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Dr. Hoppe applies for APSU presidency

10/2/2000
October 2, 2000

Hoppe was appointed interim president on Nov. 11, 1999, after the resignation of Dr. Sal Rinella, Initially, she had planned to return to Roane State where she had been president since 1988.

In an e-mail, she indicated the easiest route would be to return to Roane State without applying but, she said, “As a community college president, I have been very gratified by the warm and supportive acceptance I have received in a university community. In addition, I have been approached by literally dozens of faculty, staff and community members encouraging me to apply for the permanent presidency at Austin Peay."

According to Hoppe, TBR Chancellor Charles Manning recently told her that numerous people, both on and off campus, had nominated her for the APSU presidency.

Since Hoppe's arrival in February, she has led the University over several unexpected hurdles, including an anemic budget. The budget challenge was magnified by the discovery that, for the past several years, APSU had reported inflated enrollment figures to THEC, counting credits for a leadership course at the APSU Center @Fort Campbell that, in reality, was taught by U.S. Army instructors. As a result, APSU was required to pay back the overage in funding.

Hoppe immediately began a review of all APSU policies to ensure compliance with TBR policies. She also held a series of Focus on the Future Forums last spring, which enabled every constituency of the University, including the larger community, to express concerns and ask questions. In like manner, she has slated informal departmental information-exchange sessions throughout the fall.

During the eight months she's been at APSU, Hoppe has moved to reorganize departments for improved efficiency and effectiveness. She has also encouraged faculty to try Web-based teaching to increase enrollment and to ensure APSU is positioned well in an increasingly competitive higher-education marketplace.

In her e-mail to Roane State and to APSU faculty and staff, she said, “The Austin Peay challenge is great—but so are the opportunities.

“I must admit I have been invigorated by the unexpected problems I have faced since arriving here. Seeing the University community respond to my efforts to deal with issues and plan for the future has had a positive impact on my decision to apply.”

Over the past months, faculty members interviewed by “The Leaf-Chronicle” expressed high opinions of Hoppe's efforts at APSU. They have called her “fair, open, courageous, ethical, and an advocate of shared governance.”

The newspaper took an official stand in a recent editorial, applauding Hoppe's accomplishments at APSU and outlining why she should consider remaining.

In her e-mail to APSU faculty and staff, she said, “I must emphasize that the search process at Austin Peay will be competitive, and I may not be the candidate selected. In that event, I will return to Roane State and enjoy finishing some important initiatives.

“If I do not have the opportunity to stay at Austin Peay, I will look back on these months as a time of getting to know and appreciate this fine institution and the many dedicated individuals who serve here.”