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- Record enrollment
- UTC ranked among the best universities by U.S. News & World Report
- University receives 200 acres from federal government
- University to host international biology convention
- Planning begins for new library
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga has achieved record enrollment for fall 2007. The total number of students enrolling at UTC this fall is 9,558, which represents a 7.12 percent increase from fall 2006. The campus also saw a significant growth in freshman enrollment with approximately 1,950 first-time students.
Enrollment growth at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is on track to be the largest of any campus in the state of Tennessee for fall 2007. UTC grew 635 students from fall 2006 to fall 2007-- earning a 7.99 percent growth in FTE.
“Congratulations to the campus on another enrollment milestone this year! The fact that so many students and their families are choosing UTC is a testament to the tremendous work of the faculty, staff, and students here,” said Chuck Cantrell, Assistant Vice Chancellor.
UTC’s freshman class grew to 1,947 this fall, another record. There were 650 students who transferred to UTC. The average ACT score for entering UTC freshmen rose to 22.0, up from 21.7. The mean GPA for the freshman class rose to 3.18 from 3.17. The number of freshmen who enrolled with college credit continues to grow, with 23.27 percent of first-time freshmen coming to UTC with college credit.
The top 10 feeder high schools for this year’s freshman class are, in order: Soddy Daisy, Ooltewah, Franklin (Nashville), Hixson, Central, Father Ryan (Nashville), Red Bank, Notre Dame, Rossview (Clarksville), and East Ridge.
Overall graduate enrollment dipped by 15 students, but FTE enrollment increased slightly by 0.2 percent.
African American Enrollment
African American new enrollment at UTC grew by 2.19 percent; however, overall African American enrollment dropped slightly to 17.6 percent.
Non-Traditional (25+ years) Enrollment
The percentage of non-traditional students continued a slight downward trend, dropping to 24.65 percent for fall 2007. Non-traditional enrollment has dropped almost 5 percent since fall 2003.
UTC was again ranked among the Best Universities—Master’s in the South in the 2008 edition of U.S. News and World Report’s annual America’s Best Colleges guide. UTC moved up several places, ranking 34th; UTC ranked 40th in the 2007 rankings.
The rankings distinguish between campuses such as UTC—which now offers three doctoral programs—and major research universities offering multiple doctorates.
“Although these rankings offer prospective students and their parents only a minimal snapshot of a campus and should probably not be used for direct comparison purposes, we are always happy to be recognized. When you look at the list of respected institutions included in these rankings, you recognize what an honor it is just to be among their company,” said UTC Chancellor Roger Brown.
U.S. News and World Report publishes the annual guide of colleges that ranks colleges in a variety of categories and considers criteria such as graduation rates, faculty to student ratios, alumni giving, and academic reputation.“I am proud that UTC continues to be recognized for academic quality and reputation. The outstanding efforts of our faculty, staff, and students and the tremendous support from the Chattanooga community, alumni and friends bring distinction to this campus,” said Brown.
Nearly 200 acres of property at Enterprise South, the former Volunteer Army Ammunitions Plant (VAAP), was formally gifted to The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga from the U.S. Department of Education.
The dedication ceremony celebrating the deed transfer was held on the site of the UTC field classroom and attended by Mary Hughes, Director of the Federal Real Property Assistance Program, U.S. Department of Education, along with representatives from Chattanooga and Hamilton County governments, the University, and the business community.
“This is a win-win for the community as well as the federal government,” Hughes said. “The transfer was made at no expense to taxpayers, and comes with a significant public benefit, as well.” Hughes said the property would be put to good use for education purposes and economic development. She added that another parcel on the property was being discussed as an additional acquisition for the University.
The most significant aspect of the gift is the size. UTC’s current downtown campus covers just less than 120 acres. This new property at Enterprise South provides space that in the future could almost double the size of the current campus.
“We are tremendously appreciative for this vote of confidence from the federal government,” said Dr. Roger Brown, UTC Chancellor. “When you consider all of the opportunities that become possible with a site of this magnitude, the prospects are almost unlimited. Just as our business and government leaders look to this Enterprise South property as the catalyst for economic sustainability in our community, students and faculty members from our biology department are looking to ensure that the land continues to sustain the wildlife that is already here. This represents a perfect of marriage of academic pursuit and economic development.”University biologists have already begun to explore the wildlife and plant life on the site, allowing students to conduct research in the field. Much of the land is a pine plantation with some hardwoods. A wetland, owned by Hamilton County schools, has become a hotspot for biological research. More than 100 students are expected to study and perform biological research in the field at the Enterprise South site during the fall and spring semesters.
Chancellor Roger Brown has announced that UTC will be the host institution for the 2008 Society for Conservation Biology convention. The Society for Conservation Biology has more than 10,000 members representing 140 nations. Past conferences have been held in China, South Africa, Brazil, the United Kingdom, and other major cities in the United States.
“This conference is scheduled to bring more than 1,700 scientists and policy makers from around the world to Chattanooga in July 2008, and organizers are expecting several announcements of significant importance to the world’s conservation efforts,” said Brown.
The theme for the conference is “From the Mountains to the Sea.” Topics may include climate issues, freshwater biodiversity, sustainable fisheries, freshwater use and conservation. Symposia, workshops and discussion groups will be decided by the end of the 2007. Registration will begin at the end of January.
“The scientists and policy makers who will attend this event will likely be in the area for weeks; many attendees make this conference their family vacation,” said Dr. David Aborn, faculty member of the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences. “There will be three to four days of workshops before the conference begins, and several days of field trips after.”
Aborn will serve as the chair of the meeting, which will be held at the Chattanooga Convention Center. Planners are seeking local and regional sponsors. For more information, contact David-Aborn@utc.edu .
Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen is scheduled to attend the event, according to Aborn.
The Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) is an international professional organization dedicated to promoting the scientific study of the phenomena that affect the maintenance, loss, and restoration of biological diversity.
SCB is the leading voice for the study of the scientific phenomena that affect biodiversity conservation, publishing the flagship peer-reviewed journal of the field, Conservation Biology. The Society is dedicated to linking conservation science, management, policy, and education with its award-winning magazine, Conservation. Affiliated publications include Biological Conservation and Pacific Conservation Biology.
Excitement is in the air as planning begins for the new UTC Library. The unanticipated, but welcomed decision to move forward with a new facility was made by Governor Phil Bredesen and approved by the Tennessee Legislature, providing one-time funds.
The current UTC Library building has a gross square footage of 116,349 and is no longer adequate, due to its size and design, to serve the needs of the students and faculty. “Equally important, since the current Lupton Library’s opening in 1974, library usage patterns and student learning styles have changed dramatically,” said Theresa Liedtka, dean of the Lupton Library. “UTC first placed the Library on its building priority list in 1989. Eighteen years later the University has been approved for funding in the amount of 48 million dollars to design a new library building of approximately 180,000 gross square feet, a gain of just over 60,000 square feet from the existing library building.”
Since 1974, the University has increased enrollment by over two-thirds, growing from a count of approximately 4,574 in 1974 to 8,923 in 2006. The existing Library originally had a seating capacity of 1,100. This seating capacity has decreased to approximately 670 seats due to necessary additions of shelving, technology, and new learning spaces.
In 1974 the Library opened its doors with 170,000 books and periodicals in its collection. Now, over 30 years later the collection has grown to over 1.7 million pieces of materials, including books, online resources, periodicals, DVDs, CDs, microfilm, etc. The shelving capacity for the original library at the time of construction was 500,000 volumes. The Library currently houses 503,000 volumes and it is only through collection evaluation, shifting and the adding of new shelving ranges that the current building is able to accommodate volume and other storage needs.
“Another major development has been the explosion of online materials and search tools not even on the horizon in 1974. Due to the construction design of the existing Library building, with water pipes above and below floors, adapting the space for current student needs has been challenging, when possible at all. Overall, a space analysis conducted in the year 2000 found the existing Library 58,575 square foot deficiency, per the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) standards,” said Liedtka.
The Library makes decisions based on student and faculty need. Numerous scholarly studies have demonstrated that students benefit from focused research instruction and that library use is an indicator of academic success for students.
“In the form of its staff members, collections and services, the UTC Library is here to support and serve the research and curricular needs of students and faculty. Customer service is the top priority for every staff member in our building. In short, we are here to help the students and faculty of UTC succeed. Last year the Library fielded just under 13,000 research questions, taught over 300 instructional sessions reaching over 5,500 students, filled over 12,000 interlibrary loan requests, circulated 30,000 plus items, 4,000 plus laptops, and provided group study space to approximately 8,000 groups,” said Liedtka.
The faculty, staff, and student assistants at the Lupton Library envision the new Library as the academic and intellectual center of campus, a marketplace of ideas. New building components potentially include classrooms, additional meeting and group study space for collaborative conversation and learning, quiet study spaces for contemplation and inspiration, informal and formal learning spaces to read, talk, rest with increased seating, flexible technologically-enhanced learning spaces that serve varied learning styles, a café, compact shelves and more.
The Planning process for the new Library has just begun. The process will include: identifying participants to develop a program statement with input from the Campus Community; analyzing existing library spaces, collections, services, and benchmarks, in relationship to the University’s Strategic Plan, Curriculum Plan, Technology Plan, and Master Plan; determining the information and library needs of future students and faculty and integrating current and future needs in a program statement.
Liedtka sees the new Library as the focal point for collaborative research and teaching for students and faculty in the 21st century. In building a new space, the UTC Library seeks to blend old traditions with new developments in library usage, with private carrels providing quiet study among rows of book stacks on one floor, complemented by comfortable chairs, wireless laptops, and an area designated as information commons to enhance group study and the navigation of library databases and other electronic tools on another. The new library will offer an academic and social gathering place for students, faculty, and members of the academic community through classrooms, labs, meeting and event spaces, and technology-equipped study areas and rooms. The Library’s goal is to create a warm, welcoming environment that brings UTC community members together to study, work, and relax, Liedtka said.
“The Library is the academic and intellectual heart of the campus. This philosophy is core to our design process. Throughout the year student, faculty, staff, and community input will be sought,” said Liedtka. “In the meantime, if you have an idea or want to learn more about the process, please do not hesitate to contact me at email@example.com or (423)425-4506 to share your ideas on the new Library.”