Tech board of trustees approves new master’s degree in first meeting

Gov. Bill Haslam was in attendance at the first the Tennessee Tech University board of trustees meeting on Thursday.
Gov. Bill Haslam was in attendance at the first the Tennessee Tech University board of trustees meeting on Thursday.

COOKEVILLE – In its inaugural meeting, the Tennessee Tech University board of trustees this week approved a new master’s degree in accountancy, non-mandatory fees for the next fiscal year, and various university policies. The board also selected its student trustee.

Gov. Bill Haslam was in attendance at the meeting Thursday. He described the new board as a “difference maker” for the university.

“It is hard to underestimate the impact of this university,” Haslam said. “Of the teachers in the Putnam County system, 90 percent of them graduated from Tennessee Tech. Of the folks working over at Cookeville Regional Medical Center, 25 percent of those folks have degrees from Tennessee Tech.

“Tennessee Tech has taken people to space and to Wall Street and to everywhere in between,” he added. “I honestly believe the impact of this university, while it has been great, will be even more in the future.”

The new online master of accountancy program will enroll its first students this fall, pending final approval from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission in May. The program will offer both one-year and two-year options to serve fulltime and part-time students. Tech’s College of Business already offers one of the top undergraduate accounting programs in the state, and both the accounting department and the college are accredited by AACSB International, the leading accrediting body for business schools.

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Nick Russell, a senior mechanical engineering student from Chattanooga, was selected from three students Tech’s Student Government Association presented to the board. Russell, who is on-track to graduate in December, plans to enroll in the university’s fast-track Mechanical Engineering Master’s degree program upon completion of his undergraduate studies. He served as the Tennessee Board of Regents Student Regent in 2015-2016.

The non-mandatory fees for 2017-2018 that were approved are course fees assessed to students enrolling in select courses or programs, parking permit rates and on-campus housing rates.

Parking permit rates will be $220 for an inner campus permit (a $15 increase) and $152 for outer campus (a $9 increase). Housing rates will increase between 3 and 5 percent, depending on a student’s residence hall.

Tom Jones, co-owner and general manager of Research Electronics International, was elected chair of the board. Trudy Harper, founder and former president of Tenaska Power Services Company, was elected vice chair.

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At the end of the meeting, Haslam said “I am leaving here more excited about Tennessee Tech than ever.”

In other action, the board approved:

  • Bylaws and various policies that will govern its actions;
  • Various university policies regarding planning and finance;
  • Various university policies regarding academic matters;
  • Changes to the Department of Counseling and Psychology’s master’s degree admission policy
  • Meeting dates for 2017-2018


The board’s next meeting is June 13-14.


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