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News in higher education

The blitz is on for East Tennessee State University football the money blitz that is.

As promised, ETSU President Paul Stanton launched a massive mail campaign this week to solicit donations in hopes of reviving the sport, dormant since 2003.

Including gift/pledge cards asking for donations of up to $5,000, ETSU mailed more than 70,000 letters to alumni, benefactors and other ETSU supporters.

Trying to restore play by 2010, ETSU hopes to raise $15 million from private sources to support the construction of a new stadium for the football team.
The blitz is on for East Tennessee State University football the money blitz that is.

As promised, ETSU President Paul Stanton launched a massive mail campaign this week to solicit donations in hopes of reviving the sport, dormant since 2003.

Including gift/pledge cards asking for donations of up to $5,000, ETSU mailed more than 70,000 letters to alumni, benefactors and other ETSU supporters.

Trying to restore play by 2010, ETSU hopes to raise $15 million from private sources to support the construction of a new stadium for the football team.

Stanton has estimated that ETSU would need $1.5 million to $2 million to fund a football team appropriately, plus funding for equivalent female programs to meet gender equity requirements for female athletes, for a total of $4 million to $5 million. (Johnson City Press, Feb. 9, 2007)

Faculty from community colleges and colleges under the Tennessee Board of Regents met recently in Knoxville for the first Tennessee Conference on International Education.

The TBR recently made international education part of its strategic planning, Chancellor Charles Manning said. The challenge is to make study abroad more accessible to students who don't traditionally consider it an option.

The TBR has expanded the availability of its study-abroad programs through the recently formed Tennessee Consortium for International Studies.

The consortium means that a college or community college offering only one or two study abroad programs will have an avenue for additional programs, according to Director Milton Grimes. (Knoxville News Sentinel, Feb. 8, 2007)

These days, college means easy access. Dorm rooms come equipped with high-speed Internet, and classes can be taken via personal computers.

With this easy access comes higher costs, say Tennessee university officials, who partly blame the soaring price of running a public university and the constant increases in tuition on investments in the latest Internet technology.

This year, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission predicts that the cost of public education will go up even more. The commission has asked the state legislature to budget about $945 million for public schools. That's up about 4 percent from last year's state appropriation of $908 million.

The cost of operating a university has increased, but state money has decreased in the last few years, placing the burden of higher costs on students, said Dr. Rich Rhoda, THEC's executive director.

Yearly tuition at most Tennessee schools has risen by more than 40 percent in the past five years. (Commercial Appeal, Feb. 4, 2007)

The Johnson City area suffers from a "skills gap" among lower-skilled workers and "brain drain" among higher-educated natives, and both factors must be addressed for the local Med Tech economy to reach its full potential.

That is the finding of the third objective in consultant Market Street Services' report on Johnson City's Med Tech future.

Med Tech employers exemplify the need of today's knowledge-based economy for "responsible, capable and technically skilled workers," the report states.

Providing these will require a focus both on existing workers, who need updated training and education, and on the future work force, which must be educated well and with an eye toward the needs of the business community.

In terms of education, the report touches on the Washington County and Johnson City school systems, as well as area higher education institutions. (Kingsport Times News, Feb. 8, 2007)