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Dear Campus Community:

As many of you know, it has been a very busy legislative session this year.  Although we will provide more details and depth over the next few months, I wanted to share the following summary with you as soon as possible.  Overall, the session was a good one for higher education and a good one for the University of Memphis (U of M).  Following is a quick summary of issues relevant for our campus:

  1.  The Governor fully funded the formula.  The net gain for the U of M is $3.7M, certainly a good outcome.  The Governor has made a firm commitment to higher education.  Given our performance gains, we are well positioned for the coming years.
  2.  Funding for a 1.5% salary pool was included in the Governor’s budget. At this time we do not have specifics on how this salary pool will be utilized. More details will follow.  As a reminder, the State of Tennessee only funds 55% of the overall costs, we absorb the remainder.
  3.  The U of M was successful with the passing of legislation that exempts us from the penalty for allowing out-of-state tuition to students in border counties in Arkansas and Mississippi.  The estimated net gain for us is $4.3M beginning with the 2016-17 fiscal year.  This is an annual savings to the university, and a very important step for our growth trajectory.  The Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) has established a committee, of which I am a member, to review of the formula. The result of this evaluation may well be the removal of the out-of-state penalty for all universities in the coming year(s).  Given our unique geographic location, removing the penalty from the formula would still be a significant net gain to the University of Memphis, estimated at approximately $3M+ per year.  We are well positioned for out-of-state growth, with or without changes to the THEC formula.  This is very good news for our campus.
  4.  We received a special allocation of $2.6M for the Memphis Research Consortium (MRC).  These funds are designated for shared faculty positions with Bioworks and Trimetis.  The MRC will be positioning for a significant funding request in next year’s budget cycle, estimated at $20M.
  5.  We have requested a tuition increase of 4%, approximately half of our average increase of 8% over the past 15 years. This increase would fund our portion of the State mandated salary pool, along with providing funds for critically needed, but unfunded, infrastructure.
  6.  We received funding for a $3M capital maintenance project for electrical and gas utility upgrades.

I hope you find this summary helpful.  In short, we had a very successful session.  We will provide updates in the coming months.  I hope the semester is wrapping up well and look forward to seeing you at Commencement.

Warm Regards,

M. David Rudd
President

Dear Campus Community,

First let me say thank you to our faculty, staff and students for a remarkable and memorable investiture.  In particular, I want to thank the committee members for doing such a wonderful job (Ellen Watson, Bobby Prince, Tammy Hedges, Loretta Rudd, Bruce Harber, Jeannie Smith, Don Wagner, Lisa Warmath, Justin Lawhead, Ladonnal Curry, Meta Laabs, Reginald Green, Ricky Kirby, Stephanie Beasley, Wade Jackson, and Jeff Wilson).  We had a great showing from across campus, our City, and the state.  It was indeed special to have Governor Haslam and Chancellor Morgan join us on campus.  I think all would agree that our students, Mary Garcia and Johnnie Holmes, made us all proud.  Several people have asked that I distribute my remarks and, accordingly, you will find the text below.  I wish you all well as we wrap up another academic year, prepare for the summer, and continue the important work of the U of M.  Thank you again for all you do for our University and City.

The video of the investiture can be viewed at: http://mediasite.memphis.edu/Mediasite/Catalog/Full/f88afecb74fd4ee38ca7b2b00dc33c2321

Regards,

David

 

The Gift of a Great Public University

Welcome to all of our distinguished guests today, including faculty, staff, students, leaders in higher education, local and state government officials, alumni, and friends of the University of Memphis.  I am grateful to all of you for taking the time to be with us today, for taking the time to travel great distances, and for recognizing and honoring the University of Memphis and the important role that it plays in our community.

I want to thank Governor Haslam for joining us today and for providing extraordinary leadership for the state of Tennessee, for advancing higher education, for recognizing its critical role in economic development and a civil society, and for thinking outside of the box in developing initiatives that expand the access, opportunity, and impact of higher education. Tennessee has not only offered a genuinely innovative approach, but also influenced the national conversation and provided much-needed positive momentum to an issue that had floundered in recent years.  I want to thank Congressman Cohen for joining us today, for taking time out of a busy and demanding schedule, and for his service to Memphis and our nation.  I want to thank Senator Norris, Representative White, Mayor Wharton, Mayor Luttrell and Mayor Gist for their leadership and service to our community, for tackling thorny issues, offering hope and inspiration, and shaping a vision that is moving Memphis, Jackson and Tennessee forward in decisive and exciting fashion.  I want to thank Brad Martin and Sherri Lipman for their great service to our University and City.

I want to thank Chancellor Morgan and the Tennessee Board of Regents, and our Board of Visitors for the remarkable investment of time, energy and expertise they make to our great university.  I want to thank our alumni for their support and passion, particularly when it comes to basketball.  I want to thank our faculty and staff (both current and former) for their creativity and inspired commitment to higher education and our community, for providing an unshakable foundation for a proud institution that has served our community for one hundred and three years.  At an occasion like today, it is incumbent upon all of us to recognize the sacrifices made by faculty and staff for over a century at the University of Memphis, as it is the culmination of their efforts that has created the opportunities we enjoy today.  The breadth and depth of contributions from University of Memphis faculty, both in and out of the classroom, help make the world a better place, with not only local impact but global reach.  The soul of any great university is its faculty and staff.

I want to thank my family, including Loretta, Nicholas and Emma for not only being here today, but for being there for over three decades, offering support, love and perspective, and for sharing a wonderful life together. Nicholas and Emma frequently remind me not only of the rapid pace of change in today’s world and the need to be get in front of the curve rather than be behind it, but that that the landscape is very different for today’s students, the challenges more complex, the competition stiffer and the consequences more costly.

Finally, I want to thank our students, both current and former, for joining us today, for their boundless energy and for serving as a constant source of inspiration through their hard work, dedication and commitment.   Each and every day they evidence the very values that drive our University and strengthen our community.   The greatest privilege I have is to serve our students and share in their life stories, stories that evidence great talent and resilience in the face of adversity and an unbridled optimism that fuels the ability to balance a multitude of competing demands.

Our University is a precious thing, a great gift to our community, a great opportunity for our students, and a source of new knowledge, discovery, creativity and artistic expression for our nation.  It is a place of hope, optimism, and transformation.  Whether a freshman transitioning to the U of M directly from high school, or a returning adult learner looking to find a new career pathway, students arrive on our campus with equal amounts of enthusiasm, hope, anxiety and apprehension, but all are looking for one thing---to be transformed.  I have had the distinct privilege to share in that transformational process, along with many of you.  Let me express my gratitude for the opportunity, my recognition of the importance of our work, and my commitment to expanding our reach and impact.

Few would argue against the claim that the past decade has been a difficult one for higher education.  We have juggled issues including escalating costs, higher student debt loads, a rapidly shifting labor market, and the profound impact of technology in pedagogy.  But despite those challenges, the University of Memphis has continued to serve our students and community with great distinction and effectiveness.  The University of Memphis has distinguished itself as not only providing a high quality education for our students, but we have been recognized for impactful research with practical implications and creative contributions that enrich the quality of our lives.  There are countless examples, but we are increasingly recognized for research in health and health sciences, transportation and logistics, biomedical engineering, mathematics, and ground water. Our research changes the lives of citizens and improves our community.  The impact of creative work in the arts and humanities has been recognized nationally and internationally.  Over the last two years I have been amazed by the work of our faculty, encouraged by their entrepreneurial spirit, and grateful for their commitment to our students, University and City.  We have made a genuine commitment to expand and grow our research, scholarly and creative mission, recognizing its importance for our students, community and nation.

The work of a great university is never complete, the process of knowledge creation and dissemination unending.  Today’s events provide an opportunity to reflect on our mission and embrace the reality that our work changes lives, our community and our nation.  One of our greatest challenges is to provide our students with a comprehensive education, one that not only prepares them for their chosen careers and a commitment to lifelong learning, but also that we help develop citizens well prepared to engage fully in a democratic society, citizens with the capacity to think critically and embrace innovation, push intellectual and personal boundaries, and citizens that appreciate fully the arts and humanities and their importance in a vibrant and diverse society.

Access to and completion of a comprehensive, quality postsecondary degree has become essential to social and economic success today.  As the benefits of a college degree have expanded, disparities and inequities have emerged, not only with respect to access and affordability, but also in retention and completion.  More important than the degree and its economic impact, a college degree has less tangible but equally important impact on individual capacity to reason and analyze, the development of an ethical perspective, collaborative engagement, exposure to diverse opinions, and an appreciation for the arts, all critical to a civil and democratic society.   In short, full and effective civic engagement is facilitated by post-secondary education.  A strong future is undeniably linked to the strength of our public universities, particularly in metropolitan areas.  Current demographics suggest that without purposeful and strategic effort, educational disparities and inequalities will only grow in the coming years, with a ripple effect reaching each and every corner of our nation.  As greater numbers of non-traditional students and returning adult learners make their way to campus, the challenges will continue to grow.

The University of Memphis has never been more important, has never been more needed, nor have we every been more well-positioned to succeed.  In the last several years the University of Memphis has made significant progress in closing the gap on retention and graduation for all of our students.  But more important than simply helping students complete their degrees, we must provide them a strong foundation to be successful and help them develop the skills necessary in a rapidly changing world.  We must help our students recognize what is possible in their lives, expand their traditional boundaries, and recognize that embedded in each and every challenge is a great opportunity.  It is universities like Memphis that will move the needle on reducing educational and economic disparities and inequities.  At this moment in history the role of public research universities has never been more important, nor the time for investment more critical.

Let me leave you with a strong commitment that the University of Memphis will continue to expand our national footprint, sharing the remarkable things that happen here with the wider world.  Not only are we committed to the public good, we are serving the public good.  What is hidden behind the physical changes underway on campus are the lives changed by our work and research.

Thank you for this opportunity and the privilege to lead the University of Memphis.  It is with a shared vision of our future that we will continue the remarkable work of the past century.  The University of Memphis has a very bright future.  Not only can we be part of the national conversation, we can help shape it.  I look forward to working with all of you to expand our reach, transform the lives of our students, create new knowledge, foster discovery, witness the joy of creative expression, and remind our world that diversity enriches all of our lives.  Go Tigers.

M. David Rudd
President | Distinguished University Professor

As the FedEx Institute of Technology moves into its second decade of operations as the front door to the University’s research infrastructure and capabilities, strategic renewal and an expansion of its mission are in the works at the University of Memphis.

President M. David Rudd’s new vision for the Institute emphasizes a stronger technology focus, a national profile in terms of being at the forefront of technology developments and partnerships with global technology organizations. It includes serving as the spark to bring the latest technology innovations to the region, stronger community partnerships and an emphasis on improved opportunities for commercialization. He also sees the Institute as a key mechanism to help break down the traditional silos that can stifle interdisciplinary research and faculty collaborations at universities.

New key areas of focus will include the expanding biologistics sector and cyber security testing, which has quickly emerged as a national security and business challenge. In both cases, it will be building upon capabilities that the University has put in place over the last decade. The push into biologistics will see the University’s bioengineering, freight transportation, bioinformatics and biomaterials groups coming together to innovate in research and launch the first biologistics graduate program in the country.

None of these constituent groups was in place when the FedEx Institute of Technology first opened its doors. In the case of cyber security testing, the University will be building upon two core competencies in which it has national strengths: systems testing and information assurance. Its Systems Testing Excellence Program is the nation’s largest academic research group in software testing, and since 2006 has been helping the likes of FedEx and the U.S. Department of Defense to advance industry best practices through research and training. Similarly, its Center for Information Assurance has been one of the most active research groups at the University and enjoys designations as a National Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education and Research.

The FedEx Institute of Technology will also be strengthening its relationships with regional chief information and technology officers. Dr. Rudd issued this call to technology leaders in the community: “If you are playing such a technology leadership role in your organization, please consider this your open invitation to connect with and be a part of the FedEx Institute of Technology as we work together to make Memphis a vibrant technology hub for the future.”

The reenergizing and strategic renewal of the Institute will see the University appointing Dr. Jasbir Dhaliwal, who currently oversees its portfolio of 111 graduate programs (that include doctoral, masters and graduate certificate programs), stepping up to lead as the U of M’s new Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Director of the FIT. Consistent with an effort to enhance efficiency, Dr. Dhaliwal has agreed to continue to serve as interim dean of the Graduate School. As the new Chief Innovation Officer, he will report directly to the president, join the President’s Council, and his appointment will see the University’s nearly 4,000 doctoral and masters students becoming closely involved with the research and outreach activities of the Institute as it builds on past successes.

Technology transfer efforts, led by Dr. Kevin Boggs, and supporting entrepreneurship, remain priorities which will be now be merged into the larger role of the Institute on campus and in the community. The Crews Center for Entrepreneurship will be seeking distinct new partnerships within the regional innovation ecosystem to boost technology commercialization by students and faculty. Dr. Dhaliwal noted that, “Besides forging a tighter technology relationship with FedEx, the Institute will also function as an additional catalyst to further energize University efforts to grow its funded research base given recent successes such as the NIH-funded Mobile Sensor Data-to-Knowledge Center of Excellence in mobile health. This will involve working closely both with internal research support services professionals led by Dr. Andy Meyers, the University’s interim vice president for Research, and with external partners such as Memphis Bioworks, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and others.”

David Rudd | President

Dear Campus Community:

As you know, the University of Memphis established the Veterans Resource Center in January 2014.  Since establishing the Center, the U of M has seen a remarkable 60% increase in veteran student enrollment in on-ground and online classes.  You may be interested to know that veterans now represent more than 4% of our total student population.

I am pleased to report that the greatest percentage increase in veteran enrollment has occurred at the graduate level, with an increase of 136% from the prior spring semester (53 in 2014, 125 in 2015). Undergraduate veteran enrollment has also made impressive growth, increasing by 51% (249 students) over the prior year.  Also noteworthy is the increase in the percentage of veteran students taking only online classes – a 148% increase.  Consistent with the changes noted above, we have seen an increase of veteran student enrollment of almost 100% at the Lambuth Campus since the spring of 2014. Overall, 78% of veterans who were enrolled in classes during the spring 2014 semester continued to be enrolled into the spring 2015 semester.

We can credit the positive perception of our University, along with the diligence and tireless work of the individuals who work with admissions and the Veterans Resource Center, for much of this change.  However, it is the character and personal vision of our veteran students who truly make the difference in their own lives and enrich campus life at the U of M.  We are honored to play a role in helping them achieve their academic dreams.

Regards,

David Rudd | President

 

 

The U of M’s first NIH Center of Excellence — the Mobile Sensor Data-To-Knowledge Center — is just a few months old, but it is already creating a culture of research excellence at the University of Memphis. The NIH awarded the University a prestigious $10.8 million Center of Excellence grant that will focus on the exploding mobile health (mHealth) field. The grant is part of a $32 million NIH investment that establishes 12 Centers of Excellence across the country that each will tackle specific data science challenges. The Centers are developing new strategies to analyze and leverage the increasingly complex biomedical data sets, often referred to as Big Data. The U of M’s work entails collaboration among 27 investigators from 11 universities: Cornell, Georgia Tech, University of Michigan, Rice, Northwestern, Ohio State, UCLA, UC-San Diego, UC-San Francisco, University of Massachusetts and the U of M. The U of M Center will spend the next four years developing innovative tools to make it easier to gather, analyze and interpret health data generated by mobile and wearable sensors. It will directly target reducing hospital readmission in congestive heart failure patients and preventing relapse in abstinent smokers.

 Its lead scientist, U of M computer scientist Dr. Santosh Kumar, provides an update on recent developments at the Center:

Since its launch last October, the NIH Center of Excellence for Mobile Sensor Data-to-Knowledge (MD2K) has witnessed several exciting new developments:

The MD2K Center is using five sources of mobile sensor data to reduce hospital readmission in congestive heart failure patients and to improve smoking cessation. The first source is a wearable chest-band called AutoSense that collects electrocardiogram (ECG), respiration and accelerometry and can be used to monitor stress (continuously from ECG and/or respiration) and smoking (from respiration). Second is a smart-watch with inertial sensors that can infer smoking and eating events by tracking arm movements of an individual. (The MD2K Center is negotiating with several large technology vendors to use their recently released programmable smart-watches that have a display and vibration capabilities.) In addition to monitoring eating and smoking behaviors, the display or vibration of a smart-watch can also be used to deliver sensor-triggered intervention. The third source is a radio frequency (RF) based micro-radar sensor, called EasySense, which can non-invasively measure heart activity and lung fluid volume in congestive heart failure patients. Fourth is a smart eyeglass that captures video in the direction of a wearer’s gaze. This is used to detect exposure to smoking cues, such as seeing a cigarette advertisement, and simultaneously assessing the state of the person (e.g., fatigue) by monitoring the eye itself. Finally, data from the smart-phone’s Global Positioning System can be used to infer geo-exposure for factors such as proximity to point-of-sale for tobacco or proximity to fast food (sodium rich) restaurants.

MD2K is developing innovative tools to make it easier to collect, integrate, manage, visualize, analyze and interpret health data generated by mobile and wearable sensors such as the ones mentioned above. The goal of the big data solutions being developed by MD2K is to reliably quantify physical, biological, behavioral, social and environmental factors that contribute to health and disease risk.

Such comprehensive measurements (when combined with other data sources, such as genomics and electronic health records) can herald a new future of medicine — known as precision medicine — where treatments and drugs can be tailored to each person to have maximum efficacy with minimum side effects. The Precision Medicine Initiative that was announced by President Obama in January is targeted toward realizing this vision of improved precision medicine. More than a million participants are being recruited from across the country to collect and contribute comprehensive data about themselves.

(In February, Dr. Kumar and fellow MD2K team member Dr. Kevin Patrick from the University of California, San Diego, were a part of a small group of scientists invited to Washington, D.C., to participate in an NIH-sponsored workshop to present their recommendations on incorporating mobile technologies in the Precision Medicine Initiative.)

New hires:

Since the launch of the MD2K Center last October, we have recruited five key new members: Dr. Vivek Shetty, a professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery at UCLA, joined MD2K as the lead of its training activities; and four leaders from academia and industry joined MD2K as members of its Executive Advisory Board: Dr. Steven M. Dubinett, director of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at UCLA; Dr. Eric Fain, Group President of St. Jude Medical Group; Dr. Harry Shum, Executive Vice President for Technology and Research, Microsoft; and Dr. Victor Strecher, Director for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan.

Upcoming software releases, events

By the end of this summer, the MD2K Center plans to release the first version of its mobile phone software for collecting mobile sensor data from wireless wearable sensors. At the same time, it is scheduled to release data analytics software (free, open source) for processing mobile sensor data and converting it into information, knowledge and, ultimately, action. In August, MD2K will organize a weeklong training institute to prepare young scientists for trans-disciplinary collaborations in mobile health. MD2K also will launch a comprehensive web-based resource library called mHealthHUB, which will be an online community where mHealth researchers can share the latest research, new products, datasets, software, news, meeting and job opportunities — as well as a place to exchange ideas.

Visit the MD2K webpage (https://md2k.org) for the latest updates and more information on MD2K. A video summarizing MD2K is available at: http://videocast.nih.gov/summary.asp?live=15728&bhcp=1.

(Barbara Burch Kuhn, MD2K director of communications and media, contributed to this story.)

 

David Rudd | President

Andrew Meyers | Interim Vice President for Research

Dear Campus Community:

As promised, here's and update of our 250-mile radius program and overall application activity.  As you can see from the following, total application numbers have more than tripled from two years ago (14,935) and admissions to date almost doubled (5,735).  Freshman numbers are comparable, with first-time freshman (FTF) applications tripling from two years ago, and admissions almost double at 5,393.

AAR_CA_data_02FEB15

Ultimately, the yield rate on these admissions is critical, but given our early efforts and improved use of technology have allowed for a far longer recruitment window.

An important benefit of these efforts are our dramatically improved selectivity (i.e. acceptance rate). With our larger number of applications and commitment to high standards, our acceptance rate for FTF stands at 39% as compared to a rate of 75-76% over the past decade.  Selectivity is an important variable in the U. S. News rankings, and will certainly have impact on our standing in the coming years.  Let me also point out the saturation maps provided, which clearly indicate significant increases in activity within the 250-mile radius program, all consistent with our efforts.

​Although these numbers are certainly encouraging and we're optimistic for the coming year, let me encourage all to actively engage in the recruitment process over the spring months.  We offer a wonderful comprehensive educational experience, one strengthened by the diversity and wealth of applied educational opportunities available in the Memphis community.

Regards,

David Rudd | President

Dear Faculty and Staff:

I am pleased to communicate that the Tennessee Board of Regents has approved our request to raise the minimum salary for our regular benefit-eligible positions to $10.10 per hour.  The increase will be effective January 10, 2015 and will be reflected on the paycheck of January 30, 2015.  Due to this initiative, over 120 of our staff will receive a salary increase.

As I mentioned in my last email, this new minimum represents a 14% increase for some of our lowest paid employees and is over 28% higher than the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.  As a reminder, all employees will continue to receive longevity pay between $300 and $3,000 per year, based on their years of service to the University of Memphis and the State of Tennessee, adding to their overall earnings at the University.

I want to thank you for your hard work and continued commitment to the University of Memphis.  Because of all of you, our students receive a quality education in an environment that fosters collaboration and excellence.

I look forward to the exciting opportunities that await us in 2015.

Regards,

M. David Rudd | President

Distinguished University Professor
University of Memphis
341 Administration Building

Memphis, TN 38152
ph: 901-678-2234 | fax: 901-678-5065 | cell: 901-619-1769

Email: mdrudd@memphis.edu

Blog: http://blogs.memphis.edu/president/

Dear Campus Community:

I hope all are enjoying a well-deserved holiday and semester break.  As we move into 2015, I thought I would share some remarkably encouraging news.  At the heart of our mission is providing access and opportunity, recognizing the importance of a college degree and a comprehensive educational experience in the world today.  The most recent "access to success data report" for the University of Memphis reveals significant progress.

The Pell vs. non-Pell gaps in first to second year retention rates for low-income freshman, low-income transfers, underrepresented minority (URM) freshman and underrepresented minority  transfers all improved significantly and in some cases the gaps were closed.  From 2006 to date, the retention rates for low-income freshman receiving Pell support have increased from 69% to 73% and for low-income transfers the rates for Pell recipients have increased from 67% to 73%.  For URM Pell recipients during the same time period, rates have increased from 70% to 74% and for URM transfer Pell recipients they have improved from 65% to 73%. Again, the comparisons with non-Pell recipients demonstrate the gap has been closed for low-income transfers and URM transfers, and the gap narrowed for freshman in both groups.

Data on the six-year graduation rates show noticeable improvement across both Pell and non-Pell groups, but naturally take longer to demonstrate the kind of progress we have targeted.  Both Pell and non-Pell low-income freshman graduation rates have improved, from 35% to 50% and 25% to 33%, respectively.  Low income transfers for non-Pell recipients have improved from 36% to 52% and Pell recipients have  moved from 39% to 43%.  URM freshman with Pell support have improved from 26% to 35%, and those without Pell support going from 36% to 49%.  Finally, URM transfers students with Pell support have gone from 32% to 40% and non-Pell URM transfer students have improved dramatically from 39% to 55%.

It takes an entire campus community to have this kind of remarkable impact, particularly over such a brief period of time.  Join me in thanking all of those in academic affairs for this great progress, but it is only with the support of all of our faculty and staff across the entire campus that this kind of progress is possible.  Thank you and congratulations for helping change the lives of our students and for having such a positive impact on our community, state and nation.

Go Tigers!

M. David Rudd | President

Distinguished University Professor
University of Memphis
341 Administration Building

Memphis, TN 38152
Phone: 901-678-2234 | Fax: 901-678-5065 | Cell: 901-619-1769

Email: mdrudd@memphis.edu

Blog: http://blogs.memphis.edu/president/

The U of M Enrollment Services Student Center is a great example of innovation, efficiency and effectiveness.  Our new Center serves as a central hub for getting answers to prospective and current students concerning admissions, financial aid, scholarship and registration needs. With a small but highly energetic staff of four, headed by John Rhodes, the Center will limit the need for students to travel to multiple university offices to find the answers they need. The Center has already proven highly effective at handling the majority of walk-in traffic and phone activity, freeing up other offices and resources to devote to processing student information.  The Center streamlines the enrollment process, increasing its efficiency and making it more student-friendly.  Initial feedback has been great. The Center, located in 103 Wilder Tower, is open daily and has recently established a web site located at:

http://www.memphis.edu/enrollment/

Though they just opened this Fall, they are already proving a valuable addition to the Enrollment Services division.

“On their own initiative, they compiled a list of all students enrolled for Fall 2014 who have outstanding balances for this term,” reports Betty Huff, Special Assistant for Enrollment Management. “They are contacting the students and attempting to assist them with their financial holds to enable them to be able to register for Spring 2015 prior to leaving for the holidays.  They understand that committed students are more likely to return than students not registered.”  John Rhodes estimates the number of students in this financial position at 311. He and his team will continue to put in place initiatives that will help remove barriers to students completing their degrees.

The Center is an important part of making the University of Memphis a friendlier place for students and removing barriers in, what can sometimes appear, an imposing process.  Their initiative deserves our congratulations and a big Thank You! Keep up the great work!

Go Tigers!

M. David Rudd | President

Dear University of Memphis Community:

By any measure it’s been a busy fall semester, one with some great successes.  Our NIH Center of Excellence is a U of M first, one that will build national partnerships and result in unprecedented scientific innovation, all with broad-based national/international impact.  Faculty members across campus continue to create, innovate and discover in remarkable ways (http://www.memphis.edu/mediaroom/).  Our student applications and admissions to date are at record levels, along with the university now qualifying as “selective” from an admissions perspective. We have already received more applications in the first quarter of this year than the entirety of last year.  Growth at our Lambuth campus is also on pace to exceed our initial targets when the campus was acquired four years ago.

As many already know, this past Saturday our football team won the American Athletic Conference championship, our first football championship in 43 years.  Let me encourage you to join me in congratulating our coaches, staff and players on a great accomplishment.  They represent the University of Memphis remarkably well, both in and out of the classroom.  They are great ambassadors for our university and the broader Memphis community.  All of our games have been nationally televised this year, providing unparalleled visibility and an effective platform to share more about our campus and the great comprehensive education we offer, along with remarkable achievements across all academic disciplines.  I hope you were able to catch our revised commercial during halftime.

We’ll be rolling out a new branding effort after the holidays, one that builds on the unique and exceptional educational opportunity that is the University of Memphis.  It’s an effort that will build on our well-accepted “dreamers, thinkers, doers” campaign.  Given the pace on campus I hope you’ll take some time to enjoy these accomplishments, and join me in celebrating the success of the University of Memphis.

Go Tigers!

M. David Rudd | President

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