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Hoppe responds to rumor

February 5, 2001

Question: Dr. Hoppe, there's a rumor spreading quickly around campus that you plan to turn APSU into a community college. Do you have a comment on this?

Answer: My goal, as president of Austin Peay, is to help this University grow and prosper. We can accomplish this, primarily, in three ways-through successful recruitment of prospective students, enhanced retention of current students and increased fundraising.

First, if I had wanted to continue being president of a community college, I would have returned to Roane State or applied for the presidency of another community college. I wanted to stay at APSU because I like the challenges and opportunities in the university environment.

Second, any supposition that APSU's mission might be changed to that of a community college is unfounded. Such a change would require legislative approval, as well as approval by the TBR and THEC. With the strength of Austin Peay's legislative support, such a proposal from any quarter would be met with immediate and strong opposition.

This region needs a strong university, and Austin Peay fulfills an important role as the regional university.

In conclusion, I see absolutely no basis for the rumors or the fears they engender. Ill-founded rumors, such as this, serve only to undermine the central foundation of the University by negatively affecting student recruitment, retention and fundraising. And, because such rumors perpetuate a feeling of instability, the good work each of us wants to accomplish suffers.