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News in higher education

Newly passed legislation by the Student Government Association may leave students literally bumping into their local SGA senators.

The SGA Constitution now requires all senators to work "at least one hour per week on SGA sanctioned functions." The new duties include one hour per month to "meet with constituents."

This means SGA senators are likely to be seen handing out fliers, encouraging interested students to attend meetings and providing general information about the organization itself.
Newly passed legislation by the Student Government Association may leave students literally bumping into their local SGA senators.

The SGA Constitution now requires all senators to work "at least one hour per week on SGA sanctioned functions." The new duties include one hour per month to "meet with constituents."

This means SGA senators are likely to be seen handing out fliers, encouraging interested students to attend meetings and providing general information about the organization itself.

With more than 100 student applicants currently being considered for membership into SGA, President Josh Shearin points out that all positions for the senate are filled, but the SGA is stressing the need for student involvement.

"Come talk to us," Shearin said. "At least tell us what's on your mind." (www.easttennessean.com, Sept. 25, 2006)

Tennessee lawmakers last week gave $125,000 toward a financial literacy program that aims to help public school students avoid the pitfall of debt by teaching them how to manage money at an early age.

"Smart Tennessee," a partnership among the University of Memphis, First Tennessee and the state of Tennessee, is designed to infuse financial literacy education within the curricula of grades 1, 4, 7 and 12.

The program, officially slated to begin in January, will focus on teaching students how to effectively save, spend and borrow money.

Smart Tennessee will begin as a pilot program in grades 1 and 4 in 18 elementary schools each in Memphis and Nashville, and nine in Knoxville. Teacher education candidates in Chattanooga will learn about the program while they're in school. (Murfreesboro Daily, Sept. 27, 2006)

An initiative announced in September by Gov. Phil Bredesen to establish a job creation strategy for Tennessee fits hand in glove with the mission of community colleges according to Volunteer State Community College President Warren Nichols.

A centerpiece of Bredesen's program is the creation of partnerships between major employers and community colleges for the training of workers.

An example. according to Bredesen, could be a program with larger retailer Wal-Mart to offer management training to employees.

Nichols said courses for such a program already are offered at Volunteer State and Bredesen's partnering initiative would take only a short time to implement. (Hendersonville Star News, Sept. 27, 2006)

The University of Tennessee system and other higher education institutions in the South can partner to help the region dominate the automotive industry, UT President John Petersen said last week.

Petersen mentioned the idea during his speech to the Rotary Club of Chattanooga.

The South has many automotive manufacturing facilities but not enough research facilities, he said.

"What we want to do is take note of what we have and where we can have impact," Petersen said.

Tom Edd Wilson, president and chief executive officer of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, said he liked what Dr. Petersen had to say about the issue.

"I think it's wonderful that he is trying to position the UT system to be in that category," Wilson said. (Chattanooga Times Free Press, Sept. 29, 2006)