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Austin Peay State University plans to build a new 400-bed student residential hall in the Castle Heights Road area.

Three existing sorority houses Delta Sigma Theta, Alpha Delta Pi and Alpha Sigma Alpha located on Castle Heights Road, will be demolished to accommodate the construction expansion.

The offices of the High School Upward Bound program, Tri-County Upward Bound and Veterans Upward Bound also will be relocated.
Austin Peay State University plans to build a new 400-bed student residential hall in the Castle Heights Road area.

Three existing sorority houses Delta Sigma Theta, Alpha Delta Pi and Alpha Sigma Alpha located on Castle Heights Road, will be demolished to accommodate the construction expansion.

The offices of the High School Upward Bound program, Tri-County Upward Bound and Veterans Upward Bound also will be relocated.

Mitch Robinson, vice president for finance and administration, said Tennessee state school bonds will fund the $30 million project offset by revenue from student rents.

Existing dormitories currently provide 1,411 beds. During Fall 2007, Austin Peay residence halls were about 90 percent occupied with the family complex housing filled at about 77 percent.

Once the Castle Heights Road residential hall is completed, Robinson said students would be assigned there, thus taking the current Rawlins, Cross and Killebrew halls "off line."

"I will be submitting our formal intention to the Tennessee Board of Regents to tear down those three buildings because they do not meet the fire code requirements for sprinkler buildings," Robinson said, noting plans are not definite as to whether single or multiple residence halls will be built to replace Rawlins, Cross and Killebrew.

Concern among members of the Castle Heights Road sororities mounted after a Feb. 4 meeting with Student Life and Leadership officials.

In an apparent miscommunication, University officials informed the sororities that they must vacate their houses by May 31 and find interim storage for their belongings until relocation accommodations were complete.

Alpha Sigma Alpha members have been renting their house since 2002. Jesse Chandler said there was no written notification or communication about relocating until the Feb. 4 meeting.

"It would have been nicer to have a little more warning. We don't know what we're going to do with our furniture until they get the new place ready," said Chandler, before discovering that the University was not planning to evict the group.

"There have been no plans of evicting them and no intention of kicking them out the end of May," Robinson said.

Robinson emphasized the sororities would not have to move into Home Court Apartments until renovations are complete "and we'll provide assistance to help them move." (The Leaf-Chronicle, Feb. 12, 2008)

Middle Tennessee State University is hiring.

The 23,000-student university is looking for a vice provost, two deans and at least three department chairs, among about 80 openings for faculty and administrative positions, according to Provost Kaylene Gebert.

That's nearly 10 percent of the full-time faculty, which totals more than 900. At the University of Memphis, a school of 20,000 students in the same system, there are about 50 similar vacancies.

The openings are unusual for a market that usually is oversaturated, said Robin Wilson, who covers faculty issues for the Chronicle of Higher Education.

"It seems totally out of the ordinary," Wilson said. "The academic job market is actually very tight, in terms of faculty jobs."

The reasons for the openings vary, especially among administrators. Some reverted to full-time professors, others took jobs elsewhere and some are simply retiring. (The Daily News Journal, Feb. 1, 2008)

When Aug. 11 rolls around, smokers at East Tennessee State University will have to flee to their cars to light up.

That's when the Johnson City school will become a smoke-free campus, allowing smokers to puff only behind the wheel, according to a university news release today.

ETSU banned smoking in university buildings in 1997. Other state campuses, such as Middle Tennessee State University and the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, currently ban smoking within a certain distance from buildings.

Austin Peay State University is a smoke-free campus.

Smoking in state vehicles also is prohibited. (The Tennessean, Feb. 12, 2008)