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News in higher education

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is requesting $450,000 from the state to continue recruitment efforts to increase the diversity of students and employees.

The UT system has included more than $8 million for such efforts in its 2007-08 budget request, which must go before the Tennessee General Assembly for approval. The legislature convenes in January.
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is requesting $450,000 from the state to continue recruitment efforts to increase the diversity of students and employees.

The UT system has included more than $8 million for such efforts in its 2007-08 budget request, which must go before the Tennessee General Assembly for approval. The legislature convenes in January.

The request comes on the heels of Gov. Phil Bredesen's announcement two months ago that the state has met the requirements of a 2001 court-ordered agreement, known as the Geier consent decree, that required Tennessee to fund programs to increase black representation at the state's colleges.

UT officials said the dismissal of the Geier lawsuit means race-based scholarships no longer are legal.

However, students who have Geier scholarships will be allowed to keep them until they graduate, officialssaid. (Chattanooga Times Free Press, Nov. 13, 2006)

Mountain States Health Alliance and the College of Nursing at East Tennessee State University recently announced a plan to add more nurses to the work force.

The Mountain States Health Alliance-ETSU Evening/Weekend B.S.N. Program will begin in January and enroll students in a baccalaureate nursing degree program through an evening and weekend format.

MSHA is giving ETSU $1 million to hire additional faculty to support the program.

Dr. Patricia L. Smith, ETSU dean of nursing, said that once students have completed the prerequisite coursework, they will be able to earn a B.S.N. degree within five additional semesters.

The program will admit those who already hold a bachelor's degree as well as those who do not. (Bristol Herald Courier, Nov. 8, 2006)

The Tennessee Board of Regents will not pursue the possibility of changing the way full-time students are charged tuition, officials said.

Dr. Bob Adams, the system's vice chancellor for business and finance, said the idea of charging students who take more than 12 credit-hours tuition by the hour instead of a flat charge received "zero" support from the system's presidents.

Students who take 18 credit-hours a semester pay the same tuition as students who take 12 hours. Students sometimes sign up for more classes than they intend to take, only to drop one or two classes later, Adams said.

He said this "course shopping" means other students are robbed of spots in those classes. (Chattanooga Times Free Press, Nov. 15, 2006)

Students at The University of Memphis are raising questions about the administration's use of money.

In a Nov. 4 letter to the editor, Deborah Lansford, a sophomore English major, said she thinks if the administration used current funds wiser, students would not have such a heavy financial burden.

"This is our home. Shouldn't we get to use our money to fix it up without having to pay for printing money most of us will never use," she wrote referring to the responsible printing initiative (RPI).

The fee falls under students' Technology Access Fees and charges students each semester, allowing students to print 500 pages from campus computers for "free."

The problem is that the RPI is more of a program used by The University to track students' printing habits, not an actual $25 fee every student pays, said John Wasileski, associate vice president for Information Technology.

Still many students aren't specifically upset about the RPI, but don't like the way the vast majority of their money is being used. (Daily Helmsman, Nov. 15, 2006)