Chancellor’s Corner: Education is More Essential Than Ever

I wonder how history will record this moment in our campus timeline?

We’ve been in similar situations before: financial hardships hit our campus in the 1930’s and the military effort depleted most of our student body during World War II.

This one feels different though.

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted every aspect of campus life. It’s changed the way we deliver instruction. It’s halted the residential nature of our campus. It’s created a sudden, quick disconnect between our people. And, unfortunately, it’s created a lot of uncertainty.

One thing is for certain, though. Education is more essential than ever.

What have we learned from this moment in time? We’ve learned that we need to develop experts in research and science. We’ve seen that we need leadership that can articulate a clear vision and communicate with multiple audiences. We know that we’ll need people who can build highly-effective teams and develop creative solutions to societal problems.

And our colleges and universities must fill the knowledge and talent pipeline to address our nation’s future issues. It’s up to us to develop educated leaders who can pivot, adjust and provide clarity in moments of disruption.

I’ll be perfectly honest, until the recent COVID-19 crisis, I’ve taken our work on the college campus for granted. But this pandemic has underscored the importance of the key words in UT Martin’s mission statement: Educate. Engage. Responsible. Diverse. Citizens. Lead. Serve.

So, while campus life looks and feels differently than it did at the beginning of the semester, our community is working hard to produce the quality educational experience that we were delivering last month…last year…since 1900.

We see the challenge before us and we will do our part to help shape the future for our students, our university, our community and the world.

If you have questions that need addressing, please contact me at kcarver@utm.edu.

You can find the most recent updates to the COVID-19 situation at our website, utm.edu/coronavirus.

And remember, even in this time of uncertainty, it’s still a great day to be a Skyhawk!

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