Dear Campus Community:

On Monday, I attended a meeting with Governor Haslam and the steering committee to discuss the Focus Act, the legislation proposing independent governing boards. In an effort to keep you updated and address any concerns or questions, I have asked my office to schedule the following meetings:

  1. Open forum for faculty, staff and/or students: Wednesday, February 17th at 3:30 p.m. in the Michael D. Rose Theatre
  2. Meeting with deans, chairs and program directors: Tuesday, February 16th at 11:00 a.m. in the University Center Theatre #145
  3. Faculty Senate Meeting: Tuesday, February 16th at 3:45 p.m. in the University Center, Senate Chambers

The open forum will allow for a simulcast on the Lambuth, Collierville, and Millington Campuses. Additional details regarding the meetings can be found on the UofM website at: http://www.memphis.edu/presweb/communications/updates.php.

As mentioned previously, I have every expectation the Act will pass, and a new governing board will be established for the University of Memphis effective by mid-year 2017. Below is the link to the Office of the Governor detailing the Act, along with frequently asked questions and the Act itself: https://www.tn.gov/governor/article/2016-legislation-focus-on-college-and-university-success-focus-act. If you have questions, please schedule to attend one of the meetings summarized above, or do not hesitate to contact my office.

Warm Regards,

M. David Rudd | President

GWI 3sized

Sustainability. It is a buzz word commonly heard around the world — but one that also resonates deeply on campus. University of Memphis faculty and students are conducting interdisciplinary research that will assure an endless supply of high-quality drinking water for our communities now and in the future. Memphis is one of the largest cities that draws its drinking water from an aquifer, making it a natural location for the research.

I have included a link to a video that demonstrates our passion for ensuring that our communities have access to the resources they need for survival, such as clean drinking water. The UofM is dedicated to making the world a better place with timely, cutting-edge research that makes a global difference. At the UofM, we believe that Doing is Maintaining.

Sincerely,

M. David Rudd | President

Dear Campus Community:

The University of Memphis is dedicated to helping students, faculty and staff create a vibrant, welcoming and inclusive environment. Currently, we are exploring options for an Office of Inclusion and Sexual Diversity at the UofM. The Student Government Association recently passed a bill in support of this office, which would develop and coordinate programs for the LGBTQA community, promote dialogue on campus about diversity and help build support for equality.  As always, I'm grateful to our student leadership for their thoughtful dedication to our campus.

As shared previously, I am committed to containing administrative growth at our university, particularly given the broad range of needs on campus. However, we are actively exploring the current organizational structure and related resource allocation for an Office of Inclusion and Sexual Diversity due to the importance of this issue.

Plans call for a graduate assistant to be appointed by July 1. The GA will research services and trends provided through offices of inclusion on other college campuses. Other details regarding the exact structure and staffing of the Office of Inclusion and Sexual Diversity are still being finalized, with a keen eye on administrative concerns raised above. The promotion of diversity on campus is critical to the University’s success, and we are committed to expanding knowledge, understanding and the well-being of all.

Thank you,

M. David Rudd | President

Dear Campus Community:

I am proud to announce that University of Memphis students, faculty, staff, alumni and community partners provided 602,904 hours of community service last year, exceeding our goal of 500,000 hours for the Year of Service initiative. The project earned $500,000 in scholarships for UofM students.

This tremendous effort speaks to the strong commitment the UofM has to the city of Memphis and the Mid-South. Community service and engagement is part of our core mission, part of our identity, and part of what makes the UofM unique in the world of higher education.

You can view a short video from the announcement celebration by clicking here.

M. David Rudd | President

Dear Campus Community:

I spent the last two days in Nashville and attended Governor Haslam’s state of the state address Monday evening.  The Governor’s budget recommendations for the University of Memphis are favorable, with a total of $5.4M in new formula funding ($817K in the outcomes portion and $4.6M as UofM’s share of the $50M in new formula funding).  The Governor also recommended $5.3M in capital maintenance funds.  It was clear from the Governor’s comments that there is an expectation to minimize tuition increases across the state.  As you know, we have shown a strong commitment to containing student costs and tuition increases, with no tuition increase two years ago and an increase of less than 3% last year.  It is important to note that a number of bills have been filed that would cap tuition increases at TN colleges and universities.  I’ll keep you updated as these bills move through the legislative process.

As you also know, Governor Haslam submitted legislation providing for local governing boards for TBR universities.  There appears to be broad support for this bill, and we have every expectation it will pass, allowing the University of Memphis to establish its own governing board in 2017.  We are well into the evaluation and preparation process. I shared the legislation with deans, chairs, directors and the Faculty Senate a few weeks ago.  Provost Weddle-West and I have offered to meet with various constituencies as needed or requested to discuss the transition.  Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

As a reminder, we are also pursuing additional funding for our Lambuth campus, along with a supplemental budget request for the Memphis Research Consortium (our partnership with UT Health Science Center and St. Jude).  Again, I’ll keep you updated as information becomes available.  Thank you for your continued hard work for and dedication to  our students, university and the City of Memphis. Our positive growth in formula dollars is certainly the direct consequence of this hard work.

Best wishes for an enjoyable and productive spring semester.

M. David Rudd | President