Public higher education’s business model is broken, and twin pressures to fulfill its mission and ensure sustainable funding have brought the University of Tennessee to a crossroads, UT President Joe DiPietro said today. DiPietro’s remarks came during testimony at the last of Gov. Bill Haslam’s 2014 budget hearings ahead of the upcoming 2015 legislative session.
Over the next four years, the University of Tennessee will have better prepared incoming students, higher graduation rates, expanded research funding, enhanced outreach and increased fundraising. That is the vision UT President Joe DiPietro presented to the Board of Trustees and board chair, Gov. Bill Haslam, on Friday.
UT President Joe DiPietro had set the stage for Wednesday’s discussion about funding at the trustees’ annual meeting in June. The board’s workshop covered the issue more in depth and allowed trustees to ask questions. The purpose of the discussion was not to devise strategy but gain a better understanding of the issue in order to plan a multi-year initiative.
University of Tennessee System President Joe DiPietro told the Board of Trustees today he is committed to reversing the current trend of dwindling state appropriations for higher education.
Data is an important way to measure the University of Tennessee’s fulfillment of its mission, and many of the metrics of the UT System Strategic Plan are trending upward as President Joe DiPietro enters his fourth year. DiPietro focused on data in his presentation Thursday to the UT Board of Trustees and noted having more consistency in institutional research has been a priority during his tenure.