Dear Campus Community:

As you may be aware, two men have been on campus for the last two days espousing their views and opinions on a host of issues. As a public university, we are following state and university free speech and public access policies. We will be exploring several things in the coming weeks - an understanding of when such public access becomes disruptive to our campus and learning community and the boundary between opinion and hate speech. I am requesting that we include this topic in one of our upcoming Critical Conversations. Although complex, these are important issues for our campus and broader society.

Finally, I want to say thank you to our entire campus, including students, faculty and staff for your patience, tolerance and recognition of the importance of free speech in a democratic society. As noted above, we will be discussing, as a campus, the boundaries around disruption of our learning environment, along with the issue of hate speech. I also would like to thank our police officers for their patient and appropriate efforts to safeguard not only our community members but those offering controversial views on our campus. These are precisely the kinds of issues to be discussed and debated in the life of a vibrant university, sometimes passionately.

Warm Regards,

M. David Rudd
President | Distinguished University Professor

Dear Campus Community:

As promised, I am providing an update on our final enrollment numbers for the fall semester. Below is a copy of our total enrollment as of today, along with 2016 and 2015 comparisons. As you can see, our total headcount is 21,521 (3.3% up over 2015) and our total credit hours are 2452,550 (up 3.8% over 2015). A few numbers that are not reflected in the table include our new freshman class of 2,670 compared to 2,050 in 2015 (growth of 30.2%). Additionally, the UofM enrolled a total of 4,863 new students (freshman and transfers), the largest number in at least a decade and up 23% over last year. Of particular importance, our Honors College continues to be the largest in the state of Tennessee with over 500 new freshman joining their ranks this year. Not only have we grown, but we have been able to do so by maintaining our commitment to recruiting quality students. This year’s average ACT is 22 and the average high school GPA is 3.4, both identical to those over the past five years. The impressiveness of this year’s growth is magnified by the previously mentioned fact that we have graduated record numbers of students over the past three years.

Our efforts to advance the Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) in the University Neighborhood Districts will only help solidify efforts to enhance the residential and community environment at the UofM. We are optimistic about support, both among our county commissioners and city council members. There are good days ahead for our University. Thank you for your hard work and continued commitment to our students and community.

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Warm Regards,

M. David Rudd
President | Distinguished University Professor