During his visit to Chattanooga for the Southern Growth Policies Board today, Governor Bill Haslam visited the University of Tennessee Chattanooga campus where he met with members of UTC’s administration and faculty. The visit preempts a series of statewide discussions regarding higher education reform in Tennessee. As recently as last week at the Board of Trustees meeting in Knoxville, the Governor stated that higher education would be his focus for the remainder of the year. This will likely lead to a legislative package surrounding higher education for the upcoming legislative session. Topics of particular interest to the Governor include workforce development, cost structure, and the number and quality of college graduates.
During his visit, UTC leaders highlighted the campus’ unique access mission, opportunity for growth, and its contributions to statewide and regional workforce development. As a metropolitan university, UTC’s mission encompasses teaching, research, and service, and requires UTC to engage in strategic partnerships and community involvement. These partnerships include corporations such as Volkswagen, which chose to locate a plant in Chattanooga in 2008. UTC leaders also touched upon several campus programs available to help the state graduate more students, including a “degree in three” program and the newly approved Bachelor of Integrated Studies.
Also highlighted during the visit was UTC’s SimCenter: National Center for Computational Engineering. The SimCenter has established a national reputation for excellence in solving complex engineering problems, and recently was selected to participate in the White House’s U.S. Ignite Initiative. To read more about this accomplishment and UTC’s SimCenter, click here.
One of the questions asked by Chancellor Roger Brown during the meeting was if changes were being considered to higher education governance. Governor Haslam was quick to note that he was more interested in changing outcomes but would continue to consider the matter.
The University of Tennessee thanks Governor Haslam for his visit and interest in the University of Tennessee Chattanooga.