MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee will be among a group of academic leaders across the state gathering to discuss the state of higher education and the push to produce career-ready graduates.
The Nashville Business Journal is hosting the luncheon panel discussion entitled "Nashville Ahead: A discussion on higher education and workforce readiness." It will be held from 11:50 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 24, at the Omni Nashville Hotel, 250 5th Ave. S.
Joining him will be Joe DiPietro, president of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville; Kimberly Estep, chancellor of Western Governors University Tennessee; and Jerry L. Faulkner, president of Volunteer State Community College.
McPhee has increasingly emphasized the changes within higher education to university faculty and staff, particularly the State of Tennessee's emphasis on degree completion rather than student enrollment as the primary metric to determine funding. MTSU launched its Quest for Student Success initiative last fall, with a goal of raising the graduation rate from 52 percent to at least 62 percent by 2020.
MTSU has hired more advisers and employed new software to better monitor student progress and assist at-risk students earlier in their academic careers. The university has also hired a new vice provost for student success to manage this effort.
These efforts are in support Gov. Bill Haslam's "Drive to 55" initiative to get 55 percent of Tennesseans equipped with a college degree or certificate by 2025.
News and Media Relations, Jimmy Hart