UNIVERSITY NEWS 3-15-2022 Board Meeting

ewglenn

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I know I’m in the minority, and also new, but looking at this at a higher level I think McPhee has done decent. I don’t have the bias that a lot of posters here have but he seems to have done well in getting new facilities on campus and is improving academically (slightly). I can see being upset about the athletics being put on the backburner, the law school (from an outsider it seems the State was the hurdle and having law schools in Nashville, Memphis and Knoxville seems like overkill for the population) plus the name change. I just think a lot of people are unhappy because of his moral ethics and his unwillingness to invest in the athletic department. This is just my two cents from an outsider that is looking objectively at the situation. I think overall he hasn’t been doom and gloom but he does have areas he could/should improve in.
 

MidTennMtneer

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I know I’m in the minority, and also new, but looking at this at a higher level I think McPhee has done decent. I don’t have the bias that a lot of posters here have but he seems to have done well in getting new facilities on campus and is improving academically (slightly). I can see being upset about the athletics being put on the backburner, the law school (from an outsider it seems the State was the hurdle and having law schools in Nashville, Memphis and Knoxville seems like overkill for the population) plus the name change. I just think a lot of people are unhappy because of his moral ethics and his unwillingness to invest in the athletic department. This is just my two cents from an outsider that is looking objectively at the situation. I think overall he hasn’t been doom and gloom but he does have areas he could/should improve in.

We do have the issues you mentioned. And yes, I can see from a certain perspective he has done well. But my, and many others, issue stems from him being a "yes" man.

I want a President that has the political clout to get a law school here. One that kisses butts but also isn't afraid to tell someone to shove it. Someone that yes places athletics high, because it will raise academics. Someone that doesn't just show up for the picture and say all the right things, but someone who isn't afraid to buck the status quo.

He keeps getting extensions because he does exactly what they (ie Steve Smith) want.
 
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sWiley

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I know I’m in the minority, and also new, but looking at this at a higher level I think McPhee has done decent. I don’t have the bias that a lot of posters here have but he seems to have done well in getting new facilities on campus and is improving academically (slightly). I can see being upset about the athletics being put on the backburner, the law school (from an outsider it seems the State was the hurdle and having law schools in Nashville, Memphis and Knoxville seems like overkill for the population) plus the name change. I just think a lot of people are unhappy because of his moral ethics and his unwillingness to invest in the athletic department. This is just my two cents from an outsider that is looking objectively at the situation. I think overall he hasn’t been doom and gloom but he does have areas he could/should improve in.


Stick around for another decade or two. If McPhee is still here, you will understand.

It feels like McPhee has been the president for the entirety of my existence on planet earth (I enrolled at MT in 2004), and he's done nothing but fail for the most part. The only decent thing he did was hire Chris Massaro who hired Rick Stockstill, but both massively overstayed their welcome after correcting the problems we had and getting us on the right course. And overstaying their welcome is an understatement. Rick should have moved on when ECU or Memphis offered, and Massaro has been here far too long and underperformed the last decade.

The lack of commitment to our athletics is astounding. Look around at our peer institutions and look at the investments they have made. Then look at where they are headed (To superior conferences in the SBC & AAC).

MT has not made meaningful upgrades to it's football & basketball programs since joining D1/FBS. Two decades of nothing. Football got new turf and a big TV, and men's basketball got a few small things but nothing major (I'm not sure, honestly, about what MT Men's ball has gotten....new lockerroom maybe?)...but overall neither program has received any major upgrades for 2+ decades under the "leadership" of McPhee and Massaro. How is that possible?

Our peers have built new stadiums, new IPF's, new athletic complexes, new locker rooms, new staff offices, etc. (You get the idea). Our peers have made a tangible, real commitment to their major athletics programs. MT's administrators have essentially abandoned our major athletics programs in favor of building new softball stadiums and crap for none revenue sports. Then they go on record after being passed up in conference realignment and state that they "now understand the importance of facilities"....and that is a bold faced lie. Everyone who is anyone associated with MT Athletics has been talking about facility and upgrade problems since we were losing recruits to Troy going back to at least 2005. This has been a known, identified, and ADDRESSABLE issue for nearly two decades. They just simply chose not to, because it's much easier to ignore the problem and throw band-aid fixes at it versus rolling up your sleeves and actually doing your ****ing job.

And here we sit with the same incompetent, mediocre (at best), fraudulent "leaders" that have put us in this awful position. And not a grain of dirt has been moved as we approach the Spring of 2022...
 
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JohnDavidBlue

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I’m paying a bit more attention as it appears I have some kids highly interested in going to school here.
IMO, McPhee is an ineffectual leader. The law school sealed it for me. The seven wood incident should have had had him dismissed long ago.

I’ve been on campus lately. Overall, it is really nice and the infrastructure has been highly upgraded on the west side of campus. However, any president could do that with a school our size.
Athletic facilities have gotten subpar. He has allowed a football coach to overstay.
As FR said. It is what it is.

Ewglenn
There is absolutely no excuse as to why we don’t have a law school on campus. A UTK student had the power to vote against us having said school. A flipping student. I believe it was the deciding vote.
Only in government do you such boneheaded precedent and standards. McPhee could have made it a huge deal. He cowered. That is not a leader.
 
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TrueBlue147

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We do have the issues you mentioned. And yes, I can see from a certain perspective he has done well. But my, and many others, issue stems from him being a "yes" man.

I want a President that has the political clout to get a law school here. One that kisses butts but also isn't afraid to tell someone to shove it. Someone that yes places athletics high, because it will raise academics. Someone that doesn't just show up for the picture and say all the right things, but someone who isn't afraid to buck the status quo.

He keeps getting extensions because he does exactly what they (ie Steve Smith) want.
University presidents these days are not exactly brave and McPhee is just like the rest. 99% percent are cowards. However, he is also incompetent. That's where I have an issue with him still being here. There is no accountability at any level at MT. The Board, the president, AD, football coach no where. It's disgusting.
 

AustinLewis

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Pretty massive step in the right direction:

I don't have a huge complaint about McPhee the academic. He's done mostly good work on the academic side (still think the name should change).

McPhee doesn't seem to understand athletics - every part of athletics - is the front porch to your university. Good facilities & succesful revenue sports make enrollment management much easier.
 

MidTennMtneer

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I don't have a huge complaint about McPhee the academic. He's done mostly good work on the academic side (still think the name should change).

McPhee doesn't seem to understand athletics - every part of athletics - is the front porch to your university. Good facilities & succesful revenue sports make enrollment management much easier.

100%.

Yes, becoming R2 is an amazing accomplishment. But here is the thing, seeing what it takes to become R1 I found this...

"The main difference between R1 and R2 research institutions lies in the relative level of funding and research output from the university"

Yes, athletics money mainly goes to athletics, but it boosts the university in soooo many ways that in the end bring in more students, and more educational funds.

For some reason McPhee just doesn't seem to get this and it is beyond frustrating.
 

MTFNBY5

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Someone correct me if I'm wrong but we are now designated a Carnegie R2 (High Research Activity) school.

Great, but IIRC both TSU and TTU achieved this designation years earlier, and also;
again IIRC, several of our so-called peer institutions including several in our athletic conference have achieved being designated the more exclusive R1 (Very High Research Activity).

Yes, it's great that MTsU is moving up and getting some recognition but I don't consider it a "massive" or "amazing" accomplishment.

That said, I do realize that you do what you can to "toot your own horn" and bring whatever prestige you can to your school. However, few high-achieving, competitive students in the know who are looking for a school to attend will be impressed by the R2 designation.
 

Noogaraider1

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This is a win and good news. Nothing to complain about here. Glad the University is growing in that regard.

Athletics seemed to tick upward this year as well. Boat seems to be correcting.
 

sWiley

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Maybe we should do some "high level research" on the effects of athletics programs success on a University as a whole. More importantly, we probably need some research on athletics FAILURES and how it impacts a University negatively. MTSU would probably be a case study for that one.

See: Gonzaga's, Boise State's, Saint Peter's, VCU's, et al. along with basically any Cinderella team that makes a run in NCAA tournament.
 

MTLynn

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Someone correct me if I'm wrong but we are now designated a Carnegie R2 (High Research Activity) school.

Great, but IIRC both TSU and TTU achieved this designation years earlier, and also; again IIRC, several of our so-called peer institutions including several in our athletic conference have achieved being designated the more exclusive R1 (Very High Research Activity).

Yes, it's great that MTsU is moving up and getting some recognition but I don't consider it a "massive" or "amazing" accomplishment.

That said, I do realize that you do what you can to "toot your own horn" and bring whatever prestige you can to your school. However, few high-achieving, competitive students in the know who are looking for a school to attend will be impressed by the R2 designation.
 
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Raiderclyde

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Someone correct me if I'm wrong but we are now designated a Carnegie R2 (High Research Activity) school.

Great, but IIRC both TSU and TTU achieved this designation years earlier, and also;
again IIRC, several of our so-called peer institutions including several in our athletic conference have achieved being designated the more exclusive R1 (Very High Research Activity).

Yes, it's great that MTsU is moving up and getting some recognition but I don't consider it a "massive" or "amazing" accomplishment.

That said, I do realize that you do what you can to "toot your own horn" and bring whatever prestige you can to your school. However, few high-achieving, competitive students in the know who are looking for a school to attend will be impressed by the R2 designation.
Exactly. It’s commendable for MT to earn a R2 designation from Carnegie; however, the University of Tennessee, University of North Texas, University of Memphis (fairly recently promoted to R1) , and Vanderbilt University have earned R1 designation being the very top tier. Having a Law School, Dentistry, or Vet School would help in establishing credibility towards the next level along with more terminal degree/doctoral programs. Research dollars and grants are the lifeblood of academic programs and funding chairs of excellence are vital in attaining acclaimed faculty that make a university national and international in relevance. With this designation, MT kept pace with the Tenn. Tech’s and Louisiana Tech’s of the world…I look at this more as maintaining our reputation as a strong regional university as we go deeper into the third decade of the 21st century rather than a milestone achievement in academia. The university faces brisk competition for students and faculty especially valedictorians and top 5-10% and those faculties that have industry expertise. R1 academics should be our ultimate goal in the coming decade, but funding and political priorities will likely be our big roadblock in achieving by our 125th anniversary.
 

JohnDavidBlue

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Good write up Clyde. Politics will always keep Middle in its place. I don’t place much in academics like I used too.
I think college is dated. It’s a relic that needs revamping. I hope more and more opportunities are out there for people as they desire growth and prosperity.
 

dukewayne

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Yep, like it or not, but especially in the south, and Tennessee is no different, university sports are a substantial element of politics. Particularly football then basketball are the college sports that draw political clout in the state.
 

BRaiderDave

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TrueBlue147

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It says something about your university when nobody else wants higher away your President, AD, or head football coach after all these years. Yet, they all still keep getting extensions.

I think our board of directors is name only. They most likely rubber stamp whatever UT wants for us.