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Dear Campus Community, Alumni and Friends:

As the 109th Tennessee General Assembly comes to an end and we begin preparations related to the UofM’s legislative priorities for upcoming years, we have established a new program at the University of Memphis, Advocate for the UofM. The program has been established in order that our vast network of support can stay informed and give voice to issues of importance to our students, faculty, staff, alumni and community. Your advocacy will become even more important as we transition from governance under the Tennessee Board of Regents to self-governance, resulting from passage of the FOCUS Act. With your help, we will more effectively share our message with our elected officials at the state and national levels.

Your voice matters, and together we can make a difference. Become an Advocate for the UofM by signing up today at


M. David Rudd | President

Dear Campus Community:

In the fall a Community Engagement Task Force was formed to address a range of issues, including how our campus defines “community engagement”, current efforts and activities, and to offer recommendations on how we move forward in effective fashion. First, let me thank the members of the task force; they are listed on the page two of the attached report. They have done an excellent job and offered practical recommendations that will help shape a productive path forward for our University. Please take a few minutes to read and review the report.

In the coming months, I will be working with Provost Weddle-West and our VP for Research, Dr. Andy Meyers to identify and articulate our next steps and develop an implementation plan. The work of this task force and their report make several things clear. Our campus is already engaged at multiple points of intersection with the Memphis community. And most importantly, development of a careful and coordinated strategy will not only make our efforts more efficient, but both deepen and broaden our impact in Memphis.

Best Regards,

M. David Rudd
President | Distinguished University Professor




Dear Campus Community:

The 109th Tennessee General Assembly is considering legislation that will permit full-time employees of the University of Memphis and other public colleges and universities to carry handguns on our campuses if the employee has a valid Tennessee handgun carry permit. We oppose this legislation and do not believe the presence of more weapons will make our campuses safer.

The University of Memphis has consistently been one of the safest places in the state. We believe our exemplary safety record is due in part to guns being prohibited on our campuses. Additionally,

  • More weapons on campus may result in more frequent emergency alerts and possible lockdowns, which will disrupt our academic mission and will adversely impact student success.
  • Unlike police officers, handgun carry permit holders are not trained to respond to stressful events or to mitigate violent situations, which could lead to catastrophic consequences.
  • In an incident of possible mass violence, every second is critical. Encountering armed people will delay police officers from responding to threats. Each armed person and weapon will have to be secured before officers can move forward. The current national law enforcement model directs officers to respond and engage any threats as quickly as possible.

While acts of mass violence are rare on college campuses, we recognize our responsibility to prepare for a number of crises. In addition to having our own well-trained and adequately equipped police department that can respond quickly, the UofM has a multi-hazard emergency response plan, conducts regular training exercises for emergency events, and has an overlapping emergency notification system. This semester, we conducted seminars to inform our community on how to remain safe during crisis events, which included Be TigerREADY resources.

In closing, we oppose additional weapons on campus except those carried by highly-trained police officers. To help us keep our campuses safe, we urge the legislature to retain the existing laws that prohibit weapons on our campuses.

Be TigerREADY resources:


M. David Rudd | President

Bruce Harber | AVP for Administration and Chief of Police

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