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Hoppe drafts response, counterproposals to THEC plan

4/28/2002
April 29, 2002
Before THEC's 11-point plan of action for higher education becomes final in July, TBR presidents are putting together alternative proposals for consideration.

Dr. Sherry Hoppe was asked to draft responses to THEC's proposed enrollment cap and increased admissions standards, as well as its proposal to phase out associate degree programs at all four-year schools.

Although still awaiting consensus by members of her committee, Hoppe is advocating exceptions to the two THEC proposals under her review, both of which, if passed, would have a significantly adverse effect on Austin Peay.

In her draft responses, Hoppe argues that Austin Peay's associate degrees meet the needs of Fort Campbell soldiers, as most military assignments are two years. She also points out that APSU officials have worked to ensure all two-year programs align with four-year degrees offered by the University.

In addition to making a case that an associate degree is a bridge to a baccalaureate degree, for soldiers especially, Hoppe says that personnel from the Fort Campbell Education Center rejected any proposal to transfer associate degrees offered by Austin Peay to Nashville State Technical Community College.

Addressing the THEC proposal to impose enrollment caps and increase admissions standards, Hoppe is recommending to her fellow presidents and TBR Chancellor Charles Manning the following: 1) The punitive component of the recommendation on enrollment management should be eliminated. 2)
" Proposed across-the-board enrollment caps should be replaced with individual caps that reflect the institution's capacity for growth without additional facilities. 3) THEC should recognize that admissions standards currently vary at the six TBR universities, that those standards reflect not only the mission of the universities but also the demographics of the regions served. Forcing increased standards at all universities to stay within the enrollment cap may affect students disproportionately in different regions.

The TBR presidents will meet via conference call with Manning today to fine-tune the counterproposal drafted by Hoppe, as well as counterproposals drafted by other presidents on developmental studies and athletics.