Calling the start of MTSU’s second century in higher education “exciting and historic times for our University,” President Sidney A. McPhee welcomed more than 900 faculty members to the 2011-12 academic year today.
Fall semester classes begin Saturday, Aug. 27.
“We are entering our second century with strong momentum, great promise and enormous potential,” McPhee said to the group gathered in Tucker Theatre in the University’s Boutwell Dramatic Arts Building. (Watch a video of the speech here.)
“For the past 100 years, we have provided our students with unique and meaningful opportunities to unlock their intellectual potential, so they may realize the promise in the future,” added McPhee, referencing three key University themes: pride, tradition and excellence.
“It is hard to capture the essence of such a vital institution like ours in just three words,” he said. “But I believe they capture the feelings we share about our accomplishments in the century behind us and our focus in the years ahead.”
McPhee also acknowledged members of the University community who have “enhanced the reputation and standing of our institution,” including recording-industry professor John Hill; Dr. Hugh Berryman, director of the Forensic Institute of Research and Education; computational sciences professor Dr. John Wallin; journalism professor Leon Alligood; and Dr. Albert DePrince, professor of economics and finance.
The MTSU president highlighted accomplishments from the past year, recognizing achievement in academics and athletics and noting that the University received $33.4 million in external research funding in fiscal 2011. MTSU also is successfully meeting budget-related challenges, taking measures to “help the University add back 17 new tenure track faculty positions” and give faculty and staff salary increases for the first time in three years, he said.
At the conclusion of the gathering, MTSU Foundation President and alumna Murray Martin (’75) presented the 2010-11 Foundation Awards to 17 faculty members, including Dr. John R. Vile, dean of the University Honors College, recipient of the Career Achievement Award.
In addition to Vile, the faculty members receiving awards were:
- Outstanding Teaching Awards—Dr. Alyson S. Bass, elementary and special education; Dr. Rebecca A. Foote, accounting; Dr. Meredith Anne S. Higgs, university studies; Dr. Shannon C. Hodge, sociology and anthropology; Dr. John W. Sanborn, social work; and Dr. Melissa A. Wald, recording industry;
- Outstanding Achievement in Instructional Technology Awards—Dr. Virginia A. Donnell, speech and theatre; Dr. C. Daniel Prather, aerospace; and Dr. Vincent W. Smith, business communication and entrepreneurship;
- Public Service Awards—Dr. Timothy R. Graeff, management and marketing, and Dr. Cindi L. Smith-Walters, biology;
- Distinguished Research Awards— Dr. Ronald H. Aday, sociology and anthropology, and Dr. A. Bruce Cahoon, biology;
- Creative Activity Award—Professor Don J. Aliquo, music; and
- Special Projects Awards—Dr. Scott Handy, chemistry, and Dr. Heather J. Brown, concrete industry management.
The faculty award winners are shown in the photo below.
To see the text of the president’s speech, read the PDF at http://bit.ly/MTMcPheeFall2011.
— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)