Middle Tennessee State University’s Board of Trustees voted Tuesday, April 5, to extend President Sidney A. McPhee’s contract through 2026.
McPhee has led MTSU through an extended period of academic progress and more than $1 billion in capital investment during his two decades at the helm while developing world-class programs that attract students from across the country and around the globe.
Before assuming the MTSU presidency in 2001 McPhee served in key leadership roles at the Tennessee Board of Regents, the University of Memphis and the University of Louisville.
His previous contract was set to expire in December 2023. The extension means McPhee, now in his 21st year as chief executive officer of the university, can serve until Dec. 10, 2026.
In other business, trustees approved requests for two new academic degrees: a Bachelor of Science in public writing and rhetoric and a Master of Science in supply chain management.
Provost Mark Byrnes, in materials prepared for trustees, said the public writing and rhetoric degree will be the first of its kind in Tennessee. The proposed program, which goes next to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission for final approval, will be a viable double major for students in other fields that require strong writing skills.
“Public and technical writing genres, like proposals, reports and blogs, are in high demand in middle Tennessee’s growing tech-based economy,” Byrnes said.
“Rhetorical skills, like process documentation and internal communications management, will continue to be needed as large companies establish new headquarters in the greater Nashville area.”
Byrnes called supply chain management “an important industry segment in the Midstate area,” adding that the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce lists it as a target industry.
“As more supply chain organizations locate to the area, the demand for supply chain professionals continues to grow,” he said. “Supply chain talent is needed within manufacturing, distribution, logistics, and procurement organizations.”
• Approved McPhee’s recommendation to award honorary doctorate degrees to former Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Philip Edward Davis, prime minister of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas, at the May commencement ceremonies.
• Approved the appointment of Monica Smith as assistant to the president for community engagement and inclusion. Smith was founder and president of a Nashville consulting firm and served engagement and service roles at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and Honda of America Manufacturing in Maryville, Ohio.
• Congratulated women’s basketball coach Rick Insell and men’s basketball coach Nick McDevitt on their teams’ postseason runs. In March, Insell led his team to the national semifinals of the Women’s Invitational Basketball Tournament and McDevitt guided his team to runner-up standing in the College Basketball Invitational tournament.
— Andrew Oppmann (Andrew.Oppmann@mtsu.edu)