DATE:December 11, 2009
TO: University Leadership Council
FROM:Sidney A. McPhee, President
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank those of you who participated in our first "Administrative Council"; meeting last month. I was very encouraged by your enthusiastic attendance as well as the quality of our discussion, and I look forward to working with each of you in the New Year. Having considered the feedback that I received regarding the name of the group, I have decided to identify it as the "University Leadership Council.";
As promised, we have established an online forum which will help facilitate discussion among the members of this group on issues of importance to the University and its personnel. You may wish to utilize this opportunity for group discussion in the coming weeks as you review my end-of-the-year report on our Positioning the University for the Future Initiative, which I expect to release early next week. This report will provide the campus community with an update on our progress as it relates to the implementation of many of the recommendations that were identified in my May 21, 2009 final report.
As you well know, discussions regarding the overall economy as well as how MTSU will be impacted by future budget cuts and the end of stimulus funding continue to spark vigorous dialog and debate throughout the state. In a related issue, I have received a number of communications from faculty, staff and others over the past few days regarding comments made by individuals associated with the University who were quoted in a December 6 article in the Daily News Journal. Like many of you, I am concerned about the inaccurate perceptions that are now floating around about the average salary and responsibilities of MTSU professors. In an effort to reduce some of these negative perceptions, we provided the DNJ with more accurate information regarding the salaries of our faculty and attempted to provide additional clarity on the role and expectations of faculty at comprehensive universities.
Please know that I value our faculty and recognize how hard they work, especially during these times when we all have to do less with less and in some cases more with less. I acknowledge and support the diverse roles that faculty play here at MTSU and fully understand the importance of maintaining the proper balance between teaching, research and service. Unfortunately, the value and importance of these responsibilities are not impervious to the economic challenges that we will continue to face. We must all remain mindful that budget reductions and other sacrifices will have to be made which will impact the work load of our faculty and other critical aspects of our institutional operations.
Although the economic picture for the near future remains somewhat bleak and we must continue to face the current fiscal challenges head-on, as I have said before, I am confident that we are well prepared to emerge from this period of crisis with positive results. Your support and involvement as the University Leadership Council will be a critical factor in helping MTSU rise above these difficult times. I am extremely grateful to have each of you as a resource in the University's strategic planning efforts and will keep you apprised of ways in which you can actively help us position the University for the future.
Please feel free to share this information and other updates with your colleagues as appropriate, and best wishes to you for a safe and joyous holiday break.
DATE: November 2, 2009
TO: MTSU Faculty and Staff
FROM: Sidney A. McPhee, President
RE: MTSU Administrative Council
I am pleased to announce the establishment of the Middle Tennessee State University Administrative Council, a group of faculty, staff and administrators who will serve in an advisory capacity to the President and the executive administration in identifying and addressing issues of importance and concern to the University. Composed of 83 individuals from across the campus community, the Council will offer recommendations and perspectives on University policies and procedures and will serve as a sounding board for new ideas and institutional initiatives.
I am excited about the establishment of this Council because it provides University decision makers with direct access to the thoughts and opinions of a broader range of key personnel as we address issues that have the potential to impact the overall success and viability of MTSU. The feedback and guidance provided by this group, which will meet periodically, will be particularly important as we continue to implement the recommendations associated with our Positioning the University for the Future Initiative and as we work to address future economic challenges as anticipated by the State.
The Council's first meeting is scheduled for Monday, November, 16, 2009, at 2:00 p.m., in Cantrell Hall in the Tom Jackson Building. Shortly, we will send out some materials for your review prior to the meeting. We will also provide more information about the Council, along with its membership, in the next issue of the Record as well as on the MTSU Web site.