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Letter from President Hoppe includes praise and plans

January 7, 2003

With the end of the fall semester and the calendar year, I want to thank all staff and faculty for your commitment and efforts over the past six months.

The enrollment increase so many of you worked hard to make possible has put us in the best financial position we have had in years. As a result, more than 80 percent of employees received equity increases in October, and all will receive a 3 percent salary increase this month. We are no longer last among our sister TBR universities in salaries!
January 7, 2003

With the end of the fall semester and the calendar year, I want to thank all staff and faculty for your commitment and efforts over the past six months.

The enrollment increase so many of you worked hard to make possible has put us in the best financial position we have had in years. As a result, more than 80 percent of employees received equity increases in October, and all will receive a 3 percent salary increase this month. We are no longer last among our sister TBR universities in salaries!

The enrollment increase also enabled us to invest $100,000 in library resources, increase funds for faculty and staff professional development and make modest increases in operating budgets. Sometime this spring, we will release an additional $500,000 for equipment and other critical needs. Considering where we thought we would be this year, our financial position is unbelievably good.

Aside from our bright financial picture, we have accomplished the following:



And, nowfor what lies ahead in 2003:

More than 30 new faculty will be hired this spring for next year.

Two academic deans and one director also will be hired for next fall.

A new first-year course is being developed and will be piloted next fall; designation of two residence halls as learning communities is being considered.

Our developmental studies program will undergo dramatic changes as we comply with new TBR and THEC regulations.

The bookstore will move into the Harvill (Cafeteria) Building, and a new Fitness Center will be developed in the old bookstore area.

All housing units finally will be connected to the Internet.

Mitch Robinson returns as VP for finance and administration as Dr. Bob Adams assumes the role of vice chancellor for finance at the TBR.

Our residential student capacity will increase by more than 300 beds when the new residential hall opens next fall; additional married student housing also will be added at Emerald Hill.

The QEP on retention will move us toward an improvement in fall-to-fall retention and persistence-to-graduation rates. A new minority retention coordinator will be hired through Geier funds.

Proposals for a bachelor of science in criminal justice and a master of science in nursing will be submitted for TBR consideration in the next few weeks, followed by proposals for several other new majors.

All departments will begin the review of major requirements to make plans for reducing degrees to 120 hours.

This list will inevitably grow as we complete the 2003 academic year and make plans for 2004.

Thanks to all for what you have done and what you will doHAPPY NEW YEAR!