Dear Faculty and Staff:
Today is our official enrollment census day (14th day of semester), with total headcount enrollment at 22,385, up 1.7% year-over-year, and total credit hour change is up .9%. As mentioned in previous communications, our academic year budget projected flat enrollment, and we fully anticipated and had plans to adjust to an enrollment decline, consistent with other institutions across Tennessee and nationally. Although enrollment is up 1.7%, this year’s unusual and challenging circumstances required us to make innovative investments in order to help our students continue their educational journeys.
Our Board of Trustees supported creation of a COVID-19 scholarship and loan program, one that has allowed over 1,000 students to continue at the UofM that might not have been able to do so without this additional support. Student access and success is at the heart of our mission. Being able to continue their journey is critical for not only our students, their families and the UofM, but also the broader Memphis community. I want to thank all those involved in this effort, and in particular, highlight the work of Dr. Rob Kniss, Dr. Darla Keel, Lofton Wilborn, George Ninan, Dr. Tom Nenon, Dr. Karen Weddle-West and Raaj Kurapati, along with all those in their offices for going well beyond the expected in supporting our students.
I will update you within the next two weeks as our budget numbers stabilize for the year. We anticipate our budget shortfall to be within the range originally projected, around $17M or slightly more, and are well positioned to address it with the plans shared previously at memphis.edu/presweb/communications/budgettaskforce.php.
Thank you for supporting our students at this critical challenging moment in our history. I have never been more confident we will emerge from this crisis stronger and well positioned for the future.
Dr. M. David Rudd, President