The President's Annual Report 2019-2020

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2019-2020

THE PRESIDENT’S REPORT

STAYING ON COURSE

MTSU’s COVID-19 response serves as testament to focus on student success


TABLE OF CONTENTS

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AT A GLANCE

5

NATIONAL PROMINENCE

6

A NEW NORMAL

8

A SNAPSHOT IN TIME

10

STAYING ON COURSE

20

ABOVE AND BEYOND

26

SERVICE AND SUCCESS

42

LOOKING AHEAD

46

FINANCIAL DATA

48


DR. SIDNEY A. MCPHEE University President

MS. KIMBERLY S. EDGAR Executive Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the Board of Trustees

DR. MARK BYRNES University Provost

MR. WILLIAM J. BALES Vice President for University Advancement

MR. ANDREW OPPMANN Vice President for Marketing and Communications

MR. BRUCE PETRYSHAK Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer

DR. DEBRA SELLS Vice President for Student Affairs and Vice Provost for Enrollment and Academic Services

MR. ALAN THOMAS Vice President for Business and Finance

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BOARD OF TRUSTEES MR. J.B. BAKER Owner and CEO, Sprint Logistics (Reappointed June 30, 2025, six-year term)

MR. TOM BOYD Investment Advisor Representative, Decker Wealth Management (June 30, 2025, six-year term)

MR. PETE DELAY Principal, Lynwood Ventures LLC (Reappointed June 30, 2026, four-year term)

MR. DARRELL FREEMAN SR., VICE CHAIR Executive Chairman, Zycron Inc. (June 30, 2022, six-year term)

MR. JOEY A. JACOBS Retired as past Chairman and CEO of Acadia Healthcare

MS. PAMELA J. WRIGHT

President and Managing Partner of Wright Development, a Real Estate Investment Company (Reappointed June 30, 2025, six-year term)

DR. MARY MARTIN, FACULTY TRUSTEE Professor, Mathematical Sciences (June 30, 2021, two-year term)

MS. DELANIE MCDONALD, STUDENT TRUSTEE MTSU graduate, May 2020 B.S., Public Relations Currently pursuing her Master’s in Administration and Supervision, with a concentration in Higher Education. 2019-2020 Student Government Association President. (June 30, 2021, one-year term)

(Reappointed June 30, 2026, four-year term)

MRS. CHRISTINE KARBOWIAK VANEK Retired as Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer, and Chief Risk Officer, Bridgestone Americas (Reappointed June 30, 2026, four-year term)

MR. STEPHEN B. SMITH, CHAIR Chair, Haury and Smith Contractors (June 30, 2022, six-year term)

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Good Governance: The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) approved a substantive change in governance for MTSU in 2017. The substantive change was required when Tennessee’s FOCUS Act established an independent Board of Trustees to govern MTSU—a major milestone for the University. The commission reviewed all aspects of governance, from board duties and responsibilities to policy processes and revisions, in making its decision to approve compliance with SACSCOC governance standards.


MTSU AT A GLANCE Founded Sept. 11, 1911, at the geographic center of Tennessee, Middle Tennessee State University is proud of its more than 100-year commitment to academic excellence and student success. Started as a teacher training institution, MTSU today is a major comprehensive university accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The University is composed of eight undergraduate colleges, with more than 180 majors/degree programs available in 39 departments/schools. MTSU houses a wide variety of nationally recognized academic degree programs at the baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral levels. The College of Graduate Studies offers over 90 master’s and specialist’s programs and nine doctoral degrees. With almost 22,000 students (total headcount) and nearly 1,000 full-time faculty members, MTSU is really the equivalent of a midsize city on a beautiful 500-acre campus. A comprehensive, Carnegie Doctoral/Research Intensive institution, 90% of our students are from the state of Tennessee. We serve students from every county in Tennessee, as well as students from almost every state and 71 foreign countries. MTSU is also the No. 1 choice of transfer students, adult learners (ages 25 and up), and college students attending summer school. MTSU’s standing as a destination of choice for first-generation students and its long success in helping low-income students who meet admission standards overcome obstacles often posed by tuition and fees are well established. In all, about 50% of MTSU’s student population receives Pell aid. MTSU’s full-time undergraduate tuition and fees of $9,206 annually remain the lowest of the state’s three largest universities. We’ve done all of this while continuously raising our admissions standards and setting records on average ACT scores of our incoming freshmen. MTSU is the largest supplier of college-degreed workers in the midstate, providing the vibrant Music City economy and workforce with more graduates than all other local universities combined (approximately 5,000-plus each year). According to the Business and Economic Research Center at MTSU, one in every five collegeeducated individuals in the Nashville area holds an MTSU degree.

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NATIONAL PROMINENCE MTSU is a vital institution of higher learning for the midstate region, as evidenced by these continued accolades for its impact: •U .S. News and World Report ranked MTSU as the top public school in Tennessee, and No. 80 nationally, in social mobility for its track record of success in helping “economically disadvantaged students” graduate. • For the second consecutive year, MTSU was the only locally governed institution in Tennessee to be included in Princeton Review’s national Best Colleges list, an honor afforded to only 13% of the nation’s higher education entities. • And MTSU was the state’s top public university ranked by Forbes Magazine among America’s Best In-State Employers, placing No. 27 among all Tennessee workplaces.

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#1 industrial/organization Top 11 business intelligence online master’s Top 28 music business schools Top 25 valu #1 industrial/organizational psychology master’s #2 Only Level 3 mechatronics engineering Top 25 value for HR online master’s Top 28 m Top 25 value for HR online master’s #2 debate team Only Level 3 mech Numerous MTSU academic programs have hauled in high national rankings in recent Top 28 music business schools Top 3 aerospace #1 industrial/organizational psycholog Only Level 3 mechatronics engineering years, from aerospace and audio engineeringTop to industrial/organizational psychology #1 insur 50 criminal justice programs 1 industrial/organizational psychology master’s #9 best animation B.S. and insurance. are some top ratings among universities across theteam country. Top 50 criminal #2 debate #1Here insurance program #1 audio engineering Top 15% music schools Top 4 actu Top 50 criminal justice programs Top 3 aerospace #1 insu Top 15% music schools Top 4 actuarial science #15 online master’s in nursing #41 best liberal arts gen #1 insurance program #9 best animation B.S. Top 4 actuaria #41 best liberal arts general studies for veterans #1 audio engineering Top 15% music sch Top 4 actuarial science THE ONLY #39 best business schools for veterans #41 best liberal arts general studies Top 15% music schools #12 library science online master’s #12 library science onlin #41 best liberal arts general studies for veterans Top 11 business intelligence online master’s #39 best busi #12 library science online master’s #49 best #39 best business schools for veterans #49 best colleges for veterans #25 best o #49 best colleges for veterans #15 online master’s in nursing #5 most affordable #25 best online finance master’s #17 top college for entrepreneurs #5 most affordable online master’s i #5 most affordable online master’s in English language learning #21 management master #5 most affordable online master’s in English language learning #21 management master’s #21 management master’s #15 most affordable supply chain master’s#15 most affordable supply #15 most affordable supply chain master’s Top 11 business intelligence online master’s #17 top college #15 most affordable supply chain master’s

LEVEL

3 # 1

#1

I/O psych master’s

TOP 4

#2 debate team

#1

mechatronics #17 top college for entrepreneurs #25 best online finance master’s engineering Only Level 3 mechatronics engineering Top 25 value for HR online master’s

actuarial science

#2 debate team

Top 28 music business schools

audio

Top 25

Top 25 value for HR online master’s engineering

#9 B.S.

Top 3 aerospace

Top 2

Only Level 3 mechatronics engineering Top 50 criminal justice programs Only Level 3 me 1 industrial/organizational psychology master’s #1 industrial/organizational psycho best #2 debate team #1 insurance program #9 best animation B.S. #1 in #1 audio engineering Top 50 criminal justice programs animation Top 50 crimi Top 4 actuarial science #15 online master’s in nursing Top 3 aerospace Top 4 ac

Top 15% music schools

#41 best liberal arts general studies for veterans Top 4 actuarial science

#9 best animation B.S.#41 best liberal arts#1g

#1 audio engineering

#39 best business schools for veterans

TOP 15

Top 15% music schools

#12

Top 15% music schools

#1 insurance program

Top 4 actu

Top 15% music

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#41 best liberal arts general studies for veterans #12 library science online master’s

#25 best online finance master’s

#17 top college for entrepreneurs

#5 most affordable online master’s in English language learning

#5 most affordable online master’s in English language learning

#25 bes 7

#5 most afforda

#5 most affordable online maste #21 management master’s


A NEW NORMAL Introduction The 2019–20 MTSU school year described in these pages was truly two years in one. It started like every other school year in my two decades as MTSU president— filled with promise, great expectations, and excitement for what the year would bring. For much of the journey, we fulfilled those expectations, producing new advances and accolades that further cemented MTSU’s reputation as a great university on the rise. The sudden emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, threatened to cut those expectations short. Undeterred, the Blue Raider community responded with grace, caring, innovation, determination, and resiliency, fulfilling its great promise in unexpected and inspiring ways. It’s not something any of us could have imagined. But now that we’ve witnessed it, it’s not something we’ll ever forget. As a result of our collective exceptional response to the worldwide COVID-19 crisis, I’ve never been more proud to call myself a Blue Raider.

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We learned a lot about ourselves and about our University—and what we learned was good. In a school year marked by great uncertainty, struggle, and strife, stories of compassion, strength, and ingenuity emerged in 2020 that helped us understand our unique ability to carry on and thrive. By taking stock of our blessings, we were inspired to find solutions and a path to recovery. Here at Middle Tennessee State University, we recognized the uncertainty caused by the pandemic and its impact on students’ abilities to make decisions about the future. And we pledged to do everything possible to mitigate the unknowns and barriers that stood between students and their educational goals. First, it was imperative to reduce and manage risks to provide a safe learning environment. When the virus made its way to Tennessee in March 2020, we converted our entire academic operation to remote delivery. And, for students who were unable to return home, necessary accommodations were made to provide a safe campus environment, including single occupancy for all dorm rooms and grab-and-go dining options.

AS A RESULT OF OUR COLLECTIVE EXCEPTIONAL RESPONSE TO THE WORLDWIDE COVID-19 CRISIS, I’VE NEVER BEEN MORE PROUD TO CALL MYSELF A BLUE RAIDER.


Second, steps were taken to reinstate academic scholarships awarded to new freshmen and transfer students who paused their educations because of pandemic-related disruptions, and to those who chose another institution and wanted to reconsider their choice. Last but not least, we know that even in the best of times college is a transitional period. Layer in reduced contact with peers and social distancing, and the isolating effects of the pandemic can easily become overwhelming. In response to these stressors, our campus community ramped up efforts to communicate and connect with students. Maintaining wellness, having mental health check-ins, and finding reasons to celebrate are more vital than ever during this uncertain time. Considered together, these actions and events (and others highlighted in this report!) affirmed our ability to rise to the occasion. As a valued MTSU stakeholder, thank you for joining me in taking stock of the accomplishments of the past year— one of the most difficult years in the

proud history of MTSU. Even amid the pandemic, our work was shaped by our history and traditions and defined by the value we brought to Tennesseans and to residents in our neighboring states. I want to start by thanking every member of our campus community— students, faculty, and staff—for taking personal responsibility, following safety guidelines, and making it all possible. Our response proved that we must always remain mindful that through our reactions to the challenges of this global crisis, we are writing our own stories. And we hope that when future generations read our stories, it inspires a sense of confidence that they can overcome their own challenges and find gratitude in the process. Sincerely,

Dr. Sidney A. McPhee, President

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A SNAPSHOT IN TIME

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POSITIVE SIGNS ALTHOUGH IT SEEMS LIKE A MILLION YEARS AGO GIVEN HOW PERMANENT A MARK THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC HAS LEFT AND CONTINUES TO LEAVE ON US,

The Fall 2019 entering freshman class was the largest that MTSU has enjoyed since 2011, setting new records for ACT scores and high school grade point averages. Enrollment highlights included: • The ACT average for the Fall 2019 freshman class was 23.34, surpassing the previous year’s record-setting freshman ACT average of 22.87 • The average high school GPA for the entering freshman class was 3.54, surpassing the previous freshman class average GPA of 3.49. • The class of dual enrollment students (1,221) was the largest in MTSU’s history. • New transfers rose 4.12% over the previous year. • Total new undergraduates increased 9.9%. • New freshmen were up 14.51%, totaling 3,259.

MTSU ENJOYED A VIBRANT START TO THE 2019–20 SCHOOL YEAR, AS EVIDENCED BY A FEW, SELECT ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND ACCOLADES.

+9.9

%

undergraduate enrollment

4.12%

+

transfer enrollment

23.34 1,221 freshman act average

record dual enrollment

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RENEWING THE QUEST We announced the creation of the Quest for Student Success 2025, a crucial document that will serve as MTSU’s guidebook for future student success initiatives.

The Quest’s commitment is that students will learn:

Quest 2025 deepens our commitment to develop lifelong learners by engaging students in the learning process, creating distinctive and effective student experiences, enabling students to build self-confidence, and preparing them for successes in their careers and civic lives.

Its focus is to:

• how to ask the right questions

• enhance the quality of the academic experience by helping faculty engage with students

• how to take risks and learn from their mistakes

• enhance the quality of the student-life experience

• how to succeed personally and professionally

• build an academic and student support network that facilitates learning

The ultimate goal is to graduate students who are:

The new Quest for Student Success 2025 underscores the University’s core mission: to produce graduates who are prepared to thrive professionally, are committed to critical inquiry and lifelong learning, and are engaged as civically, globally responsible citizens.

• how to learn

• prepared to thrive professionally • committed to lifelong learning • actively engaged as citizens of their communities and the world

HELPING OTHERS MTSU employees again showed their True Blue spirit with a record $133,266.57 pledged during last year’s Employee Charitable Giving Campaign. The pledge total surpassed the $130,000 goal, with 908 participants taking part in the annual tradition. The campaign is fueled largely by monthly payroll deductions from employees over the next year but also allows one-time, lump-sum gifts at the donor’s discretion. 12


FILLING THE PIPELINE The 1,759 new MTSU graduates in Fall 2019 reached a momentous life goal Dec. 14, 2019, triumphantly accepting their hard-earned degrees, cheered by family, friends, professors, colleagues, and guests who praised their grit and perseverance. Nearly eight out of 10 MTSU graduates remain in Tennessee to put their new degrees to work, creating an economic impact of billions of dollars annually. This institution and our graduates fuel much of the prosperity we enjoy in our region and state.

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MEETING THE NEEDS New academic programs that were established or took root during the 2019–20 school year included:

• an undergraduate certificate in Professional Selling launched within the Marketing Department

• an interdisciplinary Bachelor of Science in Data Science degree, along with a minor in Data Science

• a new Sports Media concentration and minor within MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment to help fill the increasing need for sports media professionals throughout the country

• the new Bachelor of Science in Tourism and Hospitality Management, which reached its projected fourth-year enrollment number in the first semester of operation • the M.S. in Geosciences, converting the Geosciences concentration in the successful Master of Science in Professional Science program to a free-standing degree • a newly created Leadership in Nutrition concentration under the Master of Professional Studies degree • concentrations in Food Industry and in Nutrition and Wellness within our Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Food Science degree • a newly established Health Communication concentration under our B.S. or B.A. in Communication program • concentrations in Criminology, Social Justice, and Work and Family Studies within our Bachelor of Science in Sociology degree

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• a process for review and approval of up to 6 hours of prior learning credit for students enrolling in the Master of Professional Studies program • enrollment of six freshmen at MTSU as part of the new Medical School Early Acceptance Program, a partnership with Meharry Medical College in Nashville • accepting applications for our new Higher Education concentration for the doctorate in Assessment, Learning, and Student Success, which specifically addresses the needs of individuals already working at Tennessee’s colleges and universities as well as students who plan to make higher education their career field


RISING STARS MTSU is rapidly transforming into a research university, producing valuable research and development for the state of Tennessee and its residents, fulfilling the role of a publicly supported state institution. In 2019–20, MTSU faculty members Seth Jones and Hanna Terletska achieved a distinction no other MTSU professors have ever obtained—National Science Foundation Early Career Development (CAREER) grant recipients. The NSF CAREER awards support junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacherscholars through research, education, and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organization. Given annually, the award comes with a federal grant for research and education activities for five consecutive years. Combined, their grants total nearly $1.2 million. The recognition is considered NSF’s most prestigious award for early-career faculty. NSF receives more than 50,000 competitive proposals for funding each year and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. NSF awarded $499,879 to Terletska, an assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, for her “Beyond

Ideal Quantum Materials: Understanding the Critical Role of Disorder and Electron-Electron Interactions” proposal. Jones, an assistant professor in the Womack Educational Leadership Department, earned a five-year, $700,000 NSF grant for his “Supporting Statistical Model-Based Inference as an Integrated Effort Between Mathematics and Science” proposal.

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NO STUDENT LEFT BEHIND Our ongoing student success efforts to ensure every student who attends MTSU gets the individual attention and support needed to achieve and graduate were reaching new heights: • Our campuswide tutoring initiative continued its outreach by raising awareness and elevating its profile among various constituents throughout the University, specifically adult learners and African American men. • There was tremendous growth in our study skills tutoring initiative. Usage more than doubled over the past year and increased by 138% in Fall 2019 (338) compared with Fall 2018 (142). • The supplemental instruction component of learner support employed a talented group of 200-plus students to help more than 12,000 student contacts during the 2019–20 academic year. • The success of the Scholars Academy program continued, providing greater intensive coaching and hands-on leadership to 182 incoming freshmen for the two-week program strategically preparing them for the first year at MTSU. By the end of the Fall 2019 semester, 93% of the cohort had registered for Spring 2020 classes. • The STAR program was established as an additional early-arrival program that incorporates many of the features of the Scholars Academy but in a conference-style format. The inaugural Fall 2019 cohort of STAR drew 190 incoming freshmen as participants. • Letters and emails were sent to 613 new freshmen over the 2019 holidays encouraging those students to participate in our national award-winning REBOUND program. Since REBOUND’s inception in 2015, students who qualified (those earning lower than a 2.0 GPA their first semester) and who chose to participate in the program doubled their odds of returning to MTSU for their second year compared with students who qualified for the program but did not participate. 16


FROM COMBAT TO CAMPUS We continued our nationally recognized work with student veterans. As just one example, the higher-ed insights firm College Factual ranked MTSU’s liberal arts offerings among the top 50 universities in meeting the academic needs of student veterans. The website’s 2019 rankings for Best Liberal Arts General Studies Programs for Veterans rated MTSU No. 41 out of 355 for veteran friendliness of all colleges and universities reviewed by College Factual. This puts MTSU in the top 15% of all schools in the nation when it comes to offering a quality education to veterans studying liberal arts.

THE GENERAL’S FUND As just one example of the exciting partnerships MTSU continues to create, the University, through its Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center, partnered with the Nashville Predators professional hockey team in launching The General’s Fund. Through the new fund, the Predators and the Daniels Center will come together to support the local population of militaryconnected students who struggle financially to reach their higher education and career goals.

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WINNING FORMULA MT Athletics reached some historic milestones. The MTSU football team defeated Old Dominion 38-17 in the final home game of the 2019 season, marking the 300th all-time victory at Floyd Stadium. The Blue Raiders started playing at the stadium in 1933 and have enjoyed 21 undefeated home campaigns. Men’s basketball, meanwhile, notched win No. 500 at Murphy Center in November 2019 with a 96-82 victory over visiting Mars Hill. The Blue Raiders have had plenty of big moments and successes in historic Murphy Center since its opening in 1972. The pandemic would eventually limit Blue Raider athletes from excelling at their usual high pace on the field of play. But it did not stop them from continuing to excel in the (virtual) classroom. Here, for instance, are some exciting classroom statistics from the 2019–20 season: • MTSU’s NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR) set a new school record at 92%, the sixth straight year that MT Athletics has either equaled or set a new school record. The GSR is a four-year measure of freshmen and athletic transfers who entered MTSU between Fall 2009 and Spring 2012. • Our Blue Raider football team’s score of 95% was the highest GSR of any public institution in the nation and tied for third with Vanderbilt behind only Northwestern and Duke.

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STUDENTATHLETES IN FALL 2019:

10% perfect 4.0 gpa

58

%

3.0 gpa or higher

3.1

cumulative gpa for all student-athletes

34

%

3.5 gpa or higher

on dean's list

BEHIND THE SCENES We continued our excellence in offering our students experiential learning opportunities in 2019–20. As just one example, MTSU students were once again behind the scenes at the 53rd annual Country Music Association Awards in downtown Nashville. Students worked as production assistants for talent as well as crew for WKRN-Channel 2, which produced the red-carpet special shown on 30 ABC affiliates.

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STAYING ON COURSE

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BUT EVERYTHING CHANGED IN MARCH 2020 AS THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC STRUCK, AND I, TOGETHER WITH UNIVERSITY OFFICIALS, MADE THE DIFFICULT BUT NECESSARY DECISION TO CLOSE THE CAMPUS AND MOVE ALL INSTRUCTION TEMPORARILY ONLINE AFTER AN EXTENDED SPRING BREAK.

OVERNIGHT, THE MTSU CAMPUS WAS A VIRTUAL GHOST TOWN. On the first weekend that the campus was shuttered, I remember I took a walk through Walnut Grove. I looked around and realized how quiet and serene our campus looked. Passing by Kirksey Old Main, I found myself thinking back to the incredible challenges this campus has faced in its past. In its more than 108 years, our community has experienced two World Wars, the Great Depression, conflicts in Korea and Vietnam, desegregation, and the modern recession. Each time this campus and our Blue Raider family have emerged stronger, with an even greater sense of purpose and resolve. The experience gave me confidence in the future of the University. I had no doubt in that moment that we would prove our resilience once again. Although the University was still during the earliest days of the pandemic, it did not sit still. Faculty quickly turned traditional coursework into creative, challenging (and according to some reports, even fun) remote learning opportunities. Meanwhile, students handled the major disruption in their lives with maturity and optimism, making a difficult situation manageable. I was truly amazed at how much we were able to accomplish—much of which was achieved in record time. I was so proud of our students, who were confronted with a crisis that upended their studies, plans, and lives, yet persisted; and I was so grateful for our faculty, who were confronted with perhaps the greatest challenge of their careers and responded with resolve and innovation. If I didn’t know then, I do know now the character and values of our faculty, students, and staff. They have great capabilities and an amazing ability to handle challenges, no matter what those are. In the end, I believe MTSU’s COVID-19 response serves as testament to MTSU’s focus on student success.

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There were many examples of the positive ways the MTSU family handled the crisis. Published here is just a sampling of the many extraordinary efforts that took place. Collectively, they gave new meaning to the phrase “True Blue” that has come to reflect the identity of the MTSU community over the past decade.

The campus pharmacy and Student Health Services remained open and available to students living in residence halls on campus, in nearby apartments or rental property off campus, or in the surrounding communities.

Remote tutoring was launched for 200 courses and subject areas. The free service—normally provided at the Tutoring Spot in James E. Walker Library and various on-campus locations by the MTSU Office of Student Success— was available to students via Zoom online teleconferencing and other methods. MTSU’s Margaret H. Ordoubadian University Writing Center also guided students through classwork in cyberspace. Students who vacated their residence hall rooms before April 19 were eligible for a partial refund. While MT Dining remained open for takeout and available to the more than 500 students still in on-campus housing, MTSU absorbed the financial cost of offering a refund plan on unused meals for students who returned home. MTSU also provided a credit to each enrolled student’s account to offset the portion of the program services fee that covers student recreation (including the campus Rec Center); postal services; campus access (including parking services); and international services. Students were provided a pass-fail grading option for classes they were enrolled in during the Spring 2020 semester. Our Student Affairs team continued to innovate ways to keep our students connected through virtual Connection Point events, which are crucial Campus Life events geared toward student retention. As an example, caricature artist Adam Pate produced real-time portraits of students who registered for a webinar. With the added stresses of stay-at-home orders and the switch to remote learning for all of our students, MTSU’s counseling professionals continued offering a variety of free, remote mental health resources to students, faculty, and staff during the pandemic.

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A virtual Commencement ceremony broadcast via Facebook Live and Livestream on May 9 celebrated our Spring 2020 graduates. Each also received a special graduation care package in the mail. On April 29, the University hosted a virtual stole ceremony for graduating student veterans.

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Students had remote access—and restricted physical access for pickups —to James E. Walker Library as the University continued to adapt to changes necessitated by the COVID-19 outbreak. Thousands of resources from e-books to articles from magazines, newspapers, and academic journals, to audio and video resources, were available online as students continued their studies from home. “Pull and Hold” also enabled students to continue to check out books via the library’s website prior to the governor’s statewide safer-at-home order. MTSU’s Student Food Pantry continued to feed students in need. Bags of food and hygiene products remained available for students at the Student Services and Admissions Center.

MTSU supported students needing technology assistance by distributing laptops and providing hot spots to help students with remote classes.

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Out of the Blue, MTSU’s long-running monthly TV program, pivoted to multiple shows per week containing crucial and timely information on the University’s response to the pandemic. The program also began broadcasting on the University’s main Facebook page. Rebranded as Stay on Course, the web-only show featured twice-weekly productions about the University’s response to COVID-19.


Since K–12 students couldn’t go to their classrooms, MTSU College of Education experts helped provide parents with the tools to conduct a “Classroom in Your Living Room.” The college, with technical assistance from the Center for Educational Media, produced a podcast series designed to assist parents trying to keep their children’s minds on learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Fifteen student workers at the farm laboratories and MTSU Creamery— and about 50 altogether on campus in various academic departments—were deemed “essential” workers. This small group of student workers continued to staff areas where their hands-on services were needed, including the University farm, on-campus computer labs, and flight instruction. About 25 MTSU Nursing students helped staff the Tennessee Department of Health’s COVID-19 hotline at the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency’s Command Center in Nashville. MTSU Graduate Studies temporarily offered a $1 application fee (normally $35) to help support prospective students during the COVID-19 crisis. It also waived admission tests (GRE, GMAT, etc.) for many of its programs.

With MTSU Board of Trustees Chair Stephen B. Smith and thenStudent Trustee Delanie McDonald, I participated in a panel discussion at the White House. Joined by President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, the panel of educational leaders nationwide gathered to share plans to reopen the nation’s schools and universities in fall 2020 while dealing with COVID-19 concerns. MTSU unveiled three new guaranteed academic scholarships for qualified freshmen entering the next fall, marking the first time such awards have been made available beyond the University’s traditional Dec. 1 deadline. Applications for these four-year awards were accepted through Aug. 14—just 10 days before the start of the Fall 2020 semester: •L ightning Scholarship ($3,000 a year, 30–36 ACT, 3.5 GPA) •B lue Raider Scholarship ($2,000 a year, 25–29 ACT, 3.5 GPA) •F uture Alumni Scholarship ($1,000 a year, 23–24 ACT, 3.5 GPA)

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ABOVE AND BEYOND

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SOME UNIVERSITY ADVANCES ACHIEVED DURING THIS DIFFICULT PERIOD WERE PARTICULARLY RELEVANT IN THAT THEY SPECIFICALLY ADDRESSED ASPECTS OF THE GLOBAL PANDEMIC. Others were simply remarkable given the difficult circumstances facing the University. I wish to spotlight a few of those efforts. They include: • Campus Growth • Technology Enhancements • New Policy Center • Enrollment Gains • Fundraising Efforts

BUILT FOR ITS TIME Campus Growth Amid the pandemic and simultaneous calls for social justice, MTSU opened a much-needed new Academic Classroom Building for the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences (CBHS). MTSU created CBHS as part of an academic reorganization about a decade ago to better focus on preparing research-based service providers in the health and human sciences and to provide the best education in health, mental health, and human services in the state of Tennessee. Graduates of the college are the caregivers who look after sick mothers and fathers in hospital beds. The counselors who care for brothers and sisters struggling with the transition from combat to the workplace. The dedicated administrators who work to prosecute and incarcerate those who wish to threaten our everyday happiness and even our lives. The researchers and creators who study the ways each of us can find greater health and fulfillment in everyday life. At their core, CBHS students and graduates are community servants. CBHS programs provide the next generation of nurses, social workers, criminal justice and correction administrators, psychology counselors, and human science and health-related professionals who form the foundation for preserving and caring for humanity. In training and practice, CBHS graduates address problems that truly impact communities—especially among underserved populations. The six disciplines and departments that make up the college—Criminal Justice Administration (CJA), Health and Human Performance, Human Sciences, Nursing, Psychology, and Social Work—have long been part of MTSU’s remarkable community impact, preparing front-line professionals who are essential to ensuring that communities thrive, especially now in a time of pandemic. The college took the next step in its evolution when construction was completed near the end of the 2019–20 school year on a brand-new $39.6 million building.

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The 91,200-square-foot building brings together three of the CBHS departments— CJA, Psychology, and Social Work—which offer highly related, integrative programs previously located in multiple buildings across campus, to allow for greater collaboration. In his 2018–19 budget, former Gov. Bill Haslam recommended the new MTSU academic building among capital outlay projects for Tennessee’s public universities. The state committed $35.1 million and MTSU chipped in $4.5 million to build— at long last—a state-of-the-art facility that offers critically needed classrooms, labs, and office space for these three departments. The new Academic Classroom Building is located between the Student Union Building and the Tennessee Livestock Center.

Justice for All MTSU’s $39.6 million Academic Classroom Building, the new home of the Department of Criminal Justice Administration, is a timely project given the world we live in today. In the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as well as nationwide social unrest in the wake of police brutality along racial lines, academic work that will take 28


place in the new building could have far-reaching positive impacts on society as a whole. Given the challenges currently facing America’s criminal justice system, college and university programs have a clear role to play in making a difference in the social justice sphere. Many are grappling with what might be missing from the current curriculum of CJA students that could hasten systemic change. Organizing new collaborations with the departments of Psychology, Social Work, History, and Sociology and Anthropology to round out student perspectives on social issues could prove beneficial for current and future CJA students. Such cross-disciplinary study, featuring open and honest discussions about crime rate discrepancies, racial and ethnic biases, excessive force, the role of police, and institutional racism, may well become essential components of updated CJA degree programs preparing law enforcement professionals to better serve the communities they police. With its new collaborative facility, MTSU is positioned to be a leader in higher education’s response to justice-related issues.

A Social Gathering Nationally, the need for child and family social workers continues to rise. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected that job openings in the field would grow 10%–14% during 2014–2026. No doubt those estimates have been on the increase as the economy stagnated, unemployment climbed, and social unrest stemming from both the COVID-19 pandemic and racial justice protests continued. Social workers are suddenly in the nationwide spotlight as the essential workers they have always been. As just one example, social workers increasingly have been pegged as crucial partners in the effort to trace contacts of people who have contracted the COVID-19 virus. By

29


Room to Grow The building opened at a time of great social unrest in America stemming from both the global viral outbreak and ongoing protest for needed social change in America. Against that landscape, MTSU Psychology students populating the building will work toward fulfillment of a degree in an academic area crucial to America’s current and future mental health.

identifying these people and interviewing them about their activities and others who might have been exposed, contact tracers can keep the public safe by slowing the spread of the new coronavirus. School-based social workers in particular have been key to helping fight the pandemic as public schools reopened nationwide.

One of the most challenging circumstances of living in a pandemic is the wide variance of individual psychological reactions to the virus. Think store shelves emptied of hand sanitizer and toilet paper, or a plunging stock market resulting from nervous investors. Contrast those images with one of individuals who view the virus as a hoax or run-of-the-mill virus and refuse to wear masks. All are psychological reactions to threats—real, perceived, or dismissed—that have gripped a nation.

Similarly, the national push to at long last address systemic racism in our society increases the gravity of the work Social Work students are conducting to gain knowledge and apply what they learn in service. To eradicate racism, social workers will be called upon more and more as researchers, educators, service providers, and administrators to identify and fight injustice they encounter on a daily basis.

The barrage of news and information about the virus can sometimes confuse more than elucidate. Given common misconceptions about COVID-19 or confusion over what constitutes scientific fact versus what is sheer speculation, is it any wonder people are experiencing fear and anxiety? And that fear and anxiety, some mental health experts warn, may be more dangerous than the coronavirus itself.

Given the recent state of social unrest in the U.S., it is imperative that social scientists offer their collective expertise to address the problems of racism, poverty, police brutality, and mass incarceration to improve outcomes and well-being for all citizens.

Helping people understand how their own minds and thoughts work is essential to making good decisions and having good judgment about any issue, whether it be the coronavirus spread, social unrest, or climate change, for that matter. Untangling it all falls to educated professionals and clinicians in the field of psychology who can help people deal with this “new normal.”

MTSU’s bold investment in the education of its Social Work students is a testament to the University’s commitment to the social good.

30

Which is to say that MTSU’s big investment in the study of psychology is a timely one, to say the least.


31


TOP 10 FACTS ABOUT THE NEW HOME OF THE COLLEGE OF BEHAVIORAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES

32


14 classrooms

91,200 square feet

5

computer labs

39,600,000

$

total investment

• The Academic Classroom Building (ACB) constitutes 91,200 square feet of new construction (similar in size, scope, and scale to MTSU’s nearby College of Education Building). • Total cost of the project was $39,600,000. • It is located in the campus academic core north of the College of Education Building and MTSU Boulevard. • The ACB has 14 total classrooms (three large-tiered, 11 traditional) and five computer class labs, adding a total of 900 classroom and class lab seats in the building, plus 14 smaller, discipline-specific testing and research rooms with an additional 87 student stations.

demand (11.7% CJA, 11.8% Social Work, and 15.8% Psychology) for these program graduates in Tennessee and nationally. • The ACB eliminates what had been a 47,500-square-foot deficit in overall academic space (classrooms, labs, and faculty offices) for the college’s needs. • “Surge” space created by the building’s opening provides consolidated space for the College of Liberal Arts in one area, as well as relocation space for College of Media and Entertainment labs from Ezell Hall (scheduled for demolition).

• Enrollment in the ACB’s three academic disciplines is expected to keep pace with MTSU’s overall growth over the next decade, with projected population growth of 28% for Rutherford County and 19% for the greater Nashville area expected to significantly boost enrollment.

• The building was first recognized as a priority project in MTSU’s 2008 Master Plan and was further refined in 2016 with the final selected site. It was submitted as a top priority project in MTSU’s 2012 capital outlay submission and moved up to No. 3 on the Tennessee Board of Regent’s priority outlay project list for 2017–18. The project was submitted to the State Building Commission in June 2016 for full planning with the use of funds and approved.

• Average annual job growth of 1.5% is predicted for all three disciplines the next seven years, indicating a strong increase in

• The Bauer Askew architectural firm served as designer, and Turner Construction was the general contractor.

33


AHEAD OF THE CURVE Technology Enhancements When the pandemic struck in the Spring 2020 semester, classes pivoted quickly to meeting online. Even when classes began for the Fall 2020 semester, they were hybrid in nature, meaning students met both on campus in classrooms and remotely online. MTSU moved reactively and strategically to ensure these new methods of curriculum delivery maintained its threshold for highquality education. The University quickly invested $3.5 million in audiovisual upgrades to our classrooms so that all class meetings could be captured electronically. MTSU devoted another $3.4 million toward faculty laptops, online exam proctoring, and other software and equipment needs. This technology enables faculty to make sure that all students continue to receive the same highquality education they enjoy during normal times. Much of this money came from the federal CARES Act, but the University put in considerable dollars as well.

34

We are determined to persevere in our educational mission, and this effort is central to doing so. In partnership with the Provost’s Office, the Lea Learning, Teaching, and Innovative Technologies Center (LT&ITC); Faculty Instruction Technology Center (FITC); and Custom Application Development (CAD) department created an extensive Stay on Course website (mtsu.edu/stayoncourse) for faculty and students. This site featured: • extensive training on D2L, Zoom, and Panopto • recordings of over 56 workshops • Education Professor Susan Myers-Shirk’s “Teaching and Zooming” training • detailed video and FAQs on new integrated classroom technology system implemented in Fall 2020 • calendar of all workshops • how-to pages for both faculty and students on using the new test proctoring software, Examity (mtsu.edu/examity) • and, of course, how to get live assistance

The LT&ITC provided over 300 consultations with faculty, providing technical, pedagogical, and design support.

All faculty and adjuncts were given the opportunity to receive an instructional laptop to assist with classroom and online teaching. An automated equipment checkout application for students, faculty, and staff was developed and implemented. The current inventory consists of hot spots, Chromebooks, and laptops. Adobe offered free Creative Cloud licenses to students at the beginning of the pandemic. We have since secured a Creative Cloud license for those students who are taking classes that require this license.


MTSU MOVED REACTIVELY AND STRATEGICALLY TO ENSURE THESE NEW METHODS OF CURRICULUM DELIVERY MAINTAINED ITS THRESHOLD FOR HIGHQUALITY EDUCATION.

35


BlueID Online was developed and implemented to enable creation of ID cards without the need for students or staff to physically visit the BlueID Office. Working with Student Health Services, ITD worked to develop a COVID‑19 reporting system that is integrated with PipelineMT. This allows faculty, staff, and students to report if they have tested positive for COVID-19 or suspect they might be. For classrooms, ITD equipped 411 classrooms with a recording/streaming system with automated scheduling. They also were configured for video conferencing with platforms like Zoom. Thirteen additional nonclassroom spaces were temporarily equipped to be used as classrooms. An additional 40 classrooms were converted from analog video to high-definition digital video. 36

ITD installed Wi-Fi in several new parking locations on campus to provide supplemental Wi-Fi coverage in light of social distancing measures enforced in buildings on campus. Both parking garages on campus have featured Wi-Fi since their construction several years ago.

Starting in 2020, ITD began implementation of the Microsoft Teams platform, which is the chat-based workspace in Microsoft 365 that makes it easy to have conversations, host meetings, share files, and collaborate on documents, as well as work with teams across the organization.


CIVICS LESSON New Policy Center Ken Paulson, former dean of the College of Media and Entertainment, created and launched MTSU’s new Free Speech Center—a First Amendment advocacy hub that aims to provoke thoughtful discussion and discourse at college campuses across the nation.

Reliable

information when we need it most. Protect freedom of the press. freespeech.center

Nonpartisan and nonprofit, the Free Speech Center is dedicated to building awareness and support for the First Amendment through education and information. Paulson served as president of the Freedom Forum’s First Amendment Center on Vanderbilt University’s campus in nearby Nashville for more than a decade. His lifetime crusade to protect the freedom of the press and his accompanying new venture at MTSU arguably could not be happening at a more relevant or critical time. One of the first major initiatives of the Free Speech Center at MTSU was a national campaign featuring a diverse group of American celebrities—ranging from Kane Brown to Loretta Lynn—with a much-needed message about the value of journalism in the COVID-19 age and in times of social unrest stemming from racial inequalities.

Aubrie Sellers

Reliable

MY FREE

press.

information when we need it most.

Freedom of press protects my right to read and engage

with diverse viewpoints, not only those I agree with, just as freedom of speech protects my ability to write and express myself through music without restraints. The First Amendment allows us to be who we are, freely. Freedom of speech, press, petition, and assembly. Five freedoms of expression. Protect one. Protect them all. Learn more at

Protect freedom of the press.

www.1forall.today.

freespeech.center

Ruby Amanfu

MY FREE

Becca Stevens

MY FREEdom

SPEECH.

of faith.

My freedom of speech allows me to lift my voice to add to

Faith is at the core of our Thistle Farms project, bringing hope

the magnificent chorus of voices who have gone before

and help to women in need, just as the other freedoms of the First

me, singing of hope, courage, liberty and justice for all.

Amendment empower us to make a difference every day. Each of

Learn more at www.1forall.today.

us is different, and these five freedoms allow you to be the special person you are. Five freedoms of expression. Protect one. Protect them all. Learn more at www.1forall.today.

Photo: Anna Haas

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A STUNNING SUCCESS Enrollment Gains Colleges and universities across the country experienced significant enrollment declines in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Tennessee was certainly no exception, as students and parents considered issues of safety, value, and the remarkable uncertainties created by COVID-19 and wondered if a gap year or other alternative to a four-year college experience might not make sense. Meanwhile, the final months of every school year—and 2019–20 was no exception—are a time of great importance to our admissions staff, who work tirelessly to ensure prospective students know the value MTSU offers and enroll early for the next semester. Due to the exceptional work of our faculty and staff, MTSU weathered the enrollment storm created by the coronavirus pandemic—and did so in remarkable fashion.

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As a result of the diligent recruiting efforts during the 2019–20 academic year, MTSU reported the largest year-overyear gains in enrollment among the state’s locally governed higher education institutions for Fall 2020. MTSU saw a 1.7% increase, remaining the largest undergraduate institution among the locally governed institutions (LGIs), which include Austin Peay, East Tennessee State, the University of Memphis, Tennessee Tech, and Tennessee State.


The University’s surge, coming as MTSU adapted its operations because of the COVID-19 pandemic, was fueled by: • an almost 28% growth in our College of Graduate Studies (new graduate enrollment at MTSU outperformed our LGI peers, jumping by 631 to 2,982 total) • record retention efforts of currently enrolled undergraduates by faculty and advisors (student success efforts led by deans and academic advisors helped MTSU retain around 350 more students over the previous year) Again, our growth during these challenging times was not an accident—it came from deliberate, focused, and relentless work by our faculty and staff during a global crisis. MTSU’s admissions and recruitment staff had a whole new set of challenges during the 2020–21 recruiting period, as high schools and community colleges either moved to online learning or dramatically reduced the accessibility of the schools to outside recruiters. In normal times, our recruiters would have been visiting schools, hosting information sessions, and staffing tables at college fairs. That wasn’t the case in 2020–21. In response, we developed a new program that focused on MTSU’s 70 highest priority feeder schools and was conducted remotely. We also created a series of virtual get-to-know-us sessions geared to students in many of the cities we visited in past years. We created signature True Blue recruitment boxes to get information and promotional materials into the hands of our high

39


school recruiting partners—who, in turn, helped share those with students. And we created a new, oneyear-only scholarship plan to draw back any student who was offered one of our guaranteed scholarships for Fall 2020 but decided to take a gap semester or year. Those students are able to roll over their initial awards to Spring 2021 or Fall 2021. This enrollment success story is important to every Tennessean. We at MTSU embrace that 79% of our graduates remain in Tennessee—and 56% stay within an hour’s drive of Nashville. One in five college graduates in greater Nashville holds an MTSU degree, making us the No. 1 provider to the region’s workforce. Our alumni run companies. They win Grammys. They teach our children. They cure diseases. They create, innovate, and succeed. From aerospace to agriculture, and finance to health care and concrete management, our grads are ready to work.

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$10,797,629 fundraising totals for 2019–20

$

420,000

raised during 72-hour online donor drive

1,284

donors during online drive

34 out of every

students receive

some sort of

financial aid

LENDING SUPPORT Fundraising Efforts Admissions staff wasn’t the only campus entity doing better than just surviving in the pandemic. Private support continues to provide valuable resources for our campus. Fundraising for 2019–20 exceeded 2018–19 totals by more than $700,000, ending the year at $10,797,629 despite losing four months of donor interactions and formal solicitations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our colleges of Basic and Applied Sciences and of Liberal Arts, in particular, showed significant increases in private support. Our annual True Blue Give fund efforts set a record with over $420,000 in contributions from 1,284 donors toward scholarships, student emergency funds, academics, and athletics during the 72-hour online donor drive Feb. 12–14. Three out of every four MTSU students receive some sort of financial aid.


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42

SERVICE AND SUCCESS


THESE EXTRAORDINARY TIMES AT MTSU WERE MET HEAD-ON BY EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE WILLING TO MAKE EXTRAORDINARY EFFORTS TO KEEP THE UNIVERSITY ON TRACK. Nowhere was that truer than as regards our tremendous faculty. Professors adjusted teaching methods and tapped technology for remote learning in response to the ongoing coronavirus threat. Here are just a few examples of Blue Raider faculty who went above and beyond to ensure our delivery of education remained constant.

A HEALING ART In the midst of a growing pandemic in March 2020, MTSU’s Sculpting Lab in the Department of Art and Design answered the medical community’s call for more personal protective equipment (PPE). At the behest of Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, MTSU and other universities were asked to put their 3D printers to work to make desperately needed PPE for shipping to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA). Doctors, nurses, hospitals, and clinics had been clamoring for face masks, goggles, gloves, and other equipment to keep health care providers safe as they treated people infected with the rapidly spreading COVID-19 virus. Led by Professor Michael Baggarly, Art and Design began printing 3D face mask pieces in a sterling exhibit of the College of Liberal Arts’ serving the state of Tennessee in crisis. The department has been ramping up manufacturing capability over the past few years, accumulating 13 fused deposition modeling-based printers, two 3D scanners, and recently, a high-resolution Artec Eva scanner. Having a diverse 3D print lab allowed the department to transition from an aesthetic/conceptual-based approach to making art to producing needed/functional safety gear for the state of Tennessee. During the TEMA project, Art and Design’s 3D lab ran 18-plus hours per day, seven days per week from March 24 through April 7 producing face masks. The initial statewide goal was to complete 10,000 face shield frames by April 1, and 14,000 frames were printed by April 7. The Makerspace, a section of MTSU’s James E. Walker Library, and the Department of Engineering Technology program also pitched in generously with the TEMA PPE effort, making headbands that attach to medical face shields.

43


Baggarly’s headlong, no-hesitation leap into PPE-making serves as an exemplary case of art as function, to say the least; but perhaps it is not surprising given Baggarly’s world-class ability as an artist and his own personal story as an immunocompromised person. As the epidemic flared nationally and locally, he began to see stories on social media about his peers at other institutions who were using their studio facilities to produce PPE gear for medical providers and first responders facing

critical shortages; he was excited to find out that Tennessee was beginning to do the exact same thing to bolster its PPE reserves. A longtime MTSU associate professor, Baggarly has exhibited his sculpture nationally and internationally in juried and invitational exhibitions. Now his work—and the work of his colleagues in the Department of Art and Design— is also on display in critical care environments statewide.

THE “WRITE” APPROACH Nothing strikes fear into the heart of a diligent college student as much as needing writing guidance with a class deadline looming. The Margaret H. Ordoubadian University Writing Center at MTSU, a program of the College of Liberal Arts, was determined not to leave students in the lurch as they worked on their assignments off-campus during the COVID-19 outbreak. Led by Erica Cirillo-McCarthy, the center’s director and an assistant professor of English, the Writing Center’s nearly 30 tutors remained available to help with both undergraduate and graduate projects in online sessions. Each session is either 25 or 45 minutes long and allows a student to communicate with 44

the tutor in real time either with or without audiovisual technology. Each student schedules an appointment through WCONLINE, the center’s online scheduler, by going to mtsu.edu/writingcenter and clicking the blue Make an Appointment button. When they enter the virtual tutoring session, students see a series of instructions on a whiteboard, where they can paste their writing projects for the tutor’s review. To the left is an optional space for audiovisual contact; to the right is a chat box where tutors and students can “talk” with each other in a text-messaging format. To bridge the gap for students whose internet availability is limited and who may

not be able to access real-time tutoring online, MTSU’s University Writing Center also added “document-drop tutoring” to its range of online services. A student can fill out an appointment form through the center’s web page and attach a piece of writing and an assignment sheet to it. After an appointment for a specific time is scheduled, a tutor will review the writing and any student concerns within a 45-minute time period. The tutor will upload feedback at the end of the session and send a client report form to the student via email.


PIECING TOGETHER THE PUZZLE For some in the teaching profession, the COVID-19 pandemic meant facilitating lectures and discussions via Zoom virtual meetings. For others, the logistics of virtual teaching has proven to be a great deal more complicated.

His innovative, real-time solution proved remarkably effective. Crabtree relies upon a Zoom-friendly switcher to manage video feeds shot by three iPhone SEs mounted throughout the studio, creating a cohesive live pre-

For Bill Crabtree, a professor for the Department of Recording Industry, remote teaching meant creating a multicamera, highdefinition audio classroom within four of MTSU’s recording studio control rooms. Most of what Crabtree teaches is hands on. His students have to learn how all the equipment in the room works, how to collaborate with others in the control room, and how to work with musicians during a recording session. He knew right away when COVID-19 hit that he’d need to make a virtual TV studio in the audio control room.

sentation that supports his lessons to the students. All students participate remotely for class demonstrations and then work in small groups with graduate assistants for hands-on practice.

Because discussions about audio quality are integral to the lessons, Crabtree also had to find a way to transmit higher-quality audio than what Zoom provides. Crabtree’s colleague Michael Hansen, an MTSU assistant professor for the Audio Production program, found ListenTo, a product that enables highresolution audio streaming. This makes it possible to stream the high-resolution studio audio separately from the low-resolution Zoom audio. The innovative setup worked well from both pragmatic and technological perspectives in terms of providing a high-quality learning experience for students—a longstanding hallmark of MTSU’s Recording Industry program.

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LOOKING AHEAD Conclusion Near the end of the 2019–20 school year, in late April 2020, MTSU was among the first universities in the nation to announce it would resume some on-campus classes and operations for the Fall 2020 semester. MTSU developed a plan of action emphasizing the use of face masks, handwashing, and social distancing, as advised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By modifying our campus spaces and our behaviors, we endured. We successfully returned to campus for the Fall 2020 term and remained open for numerous in-person classes through the Thanksgiving break. Indeed, the semester showed us what we can achieve. The pandemic challenged us every step of the way, but we persevered. We completed the semester with a large portion of our classes held in person. We even celebrated graduation together in Floyd Stadium on a sunny and temperate November day. I want to thank every member of our campus community—students, faculty, and staff—for taking personal responsibility, following safety guidelines, and making it all possible. The University’s COVID-19 Task Force continues to engage faculty, staff, and other stakeholders to lay out scenarios and develop recommendations. MTSU’s actions will ultimately and always be guided by the advice and recommendations of federal and state health officials, just as they have been since the beginning of this global health crisis. We remain mindful that through our reactions to the challenges of this pandemic, we are writing our own stories.

TRUE BLUE!

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TRUE SUCCESS NEW FRESHMEN FALL ENROLLMENT

48


49


NEW UNDERGRADUATE TRANSFER FALL ENROLLMENT

50


51


Student Age Information- Fall 2017 - 2019 STUDENT AGE INFORMATION: FALL 2018–2020 Average Age by Student Level- Fall 2017-2019 Fall 2017 Headcount Age 3,016 1,373 3,689 4,489 6,033 923 19,523 161 1,826 106 297 2,390 21,913

Level First-time Freshman Continuing Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior Undergrad Special Total Undergraduate Graduate Special Master's Specialist in Education Doctoral Total Graduate Total

19 21 21 23 26 18 23 35 30 39 37 32 24

Fall 2018 Headcount Age 2,897 1,219 3,551 4,500 5,834 1,250 19,251 158 1,818 89 314 2,379 21,630

19 21 21 23 26 18 22 36 31 36 37 32 23

Fall 2019 Age Headcount 3,312 1,077 3,505 4,548 5,651 1,368 19,461 121 1,753 83 303 2,260 21,721

Student Headcount by Age Group- Fall 2019 Age 17 or less

Undergraduate 971 5.0%

18-20

8,114

41.7%

21-24

7,266

25-34

2,236

35-64 Over 64

Total

Graduate 0 0.0% 0.1%

8,116

37.4%

37.3%

505

22.3%

7,771

35.8%

11.5%

1,076

47.6%

3,312

15.2%

860

4.4%

665

29.4%

1,525

7.0%

14

0.1%

12

0.5%

26

0.1%

2,260

Student Headcount Age 25 and Over Fall 2017 Fall 2018 Fall 2019 5,598 5,306 4,863

Source: MTSU Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Planning and Research First-time freshmen codes updated Fall 2017.

52

4.5%

2

19,461

Headcount

Total 971

21,721

19 21 21 23 26 18 22 37 30 37 37 32 23


Headcount by College, Classification HEADCOUNTby BY Gender, COLLEGE, College, CLASSIFICATION, AND GENDER Gender- Academic Year 2016-17 to 2018-19 Headcount and Classification Term Gender- Academic Year 2017-18 to 2019-20 2017-18

Term

Gender

Summer

Female

4,087

55%

4,041

Male

3,367

45%

3,328

7,454

100%

7,369

11,966

55%

11,860

55%

Total Fall

Spring

Female

% of Total

Summer % of Total

2018-19

55% Fall

45% 100%

Male

9,947

45%

9,770

Total

21,913

100%

21,630

45% Spring 100%

Female

10,988

55%

10,783

55%

Male

9,074

45%

8,917

Total

20,062

100%

19,700

Unduplicated Total

25,602

2018

% of Total

2019

Basic and Applied Sciences

4,789

22%

4,959

Behavioral and Health Sciences

4,179

19%

4,201

Business

2,577

12%

2,656

Education

590

3%

569

Liberal Arts

2,159

10%

2,114

Media and Entertainment

2,361

11%

2,375

Non-Degree Seeking

1,244

6%

1,368

University College Total Undergraduates Graduate Studies

Total

1,352

6%

1,219

19,251

89%

19,461

2,379

11%

2,260

21,630

100%

21,721

Unduplicated Total 100%

2018

% of Total

2019

Freshman

4,116

19%

4,389

Sophomore

3,551

16%

3,505

Junior

4,500

21%

4,548

Senior

5,834

27%

5,651

Undergraduate Special

1,250

6%

1,368

Graduate Special Master's Specialist in Education Doctoral

Total

158

1%

121

1,818

8%

1,753

89

0%

314

1%

21,630

100%

Source: MTSU Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Planning and Research First-time freshmen codes updated Fall 2017.

83

19,897

100%

25,341

23% 5,147 Business 19% 4,158 Education 12% 2,584 Liberal Arts 3% 558 Media and Entertainment 10% 2,128 Non-Degree Seeking 11% 2,296 University College 6% 1,183 Total Undergraduates 6% 1,134 Graduate Studies 90% 19,188

23% 19% 12% 3% 10% 10% 5% 5% 87%

10%

2,892

13%

100%

22,080

100%

Classification

Freshman % Sophomore of Total

2020

Total

2017-18

% of

4,087

3,544

45%

3,367

7,824

100%

7,454

12,121

55%

11,966

9,929

45%

9,947

22,050

100%

21,913

11,114

55%

10,988

9,122

45%

9,074

20,236

100%

20,062

26,134

25,602

% of Total

% of Total 19% 17% 21% 25% 5% 1% 10% 1%

% of

22%

4,789

4,293

20%

4,179

2,667

12%

2,577

633

3%

590

2,227

10%

2,159

2,450

11%

2,361

923

4%

1,244

1,492

7%

1,352

19,523

89%

19,251

2,390

11%

2,379

21,913

100%

21,630

Classification- Fall 2017 to 2019 % of Total

2018

% of

4,389

20%

4,116

3,689

17%

3,551

4,489

20%

4,500

6,033

28%

5,834

923

4%

1,250

161

1%

158

1,826

8%

1,818

106

0%

89

297

1%

314

21,913

100%

21,630

303 1% 338 2% MTSU Office of22,080 Institutional Effectiveness, Planning and Research 21,721Source: 100% 100% First-time freshmen codes updated Fall 2017.

2018

4,838

2017

20% 4,183 Junior 16% 3,670 Senior 21% 4,534 Undergraduate Special 26% 5,618 Graduate Special 6% 1,183 Master's 1% 133 Specialist in Education 8% 2,302 Doctoral 0% 119

% of Total 55%

2017

Basic and Applied Sciences % Behavioral of Total and Health 2020 Sciences % of Total

Total

4,280

College- Fall 2017 to 2019

College

Classification- Fall 2018 to Fall 2020 Classification

2016-17

Female 2019-20 % of Total Male 3,949 56% Total 3,133 44% Female 7,082 100% Male 11,801 54% Total 9,920 46% Female 21,721 100% Male 10,915 55% Total 8,982 45%

25,239

College- Fall 2018 to Fall 2020 College

45%

Gender

53


Headcount, Student Credit Hours, & Full-Time HEADCOUNT, STUDENT CREDIT HOURS, & FULL-TIME Equivalents Summary Fall 2019 EQUIVALENTS SUMMARY:- FALL 2020

Undergraduate Graduate

Total

Full-Time Part-Time Total Full-Time Part-Time Total

Headcount 15,721 3,740 19,461 681 1,579 2,260

21,721

Student Credit Full-Time Hours (SCH) Equivalents (FTE) 226,163 15,078 21,661 1,444 247,824 16,522 6,914 576 7,887 657 14,801 1,233

262,625

17,755

Note: Totals may vary fom the summed parts due to rounding. One Undergraduate FTE=15 credit hours and one Graduate FTE=12 credit hours.

Source: MTSU Office of Instutitional Effectiveness Planning and Research Power BI Dashboard

UNDERGRADUATE MAJORS BYbyCOLLEGE: Undergraduate Undergraduate Majors Majors by College College FALL 2020 Total = 19,188 Fall Fall 2019 2019 Total Total = 19,461 = 19,461 Non-Degree Non-Degree Seeking Seeking 1,368 1,368 3% 3%

University University College College 1,219 1,219 6% 6%

Basic Basic andand Applied Applied Sciences Sciences 4,959 4,959 25%25%

Mass Mass Communications Communications Media and Entertainment 2,375 2,375 2,375 12% 12% 12%

Liberal Liberal ArtsArts 2,114 2,114 11%11% Education Education 569 569 3% 3%

54

Business Business 2,656 2,656 14%14%

Behavioral Behavioral andand Health Health Sciences Sciences 4,201 4,201 22%22%


500 0

New First Time Freshmen

New Transfer

New New Graduate New Masters New EdS Undergraduate Special Candidate HEADCOUNT BY STUDENT TYPE­: FALL 2018–2020 Special

New Doctoral Student

Headcount by Student Type Fall 2018 - 2020 New Students

Returning Students

Re-Enrollees

High School

Overall Growth

New First Time Freshmen New Transfer New Undergraduate Special New Graduate Special New Masters Candidate New EdS New Doctoral Student Total New Students Freshman Continuing Sophomore Junior Senior Undergraduate Special Continuing Graduate Special Continuing Masters Candidate Continuing EdS Continuing Doctoral Continuing Total Returning Students Freshman Readmitted Sophomore Readmitted Junior Readmitted Senior Readmitted Undergraduate Special Graduate Special Readmitted Masters Candidates Readmitted EdS Readmitted Doctoral Readmitted Total Re-Enrollees Concurrent High School

Fall 2018 2,897 1,967 94 78 514 20 45

Fall 2019 3,312 2,048 80 60 503 9 43

Fall 2020 3,093 1,879 51 73 1,032 22 57

% Change 2018-2020 6.8% -4.5% -45.7% -6.4% 100.8% 10.0% 26.7%

5,615 808 2,828 3,420 5,291 45 67 1,235 44 254 13,992 117 177 194 302 6 13 69 25 15

6,055 746 2,786 3,331 5,123 66 53 1,186 70 247 13,608 90 158 185 314 1 8 64 4 13

6,207 805 3,073 3,367 5,143 10 42 1,179 94 259 13,972 84 131 165 265 4 18 91 3 22

10.5% -0.4% 8.7% -1.5% -2.8% -77.8% -37.3% -4.5% 113.6% 2.0% -0.1% -28.2% -26.0% -14.9% -12.3% -33.3% 38.5% 31.9% -88.0% 46.7%

918 1,105

837 1,221

783 1,118

-14.7% 1.2%

21,630

21,721

22,080

2.1%

Source: MTSU Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Planning and Research

55


SNAPSHOT FALL Snapshot ydoB tnOF of edu Fall tS 92019 12020 02 lStudent laSTUDENT F fo toBody hspBODY anS Total Total 127 Headcount ,Headcount: 12 = tnuoc=d21,721 a22,080 eH latoT

Gender sutatS

redneG Status

14,000 204,61 11,801

12,000 9,920

10,000 8,000 6,000

913,5

4,000 2,000 0

emiTMale -traP %42

000,02

20,000

000,81

18,000

000,61

16,000

000,41

14,000

000,21

12,000

000,01

10,000

000,8

8,000

000,6

6,000

000,4

4,000

000,2

2,000

0

eFemale miT-lluF %67

000,41 16,402 108,11

000,21 029,9

000,01 000,8 000,6

5,319

000,4 000,2

0

elameF Full-Time 76%

0

elaM Part-Time 24%

egeCollege lloC 6,000

5,336 866,4

4,000

3,069 824,2

3,000 2,000

184,1

643,1

453,2 1,039

1,000 0

000,6

633,5 4,668

5,000

000,5 000,4

960,3 2,428

2,354

000,3 1,346

930,1

000,2

1,481

000,1 0

eeand rgeD noBeh. N andytHealth isrevinU Business & aideM Education strA larebiLLiberalnoArts itacudE Media sse&nisuB University htlaeH dna .hNon eB Degree Basic dna cisaB gnikeeS Sciences egelloC College 14.1% tnemniatretnE 4.8%%8.01 10.8%%8.4 Entertainment %1.41 secneicS Seeking Applied deilppA %8.6 6.8% 6.2%%5.12 %2.11 11.2% 21.5%%2.6 Sciences secneicS 24.6% %6.42

Classification noitacifissalC 156,5

6,000 5,000

4,548

4,389

4,000 3,000 2,000

5,651

000,6

845,4

3,505

000,5

983,4

000,4

505,3

062,2

2,260 863,1

1,368

1,000 0

56

000,3 000,2 000,1

etaudaFreshman rG laicepS .daSophomore rgrednU %01 20% %6 16%

roineS Junior %62 21%

hcraeseR dna gninnalP ,ssenevutceffE lanoitutitsnI fo eciffO USTM :ecruoS

roinuJ Senior %12 26%

eroUndergrad. mohpoS Special namhsGraduate erF %61 6% %02 10%

0

Source: MTSU Office of Institutional Effectuveness, Planning and Research


ADMISSION APPLICATION STATISTICS: THREE-YEAR ENROLLMENT TRENDS Fall 2018 Men

(%)

Admission Application Statistics: Three-year Enrollment Trends Fall 2018–2020 Fall 2018-Fall 2020

Women

Fall 2019

(%)

Total

Men

(%)

Women

(%)

Total

Fall 2020

Men

(%)

Women

(%)

Total

Number of Applicants

3,499

43.4%

4,566

56.6%

8,065

4,160

46.4%

4,813

53.6%

8,973

5,325

43.9%

6,818

56.1%

12,143

Number of Admissions

3,225

42.8%

4,309

57.2%

7,534

3,861

45.9%

4,548

54.1%

8,409

3,836

44.8%

4,732

55.2%

8,568

Number Enrolled (full-time)

1,330

46.5%

1,532

53.5%

2,862

1,640

50.0%

1,642

50.0%

3,282

1,488

49.0%

1,547

51.0%

3,035

14

40.0%

21

60.0%

35

16

53.3%

14

46.7%

30

26

44.8%

32

55.2%

58

1,344

46.4%

1,553

53.6%

2,897

1,656

50.0%

1,656

50.0%

3,312

1,514

48.9%

1,579

51.1%

3,093

36.0%

38.5%

Number Enrolled (part-time) Total Enrolled (full-time/part-time) % of Admission (full-time/part-time)

41.7%

42.9%

36.4%

39.4%

39.5%

33.4%

36.1%

Source: Common Data Set

Admission Application Statistics: Three-year Enrollment Rate Fall 2018 Fall 2019Fall 2020

14,000 12,000

Fall2018–Fall 201- Fall 2020 Fall 2020 Number of Applicants 8,065 8,973 12,143 Number of Admissions 7,534 8,409 8,568 Total Enrolled 2,897 (full-time/part-time) 3,312 3,093

10,000 8,000

6,000 4,000 2,000 -

Fall 2018

Fall 2019

Fall 2020

Number of Applicants

8,065

8,973

12,143

Number of Admissions

7,534

8,409

8,568

3,312 Full-Time and2,897Part-Time Headcount Fall Terms 2010 - 2019 Full-Time and Part-Time Headcount

Total Enrolled (full-time/part-time)

3,093

Fall Terms 2011 - 2020 FULL-TIME AND PART-TIME HEADCOUNT: FALL TERMS 2011–2020

Full-Time Part-Time Number of No. Percent Number of No. Part-Time Year Students Full-TimeChange Change Students Change 2019 16,402 1.1% 5,319 of Number of No.171 Percent Number No.-80 2018 16,231 -344 -2.1% 5,399 61 Year Students Change Change Students Change 2017 16,575 -23231 -1.4% 5,338 95 2020 16,433 0.2% 5,647 328 2016 16,807 -154 -0.9% 5,243 -307-80 2019 16,402 171 1.1% 5,319 2015 16,961 -526 -3.0% 5,550 30861 2018 16,231 -344 -2.1% 5,399 2014 17,487 -793 -4.3% 5,242 18195 2017 16,575 -232 -1.4% 5,338 2013 18,280 -1,101 -5.7% 5,061 -952 2016 16,807 -154 -0.9% 5,243 -307 2012 19,381 -1,035 -5.1% 6,013 -13 2015 16,961 -526 -3.0% 5,550 308 2011 20,416 -295 -1.4% 6,026 307 2014 17,487 -793 -4.3% 5,242 -359 2010 20,711 1,506 7.8% 5,719 -264 2013 18,280 -1,101 -5.7% -412 , , 5,601 2012 19,381 -1,035 -5.1% 6,013 -13 Note: There was a small calculation error in the 2007-2017 table that has been corrected 2011 20,416 -295 -1.4% 6,026 in this form 307

TOTAL

Percent Number of Students Change -1.5% Percent 21,721 Number of 21,630 1.1% Students Change 1.8% 22,080 6.2% 21,913 -5.5% 21,721 -1.5% 22,050 5.9% 21,630 1.1% 22,511 3.6% 21,913 1.8% 22,729 -15.8% 22,050 -5.5% 23,341 -0.2% 22,511 5.9% 25,394 5.4% 22,729 -6.4% 26,442 -4.4% 23,881 -6.9% 26,430 , 25,394 -0.2% 26,442 5.4%

No. TOTAL Change Percent Change 91 0.4% -283 Percent-1.3% No. Change Change -137 -0.6% 359 1.7% -46191 -2.0% 0.4% -218 -1.0% -283 -1.3% -612 -2.6% -137 -0.6% -2,053 -8.1% -461 -2.0% -1,048 -4.0% -218 -1.0% 12 0.0% -1,152 -4.8% 1,242 4.9% -1,513 -6.0% -1,048 -4.0% 12 0.0% Source: IEPR Power BI Source: IEPR Power BI

57


THE DOLLARS AND CENTS Revenues

2020 2019 2018 2017

Operating Revenues

Net Tuition and Fees Operating Grants and Contracts Sales and Services of Educational/Other Activities Net Auxiliary Enterprises Other Operating Revenues

Total Operating Revenues

$133,560,374.26 $12,762,088.04 $19,252,851.23 $25,171,582.74 $272,711.96

$132,291,573.74 $12,254,975.61 $22,105,796.52 $27,339,647.67 $294,569.20

$131,627,943.38 $11,528,522.81 $20,370,284.64 $26,737,690.69 $187,146.38

$129,970,164.02 $11,413,418.10 $20,032,596.43 $26,048,389.13 $188,543.02

$191,019,608.23

$194,286,562.74

$190,451,587.90

$187,653,110.70

$108,587,775.00 $29,043,720.10 $83,786,179.78 $8,748,456.46 $3,278,677.84 187,306.08

$106,160,034.31 $20,024,115.95 $71,405,800.00 $6,738,511.43 $3,972,302.35 509,855.70

$97,834,560.44 $6,050,949.42 $73,580,430.00 $7,261,307.71 $2,690,515.47 96,028.55

$91,620,650.00 $11,653,575.99 $69,814,104.00 $7,525,128.66 $1,680,833.04 -

$424,651,723.49

$403,097,182.48

$377,965,379.49

$369,947,402.39

$181,257,572.99 $66,451,830.29 $83,661,913.50 $37,640,819.89 $22,479,175.86

$175,842,715.38 $65,124,983.08 $85,033,881.97 $29,231,530.00 $20,628,995.74

$168,128,603.17 $60,630,109.11 $82,206,415.29 $30,840,252.01 $20,584,848.16

$161,200,829.16 $56,811,675.61 $80,345,307.39 $30,211,807.71 $20,614,210.46

$391,491,312.53

$375,862,106.17

$362,390,227.74

$349,183,830.33

$5,980,706.51 $325,361.43

$6,488,936.63 $0.00

$6,587,795.95 $0.00

$7,839,005.07 $41,799.54

$397,797,380.47

$382,351,042.80

$368,978,023.69

$357,064,634.94

Other Revenues

State Appropriations Capital Appropriations Nonoperating Grants and Contracts Gifts and Capital Gifts Investment income-Net of Expense Other Nonoperating Revenues

Total Revenues

Expenses Operating Expenses

Salaries and Wages Benefits Utilities, Supplies, and Other Services Scholarships and Fellowships Depreciation Expense

Total Operating Expenses

Other Expenses

Interest on Capital Asset-Related Debt Other Nonoperating Expenses

Total Expenses

58


2020 2019 2018 2017

Net Position

Net Position-Beginning of Year Increase (Decrease) in Net Position Prior Period Adjustment

Net Position-End of Year

$412,276,844.11 $26,854,343.02 -

$391,530,704.43 $20,746,139.68 -

$396,047,797.56 $8,987,355.80 (13,504,448.93)

$383,165,030.11 $12,882,767.45 -

$439,131,187.13

$412,276,844.11

$391,530,704.43

$396,047,797.56

TOTAL REVENUES

$424.6 MM

$403.1 MM

$378.0 MM

$369.9 MM

TOTAL EXPENSES

$397.8 MM

$382.4 MM

$369.0 MM

$357.1 MM

NET POSITION-END OF YEAR

$439.1 MM

$412.3 MM

$391.5 MM

$396.0 MM

University Editor Drew Ruble Contributing Editors Nancy Broden and Carol Stuart Director of Creative Marketing Solutions Kara Hooper University Photographers Andy Heidt, J. Intintoli, James Cessna, Cat Curtis Murphy Design by Sherry Wiser George 200 Copies Printed at CMS-Printing

0121-9389 / Middle Tennessee State University does not discriminate against students, employees, or applicants for admission or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, age, status as a protected veteran, genetic information, or any other legally protected class with respect to all employment, programs, and activities sponsored by MTSU. The Interim Assistant to the President for Institutional Equity and Compliance has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies and can be reached at Cope Administration Building 116, 1301 East Main Street, Murfreesboro, TN 37132; Christy.Sigler@mtsu.edu; or 615-898-2185. The MTSU policy on non-discrimination can be found at mtsu.edu/iec.


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