Go back

News in higher education

A new $1.7 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to East Tennessee State University will enable ETSU to forge ahead with SYMBIOSIS, a special project integrating introductory biology and mathematics.

The nations largest private supporter of science education is investing $86.4 million in "bold, innovative science education programs" at 50 research universities in 28 states and the District of Columbia. ETSU is the only public or private institution in Tennessee to receive one of the new grants.
A new $1.7 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to East Tennessee State University will enable ETSU to forge ahead with SYMBIOSIS, a special project integrating introductory biology and mathematics.

The nation's largest private supporter of science education is investing $86.4 million in "bold, innovative science education programs" at 50 research universities in 28 states and the District of Columbia. ETSU is the only public or private institution in Tennessee to receive one of the new grants.

The institute notes that the ETSU program "will integrate math and biology — fields in which specialists traditionally work at arm's length from one another — to encourage students to approach biological questions as research scientists address them.”

The SYMBIOSIS project at ETSU involves faculty from the departments of biological sciences and mathematics. (Citizen Tribune, June 7, 2006)

The Tennessee Supreme Court has updated its rules allowing law students to perform more services through legal aid and clinical practices.

“The purpose of this rule is educational," the court wrote in a filing released last week. "Consequently, its focus is on providing opportunities for students to further their legal studies through properly supervised experiential education."

The law schools at the University of Tennessee, Vanderbilt University and University of Memphis, and the Nashville School of Law petitioned the court for the rule change.

Traditionally, law students received their first exposure to the profession through litigation and court appearances. But since 2003, UT and Vanderbilt have offered pilot programs in business law to help small companies and nonprofit groups get off the ground.

The new rules will permit supervised students who have completed at least one-half of their legal studies to work in those programs, as well as in legal aid programs, the general counsel offices of state or local agencies, and for local and state prosecutors and public defenders. (Murfreesboro Daily, June 7, 2006)

The University of Memphis is the first university in Tennessee, public or private, to be designated by the National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education.

The designation covers academic years 2006 through 2009 and was presented to the U of M's Center for Information Assurance at the annual conference of the Colloquium for Information Systems Security Education at the University of Maryland.

The center develops educational tools, programs, and training for the Memphis area. By regularly offering information assurance courses and hosting workshops for students and professionals, including police officers and other law enforcement officials, the CIA is working to create a future of secure online commerce and a safe computing environment.

Center researchers are basing their digital immune system on the biological immune system. If some interaction is considered malicious, the digital immune system halts the behavior through a set of specific tools at its disposal. (Memphis Business Journal, June 8, 2006)

An $18 million building that Belmont University says is its answer to a growing shortage of health care practitioners and educators is now open.

The Gordon E. Inman Center houses the College of Health Sciences and Nursing.

“We've been dreaming of this building for a very long time," said Debra Wollaber, dean of the College of Health Sciences and Nursing. "We've been trying to expand the program, but we've been constrained by space. This is the first time all the health professions will be in the same building."

A $10.5 million donation from Nashville businessman Gordon E. Inman, the building's namesake, and a $7.5 million donation by HCA's TriStar Health System paid for the building.

Students will learn in several labs designed for a variety of disciplines. Nurses will learn on $150,000 worth of mannequins, including a $29,000 "Sim Man" who breathes and responds to touch and other basic stimuli, and $25,000 of donated lift equipment, designed to train students in patient safety. (The Tennessean, June 9, 2006)

The Rutherford County School Board staff has proposed a 10-year contract to staff, renovate and maintain MTSU's Campus School.

County Schools Director Harry Gill Jr. said also he'll be prepared to recommend a provision for MTSU to reimburse the county for building upgrades, such as much of the $2.5 million proposed to renovate the 77-year-old Campus building, if the arrangement ends earlier than 10 years.

School officials and MTSU President Sidney McPhee have had tense negotiations this year about continuing their long-standing arrangement at the historical Campus School. The board provides staff to teach 310 children in grades K-6 and train the university's education majors. (Murfreesboro Daily, June 7, 2006)


Teachers will be able to apply for lottery scholarships to obtain advanced degrees in math or science if Gov. Phil Bredesen signs a bill that passed both houses in late May.

The bill would make HOPE scholarship money, formerly reserved for graduating high school seniors and prekindergarten programs, available to tenured teachers in the Tennessee public school system. Teachers could receive $2,000 per year and up to $10,000 total to pursue advanced degrees in math, science or education administration or to work toward a teaching license.

Recipients must work in a Tennessee school for two years after receiving their degree or repay the scholarship.

According to the General Assembly's Fiscal Review Committee, the state's anticipated cost in the first year would be $4.2 million, then $5.2 million each year. About 2,300 teachers would be eligible, including about 1,750 pursuing master's degrees and about 550 pursuing teaching licenses.

Also, the No Child Left Behind act requires that all teachers to be "highly qualified" in the subjects they teach by the first day of next school year, educators said. That means teachers must have a bachelor's degree, be fully certified or licensed to teach by the state and be able to prove they know the subjects they teach. (Chattanooga Times Free Press, June 9, 2006)