Tech Board of Trustees approves bonus to Tech employees

COOKEVILLE – Tennessee Tech’s Board of Trustees approved a one-time bonus for Tech faculty and staff in recognition of their work during the last semester.

“Since March, I’ve watched the faculty and staff turn difficult situations into opportunities,” said Tech President Phil Oldham. “I’ve seen them transform how we teach and serve to meet the needs of our students.”

The non-recurring $500 bonus is for all permanent university employees with a satisfactory performance evaluation. Part-time permanent employees will receive a pro-rated amount for their bonus.

Update on new academic programs

Lori Mann Bruce, Tech’s provost, updated the board on academic programs that were recently launched or announced. 

Four graduate programs recently launched are already enrolling students, with the master of accountancy performing above expectations in student enrollment, with 43 current students, well above the predicted enrollment of 30-35 students. The doctorate of nursing practitioners program has already conferred two degrees, also above the predicted number. Both the Ph.D. in counseling and supervision and the master of science in engineering management are also performing as expected.

The master of science in community health and nutrition, approved this past summer by the board, will begin enrolling students in Fall 2021. 

Previously, the board had approved the development of a bachelor of science in fine arts. Upon recommendation of the program’s potential accrediting bodies, the program will be split into two academic programs, a bachelor of science in music and a bachelor of science in studio arts. These programs will be submitted to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission in the future for approval.

In other matters brought before the board:

  • Oldham announced a $3 million commitment to the new engineering building by civil engineering alumnus Ashraf Islam, class of 1968. He is the president and founder of A.I. & Associates, Inc. In 2002, he was named an Engineer of Distinction by the College of Engineering. To date, more than $8 million has been raised for the new facility.
  • A panel of students shared their varied experiences at Tech with the board. The panel included a first-time freshman, a student who transferred to Tech, a student majoring in a field where their gender is underrepresented and a non-traditional student with a disability.
  • The board approved the university’s 2020-2021 October revised budget. Each fiscal year (July 1-June 30), the university must submit three budgets to the State of Tennessee at various times: a proposed budget for the following fiscal year in May; the actual results reflecting the previous fiscal year in July; and the revised budget for the current year in October. The revised budget uses revenue projections based on actual fall enrollments.
  • The board announced the appointment of Troy Perdue as the new general counsel for the university. Perdue has more than 20 years of legal experience, including time as university attorney at East Tennessee State University. He replaces Kae Carpenter, who retired over the summer.
  • The Tennessee Tech Counseling Center provided an overview on mental health services available to Tech students.
  • Tech disclosed three new capital projects: two housing roof replacements for the current fiscal year and an addition to the chiller plant slated for 2021-2022. The expansion of the chiller plant is to be able to accommodate the new innovation-themed residence hall, which is slated to begin construction in 2022.
  • The board shared major take-aways from their self-evaluation survey. Chair Trudy Harper recommended changing the schedule of board meetings to better align with the campus calendar and state budget cycle.

Materials from today’s meeting and the webcast of the full board meeting are available at the board’s website, 

The board’s next meeting is March 11, 2021.

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