and over the course of this calendar year
we’ve had some difficult conversations but I think those conversations will
push us to excel just as you saw in Dr. Shirlen’s presentation outline
objectives push one another and ultimately in time success will come. So
what I would like to share with you today is my report that not only wraps
up the year but then sets the stage for what will entail 2019 and 20. As usual, I
want to frame everything within the mission so you all get to hear this now
for the second time. We’re an institution that was founded in 1911 for singular
purpose to improve the quality of life for the people of this region and that
vision was set forward by our founding president Sidney Gilbreath. And we have a
strategic plan that this Board approved at it’s first meeting. It’s a plan that’s built upon that framework, it’s a flame framework with which we were all familiar. And those are the
goals we’ve established for our University and in this morning’s
Academic Affairs Committee Dr. Hoff provided KPIs that track our progress to
those goals. Those are aggressive goals. Our ability to 18,000 students is going
to take a great deal of work. Our ability to push research and sponsored programs
to 60 million dollars annually will take significant work but those are the goals
that we’ve established for ourselves and at each board meeting moving forward we
will present KPIs to you that track our progress towards those goals. I want to
set a little bit of a lens around budget. Dr. King referenced this in her comments.
Our budget landscape is very stable and our forecasts at the state level for the
upcoming year is positive. We’re in a fortunate position. Most other states in
the nation do not find themselves in a position in which the state is investing
in higher education, the state’s investing in facilities, the state’s
investing in deferred maintenance. This is a good time to be in higher education
in the state of Tennessee but there are some things that have changed and the
primary change is a shift from an enrollment driven model to an outcomes
driven model and you’ll see how we as an institution have performed. You see that
here. Over the course of the past few years, we have witnessed significant
increases in state support more than 120 million dollars of increases in
state support for this institution. That support is predicated on an outcomes
formula. So you see how we have performed in that area those are the elements upon
which performance is assessed so student progression through the educational
pipeline, degrees produced, research funding, graduation rates, etc. So that’s
the scorecard by which THEC assesses our performance. And that chart, even
though the font is a little small, shows the score going into the next
legislative session and if you look at new funding for institutions at the
university level moving into the next legislative session there are two
universities that are receiving significant investments Tennessee Tech
and us. So we ranked second in the state in terms of new state appropriations as
evidenced in that scorecard I showed prior and that returns new investments
from the state. And here you see how those compare on a share perspective. So
I’ve got a few animations here and I’m gonna pause. As I mentioned, we are
spotlighted by THEC for our performance and student success. This is
not my chart, this is a chart that Emily House presented to THEC last week. We
were the institution that staff spotlighted for that board and you see
the significant growth in outcomes funding being directed to our University
because of our success and the production of degrees and our growth in
the graduation rate. All of that traces its back to the steps that Dr. Shirlen
outlined these are things that we put in place three, four, five years ago. The
patience of those investments are now beginning to bear fruit in terms of
support from the state of Tennessee. And then here support in other areas that
are non formula related. The top two are important. We’ve worked on this for three
years and it’s finally now made its way into the THEC budget so this is THEC
non-formula priority 1 and THEC non-formula priority 2 investment of
almost a million dollars to bring pediatric subspecialists to help support
the work that’s occurring at Quillen and we’re hopeful that this will make its
way into Governor Lee’s budget. And that on the bottom you see across-the-board
increases for medicine and family medicine. The structure there in terms of
appropriation is different than for the university. These are our non formula
units so things are increased based upon inflation. But pleased to report our
outcomes growth and then pleased to report the specialty increases here in
these two areas related to PEDS. The next is one that is a point of
excitement for me but it’s a point of concern for trustee Alsop and that is the
fact that our humanities building moved from number nine on the list to number
five and for those of you who follow Tennessee politics you know that our new
governor is from waves and county and you see that the project from Williamson
County Falls right below ours at number six. Which lends me to believe
that if the Governor stays within the listing as provided by THEC then, in
May, we’re looking at a 72 million dollar humanities building. That’s a
game-changer. So, if you look at our facilities you saw those pictures that
Gordon Anderson shared with you at the last meeting. The buildings that our Gen
Ed courses occur in are not at a high school level. This provides facilities at
a world-class level for the bulk of the Gen Ed courses that would occur on
campus and it’s also going to have to cause us to find a new home for the
train museum but we’ll get to that a time. But you see we’ve moved from number nine on the list at number five. This also tells us that we need to start
preparing as we look at our pending capital campaign because there’s a
significant matching fund lift associated with this building almost 10
million dollars in matching funds. And you see the description of that building
and how that building affords in terms of comps down to that number six project
on the list which is the project at Columbia State. Another area that is
important in terms of this budget is this is a solid budget with respect to
deferred maintenance. Eleven and a half million dollars for East Tennessee State
University are included in the THEC recommendation to address deferred
maintenance challenges across the campus. So HVAC upgrades, chiller upgrades,
building envelope, lighting, safety, repairs, HVAC and then some critical
infrastructure work that would need to occur at Shellbridge where we’ve had
more than a thousand individuals tour that facility for open houses, for
recruiting events, for fundraising, etc. For those of you who’ve been you know
that there’s one restroom and it’s hard for a thousand people to wait in line
for that one restroom. So those are some of the investments from the deferred
maintenance perspective that are positioned in this governor’s budget. And
then here’s what the out-years would look like. If the economy in the state of
Tennessee remains in the position that we’ve been fortunate to enjoy for the
past eight years that’s the sequence of deferred maintenance projects that would
convey to the institution over the bulk of the remainder of the street strategic
planning cycle in our master plan. Here’s where we are on fees. I put that as a point of reference. Earlier today, you approved the five criteria that we will consider as we look at fee increases. THEC at their meeting set a
binding cap on fees of 2.5 percent so that means, as a board, you will not be
able to consider a fee increase above and beyond 2.5 percent which in dollar
figures is 232 dollars. So, if you look at the dedicated
fees that will be required for the debt service on the parking garage at this
building, if you look at some of the things that are required to cover the
match for faculty and staff salaries, at the end of the day, essentially, that’s
holding fees flat. Its barely covering the cost of inflation. So as we move
through conversations around fee increases for the upcoming year you’ll
see us maintain that position visa via the other institutions in the state
which is a competitive advantage for us because I would put the quality of our
academic programs into Health Sciences up against the institution that leads
the state in terms of fees and where a $3,000 per student better bargain than
students are paying at the school that has the color orange. So, if you look at
our budget landscape, Dr. King reference changes in our budget landscape. We’ve
blown up our budget model. In a three year time period not only have we looked
to transform the way we do Student Affairs but we’ve also transformed the
budget process on campus. You approved carry forward funds back to units for
the first time in the history of this institution or modern history. 50% of any
unexpended funding at the end of the year can go back to academic units that
gives them the ability to plan. So if I’m a Chair and I know at the end of the
year I can either have a massive expense of purchases on new equipment or I can
save that money and invest it for travel to attend scholarly conferences the next
year, that allows you, as managers of funds, to be better stewards of state
resources. Our budgets balanced. We put investments in reserves, we provided salary enhancements for the fifth time in six years, but our ability
to continue to do all this is predicated on enrollment growth. So that leads me to
the next section of my presentation, but before talking a little bit about
enrollment and Student Success, any questions on the budget and the record
that was brought forward by Mike Kroust to his board at THEC last week? Alright, Bucky and I’ll move on. I want to spend a moment here. We have invested
considerable amounts of this board’s time talking about enrollment. At the
retreat, we walk through our recruitment strategy. We’ve talked about efforts and
marketing. We’ve really spent a great deal of time purposefully with this
board on enrollment and in the academic committee this morning you all approved
an enrollment projection upon which our budget next year will be built by down
100. And I’ve had a couple board members ask questions: “well, Brian, why is enrollment flat” and “isn’t just maintaining enrollment next year to what it is this
year just kind of general operating business” and it’s really not. With the
implementation of Tennessee promise, with the implementation of Tennessee
reconnect, with Western Carolina now having essentially free tuition from
North Carolinians to attend WCU, the landscape is competitive. And if you look
at our performance in comparison to that of the other former Board of Regents
institutions we look a little different. If you look at TSU this fall down 681
students year-over-year. Tech down 318 students year-over-year. Middle down 283
students year-over-year. Now, roll that out to a five-year time period. Tech, in
and of itself, lost Tusculum, Tennessee State lost Milligan, and Middle lost
Emory & Henry. That’s the scale of those enrollment declines and then look at us.
But, what makes us different than those institutions? We live in a region that
isn’t growing. They’re experiencing that decline in one of the fastest growing
metropolitan areas in the entire nation. Now, a lot of that’s a function of
Tennessee Promise but it’s also a function of Knoxville. Knoxville, for
the first time in decades, has decided to grow and there are only so many high
school students in the state and they’ve got to go somewhere and you’re seeing
some of that redirected for those institutions to Knoxville. What makes us
different is our profile of Health Sciences programs, but also think what makes us different is we’ve worked intentionally to recruit
and you see that evidenced here within our numbers. But, we got a lot of work to
do because, as Dr. Hoff noted this morning, if we don’t grow the freshman
class we’re not gonna be able to pay the bills and in our enterprise risk
assessment you saw the number of seniors that are moving through the pipeline if
we don’t replace them with freshmen and transfer students that our ability to
continue these numbers in the growth that we’ve experienced is going to be
difficult. Here’s our fall enrollment for those of you who watched my state of the
University address online, God help you but you may have seen these slides. These
are slides that I shared with the board about a month ago at that address
but you see our total enrollment, you see that once again the largest class of
graduate students in the history of the institution. It’s great to have the new
Dean of the School of Graduate Studies Dr. McGee with us here today. But, you see
we’re becoming a destination institution and those process improvements in the
bottom bullet or what Dr. Sherlin walked through at length. Here’s our enrollment
characteristics. We’re enhancing the quality of the undergraduate pool. The
average high school GPA for this year’s freshman is a 3.5 and the ACT scores of
23. The bottom charts high end students Presidential Scholars have a 3.9 and 29-30 on the ACT. Provost have a 3.75 and a 29 ACT. The number of students who are high achieving students
who are making this their institution of choice has increased year over year over
year. I want to just mention briefly transfer it is critical that we have a
strong relationship with Northeast State because so many of our students are
transferring to us from Northeast State and you can see how our transfer numbers
also vary across the other community colleges and then those students who are
coming back to ETSU after having spent some time at Knoxville, but those are the
top feeder institutions from a transfer perspective at ETSU. Here’s where
students come from. While Knox County may not lead in terms of enrollment we
receive more patience from Knox County than any other
county in the state of Tennessee. You see the decline in students from North
Carolina. That’s a direct impact of the Western Carolina promise program and
then you see the decrease in the number of international students. We were
intentional this morning with the program that hopefully will address that
number but given the conversations at the federal level. I anticipate that at
least for the time being international numbers will continue to trend in that
direction but we’re going to do what we can in our own way to try to move that
frame. Just a little bit on where are we presently and I apologize that this font
is tight but that’s the number of applications that we had as of the
beginning of November. You can see how our apps compare year over year. I try
not to put too much stock into these numbers because we’re early in the game,
but early in the game we’re kind of trending in the direction that we want
to. Our app numbers are up and we’ve been purposeful in our activities. So that top
scholar events at shale birds were the 4x next to it that’s about 450 students
and parents who made their way through Shellbridge in the month of October to
meet with deans of each of our major colleges and schools to learn about the
experience at the University. These are all students with 27 ACTs and up who
had the opportunity to sit down with Doug Taylor and say I want to go to med
school. He’s been the head of our admissions committee for every class
that’s been admitted to Quillin. What a wonderful opportunity for student to
have the chance to talk to an individual of that caliber to learn about the path
to med school. We had events in Knoxville. I had the chance to do something that
was really just a great deal of fun and I hope that some of you may have the
chance to join me next year I know calendars didn’t work with trustee
gGlden but I had the chance to go to Dobbins bed at high school and to
Science Hill in October to walk into a classroom and I walk in with the
principal and the principal would say “Scott, I need you to come forward I want
to talk to you about something.” And the whole room eeeeew. So, when Scott Niwonger watching the front of room and I said, “Scott, I’ve got someone here who wants to
talk to yo.” And then I walk in and I have two things
in my hand I have a certificate and I have your admissions letter. Let’s say,
“Scott, it’s October, you’re getting a lot of these letters in the mail, this is your
acceptance letter at the East Tennessee State University. I figured I’d save the
postage and give it to you in person. But, while I’m really here is to convey the
Presidential Scholarship to you a scholarship that when coupled with the
lottery scholarship takes the cost of college off the table for you and your
family. Congratulations. I know you have a lot of college options in front of you
but I hope that you consider ETSU.” I then walk down the room. I did that 42 times
and in an hour and a half we gave away $600,000 in one high school alone and then we did that in Science Hill. So those efforts are things
that we’re doing intentionally to try to separate this institution from others in
the state to convince those kids that we’re the best fit. We’ve had multiple
open houses. We’re going to launch a marketing campaign in November and then
we’re doing everything we can particularly not do accent to this in
the academic meeting but I want to thank the chair for his support of a program
called Buck Start which will allow students to dual enroll through
technology in every high school across the region. So, if you live in Mountain
City and it’s going to be impossible for us to get a student up there to keep
teach dual enrollment courses, through technology we’ll do dual enrollment
online and that will allow us to expand college opportunities which then drives
towards these numbers. Freshmen pay the bills and if there’s one thing that I
pay attention to more than anything else sometimes to a fault is I pay attention
to these numbers. Here’s our graduation rates. They’re moving upwards. That’s a
brand new number. You’ve not seen that number. So that 44.2% it started ETSU,
graduated from ETSU. If you put the THEC number on top of that start at ETSU
graduate anywhere that there was about 51%. So, we’re making progress but we
still have a lot of work to do to sit hit the 60% threshold that’s in our
strategic plan. Another element that’s in our strategic plan is to support our
employees. We participate in the great colleges to work for survey and for the
first time in the period in which we’ve been administering this survey, our satisfaction rates are at our peer group averages. And
as you look across those benchmarks you see the improvements that we’ve mad. We
have a lot of work to do. As you all know, you’ve had to put up with you me now for
eight meetings, I had a lot of flaws. I’m naive, I’m hopelessly optimistic, but I
deeply believe in the people who work at this university. Now, my overall approval
rating isn’t that good, it’s at 60% but it’s better than other senior leaders
and other places across the country. We have a lot of work to do but I’m proud
of the progress that we’re making. And one of the things that we’ve done and I
don’t think unfortunately I’ve put it into the slide, under the leadership of
Jeremy Ross and a lot of work we’re doing to restructure HR, we launched an
employee fair this fall that put in place wellness opportunities and a
chance for our employees to learn about the healthy lifestyle options that exist
at this institution. You know, there are a few places where your kids can get a
discount on tuition, you can take classes for free, if you want to go camping this
weekend you can get a tent at no cost, we provide bikes and other workout
equipment for individuals at no cost. There are benefits to working here that
are just beyond description. So while our salaries may not be where they want them
to be in terms of quality of life I think we have a quality of life and
experience at the university that I would put up against any and our survey
numbers are starting to reflect that. Our job satisfaction rating is at 76% and
the pride is also at 76%. Strategic initiatives. You’ve seen these, I’m not
going to go into them in detail but I want to touch on a few. There’s a
question posed this morning in the academic affairs committee about our
Greek village efforts. We will be bringing fraternities onto campus next
fall but they will be brought to campus based upon their performance in quality
measures. So, we’re not going to bring Delta Delta Delta because they just sold
their house. We’re gonna bring the chapters on to campus that score the
highest in terms of outcomes. That will allow us to bring learning communities
together for those Greek organizations similar to the learning communities that
Dr. Shirlen referenced earlier. We are developing key
performance indicators that you will approved this morning, we’re continuing
the decentralization of our budget process, and we’re developing new
academic programs and we outlined all those programs for you at the last
meeting that will bring in meetings to come being clear line of sight on new
programs that are coming your way. As Dr. Sherline mentioned earlier,
we’re restructuring our entire Gen Ed core. Other efforts, we’re looking to create
ETSU health to take all of the diversity of clinics from nursing to medicine etc.
under one umbrella. We’re working to implement a lot of the things that are
emerging from aim and we’ll spend some dedicated time with you in the spring
at a board meeting delving into some of the work in the Health Sciences.
We’ve got capital projects underway. I would encourage you to look out the
window or walk outside at the close of today and see the Martin Center coming
up and out of the ground. At the last meeting we talked about the
trauma-informed campus efforts. At the next board meeting will present an
implementation plan for you and I’m pleased to mention the Presidential
Fellows program. You have been direct to me in the need for us as a university to
prepare individuals to move into leadership roles. That’s what the
presidential Fellows program is. I interviewed four presidential fellow
finalists yesterday, we’ll make the selection of the two next week and they
will begin their fellowships in January. Hopefully the next round of presidential
fellows will stay at the university but I’m pleased that at least one out of four
is moving on to be a president so at least our selection process the last
time was strong and I think you’ll be pleased with the individuals who will
move forward in that process this time. I want to spend a moment on this slide.
This is a slide I want to thank Trustee Golden for his input feedback throughout
the development of some work that we are now moving forward at the University. We
as an institution, our former Dean of the College of Medicine, Phil Bagnall, used to
describe us as a mom-and-pop shop. A place that really focused on things at a
personal level. It would pretty good at that and we have a legal staff that’s
very small, that’s very skilled, and very talented but a legal staff is the world around us that has become much more complicated whereby we need to bring some additional assets to the table. So, as you look at that
chart, the Compliance Council, the Equity Compliance Officer, and the two Assistant
Equity Compliance Officers that is a restructure and compliance unit at the
institution. The Compliance Council for all intents and purposes is our
Corporate Compliance Officer. There’s two boxes in red to the far right our title
nine investigators. The box that they report to the equity compliance officer
is the person who will be prescribed with accountability from an EEOC
perspective and then you’ve got an individual above who will investigate
cases as they move forward. Unfortunately, we are at institution with 2,600 faculty
and 14,800 students and there are incidents that occur on campus that
carried the weight of review and sometimes that review moves into
agitation. So when it moves to that level our legal counsel will come in and
prosecute and the individuals to the right and along order terms. They
investigate the individuals to the left will then prosecute, but that is a new
structure that we’re putting in place and I think it’s a structure, if you
remember, a case that we had very early on involving a faculty member. In the
event and I hope that there’s not but in the event that there ever is another
case such as that in the future this will clarify and streamline processes
through which the due process aspects of faculty and staff are reviewed. And they
were also completely overhauling our HR function. I cannot thank Diana McClay and
Lori Erickson enough for their leadership. This is a complicated chart
but if you look at what we’re trying to move through here is creating a direct
line of flow that deals with issues from supervisory consultant consultation to
audit to training to mediation to title IX. So our employees clearly know how to
navigate the process and hopefully by navigating the process properly we
reduce the number of things that move to the final frame. Hard transition now to
legislative initiatives for 19. I shared this with you at the last board
meeting, I’m sharing again but I want to draw your attention
to the final two bullets. We have our sunset hearing on December the 19th. So,
Chairman Niswonger, you and I will have the chance to go to Nashville and
sit in front of government ops and try to convince them to let ETSU continue to
exist. When I worked for THEC this was a annual rite of passage to go before
sunset but this will be our first experience as
a university and the sunset process. I’m hopeful it’ll go well and we’re
preparing the material that we’ve got to send down to Nashville for that. And then,
we want to support THEC, the new governor, and the significant change in
lettuce legislative leadership as they develop their higher education agenda.
There’s one thing on this chart that I do want to spend some time with and it’s
the second bullet. As you notice the THEC recommendation they did not
recommend the scholarship program for pharmacy. So we will push that through on
the legislative side just as last year we push through funding for the
Overmountain Clinic. So the pharmacy tuition was tuition equalization
initiative would be a two and a half million dollar scholarship proposal that
would essentially allow students who attend Gatton to pay the same as they
would pay if they attended the in-state institution. This one to me is in some
respects becoming personal because every time I drive by that billboard on the
interstate that talks about the highest ranked lowest cost college of pharmacy
in the region that exists because of the state support that they receive and I
think it’s fair time when a North Carolina resident can pay less to go to
Memphis than a Tennesseean can pay to go to Gatton, we need to push on this one
and I thank you for your support as we push that through the legislative
process. Last as I want to frame some things within a broader context. So I’ve
talked a lot about the university I want to frame some things that are happening
within the university in a broader context. There’s a group called AASCU, the
Association of State Colleges and Universities. I was named to their board last week. National policy organization for
institutions of our size. Each year they put out their top ten and challenges
facing higher education. You see in 2008 the beginning of the downturn those are
the ten challenges and then the challenges
in eighteen. I put this intentionally to show that as much as things change in some
respects they stay the same. Affordability, affordability, campus
security guns on campus, free speech. If these things carry across. So one of the
benefits of a large system such as ours is that things cycle and if we can keep
a long view and for us that long view is the strategic plan. If we can stay
focused on where we want to be in 2026 the ebbs and flows of things that happen
in policy cycles will ebb and flow but the end result stays the same and I
think as we look at changes that are occurring around us that long view will
help inform wise decisions in the short-term. Here’s our stewardship of
place mission. And why is it important that we had this mission? Why is it
important that we try to create some research at the institution that
addresses the challenges of rural health? Why it is important that we work with
urgency to create staff in the College of Medicine and across the institution
that can focus research on issues? Because this is the area that we call
home. We’re good at all the things you shouldn’t be good at and you see those
statistics evidence at the bottom of the slide. And I want to take a moment here
to thank two faculty members who are with us Dr. Kelly Foster and Dr. Candice
Bright who lead our efforts and as role. This is a survey research entity at the
institution that grows out of an academic unit that is relaunching the
Tennessee poll. so for those of you who follow Tennessee politics, back in the
day, there used to be the Tennessee poll that Knoxville ran that periodically
assess Tennesseans perceptions about a number of issues. That poll got a fair
amount of attention right before the election for some polling numbers that
we put out about the election but what didn’t get some coverage and I want to
share with you today are questions that were in the poll about Tennesseans
perception about a number of issues. So Tennesseans perception about how safe
they felt when their kids went to school or did the they fear for their safety
and how that varied by gender. How committed were they to participating in
their community. How influential did they think that people such as themselves had
an opportunity to make their communities a better place to live. And then, this is
the one that has mission implications for us because we asked folks about the
opioid epidemic. Did they know folks who are suffering from addiction, were they
supportive of efforts to intervene in that fight against addiction, and then
some specific questions on naloxone. You’ll see questions on a regular basis
coming forward and we’ll present this research to you but it allows us as an
institution to have a clear line of sight on the perceptions of Tennesseans
about things that impact us and one of the Tennessee polls we’re going to ask
them about higher education in ETSU. So why does all that matter? Now, let’s roll
it up. Here’s our state from a health perspective compared to the nation as a
whole. Here’s our state in our region with
respect to opioids describe per capita and you see how dark the color gradation
here is in Northeast Tennessee. Here’s the story of addiction in our region and
there’s no region suffering from addiction in particularly NAS such as
the region here. That’s why we’re looking in conjunction with ballade to make some
focused investments to address this issue. Our region lives in poverty. Our
region’s undereducated. Our region’s undereducated. But, here’s
the one that now kind of links things full circle and I’m gonna close with
this by design. We’re the only reason the state of Tennessee that isn’t growing. So, in 2007, we had one County that was growing in Washington. Now, fast forward to 2015
we’re experiencing population decline. So our mission is more important than it’s
ever been. Our mission of access, our mission of outreach, our mission of
service, our mission to create dual enrollment opportunities so that more
students have the chance to graduate from high school and go on to college. We
have to as Dr. Shirlen mentioned. Whatever that was that was pretty good. That’s a sign “Brian, shut up.” So the point
here is we’ve got to be the Kansas City Royals. We don’t have the resources of
Vanderbilt but how do we use the resources we have to move these numbers
because we’re doing more with less our populations growing but we’re trying
to grow as a university. Unless we can move those population health numbers
then we failed in our mission and that was the theme of my state of the
University address. This was what I closed with in the state of the
University address and it’s where I’ll close here. And as I’m closing we can tee
up what will be the close of my address and it’s a close of stewardship of place
and saying thank you. Sometimes we as a university gets so lost in all these
data and demographic changes and the challenges in front of us. We get so
focused on the things that are immediate. For a little bit during the meeting I
was focused immediately on how in the world I was going to insure. My son
didn’t get an F because his homework was late because Donna is out of town and I
forgot to put everything in his backpack. But sometimes we fail to step back and
look at how the work that we do touches the lives of others.So Leon shared the
names of individuals who’ve touched his career at this institution and I’d like
to close my president’s report with a video and I’ve got to stress that this
isn’t staged. This is the video that we will release as a campus today. It’s our
Thanksgiving video. So the things you’re going to see here are our students
saying thanks in their own unique way and at the end I assure you what you’re
going to see happened in real time. So with that, I’ll turn it to the video. That was one of the best thing that
happened to me like after spending over 24 hours. I coming down from Nigeria.
Having someone to pick me up at the airport, I mean it’s meant a lot to me and it didn’t just end there. They’ve been the
best thing that’s happened to me in the United States and she has been like a
mother to me and a husband has also been like a
father to me. My dad has always thought that education was really important.
Pretty much to all throughout his whole life he’s been working hard to get to
college. He’s been working while getting an education and putting countless hours
and then taking up multiple jobs really. Coming in here and taking courses that
were way harder than I’d ever had to take before, I’m suddenly starting to
have to study and realize that I’m not top-notch material unless I put effort
into it. It took a toll on my mental and emotional well-being. And Mackenzie has
been working with me tirelessly since the first semester of school to show me
that I am worthy of love and that my grades are not indicative of my worth.
She just changed my life and I could not my own I could not be more thankful for
her because she helped me realize that, you know, college is what you make it. Hi, KK. Hi, mom. How are you today? I’m good. I’m really happy to be a part of you and part of the family and thank you for
everything you’ve done for me like picking me up from the airport and down
to school and then from up from them too now you’ve been amazing and I feel
comfortable and I feel at home here in the United Stated because you made it so. Well you’re very welcome. I mean it was our pleasure, it is our pleasure. Hello? Hello, dad. I just wanted to call and say thank you for everything really. For sending me to college and working hard. You’re welcome. That means a lot to me what you’re saying. Yeah, I really appreciate it and soon I’m about to register for classes and I just want to say thank you for everything you’ve done
for our family. Man, thank you Avay. You made my day. That’s good. Hey, McKenzie. It’s Audrey. Oh, hey, what’s up? I just wanted to call you and let you know that everything you have ever done for me has been so
appreciated. You are a little blessing in my life and I probably would not have
made it this far into college if it wouldn’t have been for you and I just
wanted to let you know that I am so thankful for you. Thank you, Audrey. Thank you so much. I need to hear stuff like this sometimes and it’s hard to ask for it and so It’s really wonderful when it just kind of happened so thank you. Thank you. Mr. Chair, members of the board, thank you
for what you do for our university. Thank you for pushing us, thank you for holding
us accountable, and thank you for encouraging us to set bigger visions and
dream bigger dreams for this institution. We got a lot of potential in front of us.
We’ve got a lot of work to do. And I want to remind you of the date. We’re gonna
have the holiday party for the Board at the house and early December which will
then be concluded with the opportunity to head to Muncie and hear our students
in voice close the holiday season for the institution. If you’ve not had a
chance to drive through campus and see the lights, I would encourage you to do
so. President Gupta and I had the chance to
turn them on the other day. It’s one of my favorite nights of the year because
in the dark gray winter boom everything lights up. For those of you who pay
attention, you’ll see that there’s some things that are new but I thank you.
Thank you for what you do for University, thank you for allowing me to be your
president, and it’d be my pleasure to address any questions that you as the
board have. I don’t have a question but I want to thank each one of you for what y’all do. That was heartfelt. And Leon for you to stand up and share the people that touched you those same
things happen to me in 1970. I was 12. Everything that we, all of us do, and all
y’all do touches somebody. So when you reach out and touch it makes a
difference. So, thank you, y’all. Thank you, Dr. Noland. Thank you. It’s been a video was a
great capstone to a great day, great meetings, and thank you all for being
here. Is there any other work to come for the board today? I learned for those of
you that were here and Bethany, congratulations, make us proud. I learned of the last meeting Lieutenant Governor Ramsey that I couldn’t adjourn my own meeting. So, at
this time, I would ask is there a motion? I move we adjourn. I second. All in favor? Aye. So moved. Here. I hate for you to lose your touch. Have a good week.