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News in higher education

In cooperation with the Ohio Valley Conference, Tennessee State University has launched an information gathering probe in response to a basketball recruiting and scheduling exposé published recently on CBS.Sportsline.com, TSU Athletics Director Teresa Phillips said.
In cooperation with the Ohio Valley Conference, Tennessee State University has launched an “information gathering” probe in response to a basketball recruiting and scheduling exposé published recently on CBS.Sportsline.com, TSU Athletics Director Teresa Phillips said.

OVC Commissioner Dr. Jon Steinbrecher and Phillips are investigating Tigers coach Cy Alexander's involvement with D1 Scheduling, a company that brokers games between power conference schools and mid-major programs like TSU. The company was founded by Mike Miller, who also serves as head coach at Los Angeles Community College (LACC).

“The simplest thing to say is we are working together to investigate this matter,” Steinbrecher said.

According to the Internet story, the Tigers used DI Scheduling to arrange a game with Iowa State University in 2004, and TSU received only $10,000 of the $40,000 ISU paid the scheduling company. TSU has three players on its roster who transferred from LACC.

“It piqued my interest,” Steinbrecher said of the story. “Beyond that, there may be absolutely nothing wrong with this. Let's just make sure and find out.”

Phillips has been in talks with Alexander and his staff since the story ran on the CBS Web site. She said she is awaiting an official written explanation. (The City Paper, March 23, 2006)

Applications to many of the colleges in southeast Tennessee have increased compared with this time last year, and administrators said they are hoping for record enrollments again this fall.

"We're shooting for the 16th straight year of record enrollment," said Gary Ray, vice president for administration at Lee University in Cleveland. "There's a lot of good momentum and a lot of good interest."

Lee's applications are up 5 percent over this time last year, said Ray, who declined to give raw numbers of applicants. The increase is partially the result of Tennessee Education Lottery scholarships, but it also has a lot to do with focused marketing efforts and word-of-mouth reputation, Ray said.

Cleveland State Community College is up 25 percent in applications from this time last year with 325, the result of a more intensive recruiting effort and lottery scholarships, administrators said.

Tennessee Wesleyan College in Athens is up 8 percent in applications, but the number of acceptances has more than doubled over this time last year to 308, administrators said.

Last fall, Tennessee Wesleyan hit its second highest enrollment ever with 865 students, the largest student body at the college since 1966.

At Bryan College in Dayton, applications are virtually flat at about 450, but admissions director Michael Sapienza said he sees that as an increase. The college stopped waiving application fees this year, which usually is a deterrent for many students. The college expects an increase in enrollment in the fall, made possible by the new 120-bed women's dorm, which is set to open in August on campus, he said. (Chattanooga Times Free Press, March 23, 2006)

The Davidson County delegation will sponsor an amendment to Gov. Phil Bredesen's upcoming budget to fund an $800,000 planning grant for campus expansion at Nashville State Technical Community College (NSTCC).

NSTCC is the state's only public college that does not have a cafeteria, formal study area, athletics facilities or performing arts venue, said Jill Johnson, executive director of the Nashville State Community College Foundation.

“We've even converted closets into offices,” Johnson said. “We have cramped computer classes and are in the minus as far as funding for full-time enrollment (FTE).”

The average funding for FTE at two-year colleges for 2005-06 was $3,889. NSTCC was funded at only $3,467.

Sen. Douglas Henry (D-Nashville) said the city was long overdue building a new NSTCC. (Nashville City Paper, March 28, 2006)

University of Memphis researchers want to establish an earthquake observatory in the New Madrid seismic zone.

The proposed Earthquake Fault Observatory for the Central United States would give scientists their first close-up assessment of the faults that branch out from near Cairo, Ill., to Marked Tree, Ark.

The observatory likely would be near New Madrid, Mo., some 100 miles north of Memphis and near the epicenter of a series of strong quakes 200 years ago.

It would employ sensor-equipped holes drilled deep into the Earth. Researchers now analyze quakes only after they've radiated through thousands of feet of sediment.

Scientists say quakes like those in the 1800s could kill and injure thousands from St. Louis to Memphis, but they're uncertain about how much strain and movement are occurring along the fault zone. (Eyewitness News Memphis, March 29, 2006)

O'More College of Design is allowing high school students who are on a visual communication or graphic design path to earn up to 12 college credit hours.

The design college is a four-year university that offers bachelor's degrees in interior design, fashion design and merchandising, and visual communication. The university reached an agreement with the Tennessee Higher Education Commission to allow students at public schools to earn credit toward a degree in visual communication; the agreement is the first of its kind in Tennessee.

"This is one of the many ways the state is working to ensure our high school graduates can attend college," Sue Tucker, state consultant for career and technical education, said in a news release. "Dozens of programs in Tennessee offer advanced graphic design training that constitutes what a freshman in college would be learning."

Qualified students must submit a portfolio of at least five pieces of applicable work, pass a standardized test, have a letter or recommendation from a visual communication teacher, participate in an interview and be accepted into the college. (The Tennessean, March 22, 2006)

Life got a little easier for laptop?wielding students at the University of Memphis.
Iprint terminals are up and running in the FedEx Institute of Technology Cyber Cafe and in the University Center. The new terminals allow students to print directly from their laptop computers.

The Iprint terminals are paid for by the university's student technology access fee. (Daily Helmsman, March 24, 2006)