The University of Tennessee at Martin hosted its very first town hall meeting, Thursday, Feb. 8, in Watkins Auditorium in the Boling University Center.
According to the UTM Office of University Relations, the town hall is the result of an act passed by the Tennessee General Assembly establishing a community relations outreach program designed to maintain consistent and healthy relationship’s between universities and the communities they serve.
UTM Chancellor, Dr. Keith Carver, answered questions from several members of the audience, as well as questions that were emailed live during the meeting. Bud Grimes, Director of University Relations, facilitated questions for Carver from the lectern.
Attending the town hall meeting were members of the campus community, administration, faculty, staff and students, as well as members of the surrounding communities, business owners and patrons. Weakley County Mayor Jake Bynum was present, as well as Martin Mayor Randy Brundige.
Carver fielded several questions from the crowd. The first question addressed continued economic development in West Tennessee with UTM being a driving force. He explained that UTM will continue to partner with local businesses and surrounding communities such as Paris, Trenton, Dyersburg and many others to build strong relationships. He also noted that certain UTM initiatives, such as West Star Leadership, is also responsible for these strong community and economic partnerships.
One of the questions that was emailed in during the meeting inquired about state funds and how those funds would be used. Carver was excited to report that the upcoming STEM building has been fully funded. HVAC work will be taking place in the Hall Moody Administration Building, as well as the refreshing of existing buildings. Also, a proposed two and half to three percent raise is being discussed and that it has been a “a good budget cycle,” for UTM.
Bynum praised Carver and the UTM staff by stating that creating a partnership between TN Promise eligible schools, the UTM campus and satellite campuses was a smart move. Carver further explained that UTM would continue down a positive path concerning tnAchieves and recruiting students to finish their degrees with UTM.
During his remarks, Carver, as well as Grimes, continued to thank and congratulate the UTM faculty, students and staff, as well as it’s community partners for continuing to be champions for students.
A live webcast of the meeting is available online at utm.edu/townhall.
(Photo Credit/ University Relations)