During board meeting, APSU reveals it awarded record number of degrees last year
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Last year, Austin Peay State University awarded more degrees than at any other time in the institution’s 93-year history. During the University’s Sept. 18 Board of Trustees meeting, Dr. Maria Cronley, provost and senior vice president of academic affairs, shared this and other good news about Austin Peay’s progress over the last several years.
Cronley said the University awarded 3,200 degrees during the 2019-20 academic year, which represents a 69% increase over the 2015-16 academic year. Last year, the University awarded 407 associate degrees, 1,517 bachelor’s degrees and 403 master’s degrees.
Cronley also shared that Austin Peay’s six-year graduation rate has improved to 48%, and the institution’s retention rate of full-time, first-time freshman has grown significantly to 68%. These numbers mean more students are returning to Austin Peay each year and more students are earning a college degree.
“We’re trending in the right direction, but I’m not satisfied,” Cronley said. “We still have progress to make.”
Austin Peay also reached an external funding milestone during the 2019-20 academic year, with faculty and staff bringing in a record $7.9 million for research and sponsored programs. By comparison, the University earned only $2.9 million in external funding for the 2014-15 academic year.
Jenkins Family Field House
During Friday’s meeting, the board also approved naming an athletics building on campus as the Jenkins Family Field House. The naming is in recognition of the financial gifts Don and Sandy Jenkins made to Austin Peay to remodel and construct a new indoor turf facility for the athletics department.
The new field house will be used by all 350 student-athletes for practice and training. The space will allow every sport the flexibility to practice and train under varied conditions, and it also will be used when bad weather prevents athletes from practicing outside. The field house will also become a strong recruiting tool for the APSU athletics program.
Dannelle Whiteside, interim APSU president, also provided board members with an update on how Austin Peay is considered one of the best schools in the state in terms of its response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I knew our students were special, but they are proving it hands over fists,” she said.
The entire University community, Whiteside said, has embraced Austin Peay’s COVID-19 guidelines, and this vigilance has allowed the University to maintain a relatively low number of positive cases. As of Friday, Austin Peay currently has 16 students, three staff members and two faculty members testing positive. The number of individuals in quarantine has also dropped significantly, with 72 students last week compared to only 52 students as of Friday.
The University’s GIS Center developed a dashboard, which is updated daily, to keep track of positive cases. That dashboard is available here.
For more information on the Sept. 18 board meeting, visit https://apsu.edu/president/board-of-trustees/.
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