MTSU Board of Trustees Approves Two New Degrees and the Athletic Master Plan

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MTSU Board of Trustees member J.B. Baker listens intently during the March 27 quarterly board meeting in the Student Union Ballroom. In the foreground at left is Trustee Andy Adams. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Middle Tennessee State University's Board of Trustees on Tuesday approved two new academic programs in the colleges of Business and Education at its quarterly meeting.

And trustees also approved a new Athletics Master Plan; authorized the chair of its Finance and Personnel committee to negotiate an employment contract between MTSU and President Sidney A. McPhee; and decided not to pursue the idea of adding a merit-pay raise option for faculty and staff at this time.

Trustee Pam Wright, chair of the Academic Affairs, Student Life, and Athletics Committee, said two new degrees - a Bachelor of Science in Commerce and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education - will be established from existing concentrations.

Also, she said, a Bachelor of Science will be added to the existing Bachelor of Arts in English and a Bachelor of Arts to the existing Bachelor of Science in Communication.

"These new programs will give students more options and clarify the degree they are earning," Wright said.

In other matters:

• Trustees authorized Joey Jacobs, chair of the Finance and Governance Committee, to negotiate an employment contract with McPhee. They delayed consideration of an overall evaluation policy of the president after Faculty Trustee Tony Johnston said he wanted to discuss ways to expand feedback from stakeholders in the process.

• Trustees approved a new Athletics Master Plan, which now goes to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission for review. The plan, required before fundraising efforts can go forward, suggests several improvements such as a new football team facility; Murphy Center practice court improvements and club seating; an entry plaza; and a new multi-sport indoor practice facility.

• Accepted a recommendation from Finance and Governance not to pursue merit pay as a salary option for faculty and staff until further progress in bringing pay to market levels.

• McPhee told trustees that the state Attorney General's office informed the university that it would have to retain outside legal counsel if it decided to appeal the state Historical Commission's decision to deny the name change of Forrest Hall. A decision to pursue an appeal is still under study.

• Trustees learned of the establishment of the International Ginseng Institute, another research partnership with Guangxi Botanical Garden of Medicinal Plants in China.

For more information about the MTSU Board of Trustees, go to www.mtsu.edu/boardoftrustees.

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