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Memphis Matters

No tuition hike, lower out-of-state fees for 2014-15

The Tennessee Board of Regents has approved two proposals from the University of Memphis that will keep maintenance fees (in-state tuition) flat for the upcoming academic year and will also significantly reduce the amount out-of-state students pay to attend the U of M.

After an average increase of 7.3 percent over the last 10 years, University officials proposed that maintenance fees, commonly referred to as tuition, remain flat for 2014-15. This marks the first time in 22 years that all U of M students will not see a tuition increase.

 “Affordability is a key component of our strategy to encourage more students to attend the University of Memphis and complete college on time,” said President M. David Rudd. “The University has always been a great educational value, but it is an even better value now.”

The historic announcement means that undergraduate in-state students taking a full academic course load of 12 hours at the U of M will continue to pay $7,056 per year, plus mandatory fees of $1,563. In-state graduate students taking at least nine hours will pay $8,298 a year, plus any additional mandatory fees.

The Board of Regents also approved the University’s proposal to reduce tuition for out-of-state students, including a special reduction for students living within 250 miles of Memphis. Read the news release here.

SGA approves funding for new student recreation center

Rec CenterThe Student Government Association at the University of Memphis has approved a fee increase to fund construction of a new student recreation and fitness center.

The 192,500-sq. ft. center will be located along Southern Avenue north of the existing Student Recreation and Fitness Center. Construction will be done in three phases, with the center scheduled to open in 2018.

The signature facility will feature a main four-court divisible gym, six racquetball courts, a multi-purpose fitness center with a climbing wall, a natatorium with a recreational pool and lane pool, an outdoor leisure pool, lockers, classrooms and training rooms. There also will be a two-court gym, a quarter-mile indoor track, a wellness and nutrition area, offices and large group exercise areas. There will three full-size turf fields, basketball courts and tennis courts outdoors. A land bridge will make the center accessible from the northern part of the campus.

The center will be funded by a student fee increase of $307 for 2014-15. Read the news release here.

Dr. Niles Reddick will lead Lambuth Campus

ReddickDr. Niles Reddick is the new vice provost for the U of M Lambuth Campus. Reddick has served as vice president for academic affairs at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Ga. He earned a doctorate in humanities from Florida State University and has 20 years of experience in higher education teaching and administration.

“The success of our Lambuth campus is critical to the future of the University of Memphis and West Tennessee in general,” said President M. David Rudd. “I have great confidence in Dr. Reddick’s ability to implement our strategic vision in Lambuth, strengthen community ties, and help grow our student base.” Read more here.

Teacher preparation programs again ranked nationally

For the second year, the Teacher Prep Review published by U.S. News & World Report in conjunction with the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) has ranked the elementary and secondary teacher preparation programs at the University of Memphis among the best in the nation.

The U of M was ranked 27th for its undergraduate elementary program and 28th for the graduate secondary program. The Review evaluated more than 800 elementary teacher programs and more than 800 secondary teacher education programs nationally. These rankings suggest a strong institutional commitment to high-quality teacher training.

“Few would disagree with the claim that teacher education is essential to the success of Memphis and our nation,” said President M. David Rudd. “We can take great pride in being recognized as a national leader and innovator in an area that touches so many lives. I am grateful for the expertise, talent and hard work of our faculty and congratulate them on a remarkable accomplishment.” Read more here.

Assisi gift will create bioscience research building

bioHUBThe Assisi Foundation of Memphis has awarded a $1.5 million lead grant to the University of Memphis for construction of the BioHUB, a new bioscience research building that will create a multidisciplinary space where students, scientists and researchers can collaborate and produce groundbreaking developments.
“The University is increasingly being recognized as one of America’s great metropolitan research universities,” said President M. David Rudd. “Our faculty members are engaged in exciting, cutting-edge research — research that has a profound impact on the lives of those in Memphis, the state of Tennessee and across the globe. This facility is an essential part of our effort to grow research capacity to $100 million over the next decade.”

The BioHUB will provide modern facilities to support research in biologic and biochemical research, biomaterial and biodevice development, and behavioral neuroscience research.

For more than a decade, the BioHUB has been an essential part of the University’s Campus Master Plan and is a crucial element of its accreditation in 2015. The state-of-the-art facility will promote advanced, collaborative research, post-baccalaureate training and undergraduate education.

The two-story, 68,500-sq. ft. BioHUB will be located along the eastern edge of the main campus, close to existing laboratories and easily accessible to off-campus industry collaborators. Read the news release here.

Dhaliwal named interim dean of Graduate School

DhaliwalDr. Jasbir Dhaliwal has been named interim dean of the Graduate School and vice provost for Academic Affairs, replacing Dr. Karen Weddle-West, who was appointed interim provost recently.

“I am pleased to announce that Dr. Dhaliwal has agreed to serve in this important role overseeing the University’s portfolio of doctoral, master’s, educational specialist and graduate certificate programs,” said Weddle-West. “In addition to a natural passion for student success, he brings intellect and business acumen to the role at a time when the University is transitioning its operational model for academics to deal with a changing strategic environment. He will help us innovate, reach across disciplinary boundaries, and tie our graduate and research programs to the diverse needs of our community partners.”

“I am delighted that Dr. Dhaliwal has agreed to serve in this capacity,” said President M. David Rudd. “His ability to recruit graduate students, market our high-quality graduate programs and create initiatives that generate funding to support graduate students is unmatched. He will be an excellent steward of the Graduate School.” Read the news release here.

Irwin will lead Academic Innovation and Support Services

IrwinThe University of Memphis has named Dr. Richard Irwin interim vice provost for Academic Innovation and Support Services. He will chair the University Undergraduate Council, oversee all undergraduate programs and provide leadership in strategic planning, academic advising, and innovative methods to deliver and acquire college-level knowledge in fulfillment of degree completion.

“I am pleased to announce that Dr. Irwin has agreed to serve in this new role overseeing academic innovation initiatives at the University,” said President M. David Rudd. “His leadership in such areas as the Experiential Learning Lab and the Finish Line degree completion program are critical to the University’s goals of increasing student retention and graduation.”

“Throughout his academic and administrative career, Dick Irwin has focused on academic excellence, student success and degree completion,” said Dr. Karen Weddle-West, interim provost. “His creative and innovative ideas about translating professional experiences into academic credit have generated funding to support students’ matriculation, created new pathways to access institutions of higher learning and expedited degree completion. Dick will bring new synergies, vision and collaborations to support the mission of Academic Affairs at the University of Memphis.” Read the news release here.

Changes in the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences

Dr. Donald Wagner, dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences, has agreed to step into a new role as executive dean of Health Sciences, and Dr. Ernest Rakow has agreed to serve as interim dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences.

U of M students embrace readership program

University of Memphis students have achieved a 14th place ranking in the Top 20 Programs in USA Today’s Collegiate Readership Program.

According to USA Today, U of M students have been reading an average of almost 1,200 newspapers per day, totaling 141,669 for the latest academic year. The publication coordinates all aspects of The Collegiate Readership Program. All participating newspapers are delivered to displays located in residence halls or other campus locations each morning, and a recycling program collects unused copies. The program provides students with weekday issues of USA Today, The New York Times, The Commercial Appeal and The Jackson Sun (available on the Lambuth Campus). Distribution points can be found throughout the main campus and at Lambuth.

The Collegiate Readership Program (CRP), originally created at Penn State University more than a decade ago, currently reaches nearly 500 colleges and universities. Read more here.

Cook gift creates finance trading lab in Fogelman College

Cook Trading LabMichael Cook, founder and CEO of SouthernSun Asset Management, has committed $1 million toward establishing a state-of-the-art finance trading lab in the University of Memphis’ Fogelman College of Business & Economics. Included in the agreement is a $500,000 matching pledge, which will bring the total endowment to $1.5 million.

The Cook Trading Lab will be housed on the first floor of the Fogelman College. Construction is scheduled to start this month, with classes beginning in the 2014-15 academic year.

​“Michael Cook’s remarkable generosity will have a profound and enduring impact on the lives of our students and the broader Memphis community,” said President M. David Rudd. “It’s a gift that provides a solid foundation for an innovative, cutting-edge educational experience that will help prepare our students and develop the skills necessary for a highly competitive job market. It’s another example of the tremendous support from the Memphis community for our great University.”

The Cook Trading Lab will offer innovative tools to help supplement traditional classroom teaching and provide resources to help business students and faculty stay on the cusp of an ever-growing industry. The leading-edge technology and data center will allow students to experience pragmatic, hands-on learning in an academic environment. The goal is to prepare students to become competent and confident finance professionals.

The Lab will mimic a Wall Street trading firm. It will be equipped with glass walls, real-time tickers and 12 Bloomberg Terminals. These analytical terminals provide accurate, real-time financial data and are heavily utilized in most professional financial firms. FCBE students will be able to run simulations with actual data and observe how their decisions could actually impact the market. Read more here.

U.S. News ranks U of M as one of top programs for veterans

For the second consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report has ranked the University of Memphis in its Top 25 in online graduate business programs for veterans.

The U of M is ranked 24th for online graduate business programs. Other universities on the list include Arizona State, James Madison, Washington State, Nebraska and Alabama.

Researchers in recent years have included online-only programs in their annual report, but said they included the veteran-specific rankings in recognition of the challenges that population faces. Veterans and service members are more likely to work and have families. They may face challenges such as mental or physical wounds that make it hard to adjust to life on campus. For some of these students, online programs provide a good alternative to on-campus study.

“The Online MBA is the fastest growing MBA program in the Fogelman College of Business & Economics,” said Dr. Balaji Krishnan, director of MBA programs. “Besides the Top 25 ranking for online business programs for veterans by U.S. News & World Report, we are ranked in the Top 25 as Best Value program. We have made a significant commitment to continuously improve the quality of our online MBA program. This has resulted in us enrolling students from 27 different states, and some international students as well. We appreciate our veterans’ service to our nation. We are very proud of how our faculty and staff have reached out to this very important group of students.”

All of the ranked online programs for veterans are certified for the GI Bill and participate in the VA’s Yellow Ribbon Program, two federal initiatives that reduce the cost of schooling. The institutions also were graded on their flexibility for military and veterans’ schedules and their willingness to give academic credit for military training. Read the full story here.

U of M among leaders in master's degrees in physics

The American Institute of Physics (AIP) has ranked the University of Memphis among the nation’s leading master’s programs in physics.

The U of M’s Department of Physics is one of 24 nationally that averaged five or more master’s degrees in the classes of 2010, 2011 and 2012 combined. These departments were responsible for granting 64 percent of all exiting master’s degrees awarded.

The U of M averaged six physics master’s degrees during the three-year period. California State University Long Beach topped the list, averaging 12 master’s degrees per year.

“Physics programs are generally small. Significant efforts from the faculty and staff have been made in order to increase the number of graduates at this level,” said Dr. Jingbiao Cui, professor and chair of Physics. “We would not be able to make it without the generous support from our administrators. We will continue to strengthen the MS program in physics by investing more resources. The two research labs under renovation in Manning Hall – the Photonics Lab and Energy Materials Lab – will be ready for use this summer and fall. This will have a very positive impact on student research and physics programs.”

The AIP data was compiled from the annual Enrollments and Degrees survey. Read more here.


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