MTSU president Sidney McPhee’s frank speech at a Friday faculty meeting is still ringing in the ears of professors and campus staff. He said everyone’s livelihood is now on the line to not just recruit students but actually get them to graduation day. The state now funds universities based on completion rates, not enrollment.
“Guess what, if you don’t start thinking about student success and our appropriation, you’re not going to have a job. You will not have the opportunity to feed your family. That’s the hard, cold facts, ladies and gentlemen.”
The university launched an initiative last fall to raise the campus graduation rate from 52 to 62 percent by 2020. To that end, MTSU has hired 50 more advisers – including a vice provost for student success. The state’s largest undergraduate university is also using new software to monitor student progress.