Increased enrollment, additional scholarships, and a more diverse campus population were among the highlights presented by Dr. Bill Stacy, chancellor of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, when he gave a preliminary report of the University's progress toward meeting its five-year plan.
"I'm very pleased with what I found in this report," said Stacy. "The progress we've made in enrollment and new progams is tremendous. There are some areas where I know we can do better, such as faculty and staff salaries, but all in all this shows that UTC is moving forward."
In April 1994, UTC faculty, students and administration established a series of five-year objectives, in areas such as student enrollment and services, faculty and staff issues, programs, and facilities.
For fall 1997, UTC achieved a record enrollment of 8,528 against a target enrollment of 8,496. The University has seen an increase in African-American undergraduates (15.2 percent of undergraduate student population) and graduates (9.2 percent fo graduate student population). The number of transfer students rose to 35.86 percent of first time enrollees, and the number of on-campus resident students rose to 18.3 percent of all students.
"Our growing enrollment shows that students know that we offer a high quality education and extracurricular activities at a cost that is affordable. In my opinion, no greater praise can be offered an institution than that students want to be there," said Stacy. "I want to ensure that we continue to provide and improve the programs and services we offer our students."
Several factors point to high academic integrity at UTC. The average ACT score of incoming freshman has continually risen. The number of professorships and endowed chairs to recognize outstanding faculty members has grown. Several additional departments achieved accreditation toward the institution's goal of accreditation for all possible programs. The level of external research support is high for an institution such as UTC. The University's partnerships with local agencies, governments, and businesses provide additional opportunities for UTC students as well as public service for the community.
"When you look at the area of enhancement, there is no question that the University of Chattanooga Foundation plays an essential role on this campus," said Stacy. "We have so many professorships, scholarships, research programs, and development funds that simply would not exist were it not for the Foundation. They truly enable us to offer more than other universities like ours."
Although the number of faculty has been growing as the student population has grown, UTC faculty and staff salaries have not kept pace with their counterparts at other institutions. In fact, from 1994 to 1996, UTC faculty salaries dropped 10 percent from the national average during the same time period.
"Our faculty and staff members do great jobs. They should be compensated well for their efforts," said Stacy. "I hope we can work with the Governor and the state legislature to look at this area in the future."
Stacy has begun working with other UTC officials to chart a plan for the institution's future. A survey of students, faculty, and staff members will help frame objectives.
"UTC has improved by following this course, but the five years are almost over." said Stacy. "I've said that I wanted to take time to see where we are before we decide where we are going. I believe this report gives us a good idea of that. The surveys will give us even more information. One thing I can say with absolutely certainty, the future looks bright."
To view the complete report.
Last updated: March 31, 1998.
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