Monday, November 10, 2008BRISTOL – Effective January 2009, East Tennessee State University will remove its administrative presence from the current ETSU at Bristol facility, located at 1227 Volunteer Parkway, and seek to identify alternate teaching sites for courses it will offer in the community. In announcing that the university will cease administrative functions at the site by the end of the fall 2008 semester, ETSU President Dr. Paul E. Stanton Jr. explained that significant reversions in state funding demand that the institution prioritize expenditures.
“In these difficult economic times from global to state and local levels, we simply cannot afford to continue to pay for the current Bristol facility, which we lease, and the costs to maintain it,” Stanton said. “We are proud to serve the Bristol Tennessee/Virginia community and our students here, and we will continue to provide this service with appropriate programming and offerings as we do in other areas of our region. We are now pursuing plans to offer courses, for which there is sufficient enrollment, at Bristol teaching sites ETSU would not be required to lease.”
Stanton emphasized that ETSU intends to reassign its entire Bristol site staff to critical vacant positions that need to be filled.
“Our change in course and instruction delivery for Bristol has become necessary because of the university’s fiscal challenges and because a declining enrollment at that site over the past four years has resulted in the need for fewer course offerings – offerings that can actually be presented without the expense of a Bristol ‘center’ facility,” according to Dr. Norma MacRae, ETSU vice provost for Academic Support and Public Service and dean of Continuing Studies.
Currently, 222 students are enrolled on the Bristol campus, and ETSU will provide advisement for all students to help them plan course schedules for spring 2009 and beyond, MacRae explained. ETSU will offer (in other locations in Bristol) selected courses scheduled this coming spring semester, including those courses in “cohort programs” already in progress.
“Cohorts” offer students the opportunity to progress through a program as an intact group. The following programs – to be offered in spring 2009 – will proceed in Bristol until the sequence of coursework is concluded for each: the Criminal Justice undergraduate cohort, the Social Work undergraduate cohort, the Early Childhood Education Master of Education cohort, and the Master of Arts in Library Media Technology cohort.
“The university is committed to continuing its history of service to the Bristol area,” MacRae said. “We are currently working on plans to offer our popular Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) program in Bristol beginning next fall, and we will conduct a session in February to determine interest here.”
Further, ETSU is exploring the possibility of offering a master’s degree in educational leadership for school personnel in the Bristol area, according to MacRae.
For more information about the removal of ETSU’s administrative presence at ETSU at Bristol, contact Dr. Norma MacRae at (423) 534-4264.