As we wrap up another semester and move into the holiday season, I want to provide an update regarding a few issues. Several weeks ago I forwarded an update on the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) funding recommendations for the University of Memphis. Our performance has improved significantly over the past two years and the recommendations are promising. This past week, we received news that Governor Haslam is recommending legislation that would provide for a local governing board for the UofM, a move that facilitates much greater autonomy, community investment and the flexibility needed for us to compete at a national level. We have worked vigorously over the last several years to move this possibility forward, and I’m thrilled with the Governor’s recommendation. I will be serving on the transition committee chaired by Governor Haslam, with an anticipated start date in January.
The long-term vision for our great University is to become the next great national research university in Tennessee, a goal that is clearly attainable. We have launched a number of initiatives to grow community involvement and investment in the UofM, along with efforts to expand our national visibility. In addition to the above, there are other promising signs. Including our recently opened Community Health Building and the soon to be opened Centennial Place Residence Hall, over $500 million of university and private funds will be invested on campus and in the university district over the next five years. On almost a daily basis I receive an email from presidents around the country praising our national visibility campaign. Similarly, each and every day there is new evidence of remarkable scientific, creative and scholarly contributions of our faculty. We are optimistic that we can meet our 10% growth goal in the coming years.
As you know our football program is completing a historic two-year run, something that has allowed us to attract one of the most outstanding young coaches in the country. We have leveraged that success to the benefit of our academic mission and community. It is an exciting time for the University of Memphis. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to our students, university and community. I wish you and your families the best for the coming holiday season.
M. David Rudd | President