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MTSU announces tornado-siren test schedule for 2016-17

MTSU has finalized its tornado-siren testing schedule for the 2016-17 academic year.

MTSU tests its tornado sirens on campus and at the Miller Coliseum Complex each month to ensure proper operations. Each test lasts only a few moments, and no safety actions are required.

The MTSU Police Department conducts the monthly tests on alternating Tuesdays and Wednesdays to minimize distractions for classes and community neighbors. The university also notifies the campus and surrounding neighborhoods before these monthly tests.

Members of the campus community can prepare for emergency weather situations anytime by checking MTSU’s list of recommended shelter locations at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUTornadoShelters.

Remember that, in the event of a weather emergency, MTSU students, faculty automatically receive a Rave alert at their MTSU email addresses. They can receive text and/or voice alerts too by visiting www.mtsunews.com/weather and using the “click here and log in” link to make those notification changes.

Classes for MTSU’s fall 2016 semester begin Monday, Aug. 22.

2016-17 Academic Year Schedule for Tornado-Siren Testing

  • Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016, 12:20 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016, 11:15 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016, 12:20 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, 11:15 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, 12:20 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, 11:15 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017, 12:20 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 8, 2017, 11:15 a.m.
  • Tuesday, April 11, 2017, 12:20 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 10, 2017, 11:15 a.m.
  • Tuesday, June 13, 2017, 12:20 p.m.
  • Wednesday, July 12, 2017, 11:15 a.m.

Southern Living names Murfreesboro among ‘South’s Best College Towns’

Citing its “small-town charm,” impressive growth and a university in MTSU that is beloved by its alumni, fan base and supporters, Murfreesboro has been named by Southern Living magazine among the “South’s Best College Towns.”

Murfreesboro was among the 21 “small towns” described by the magazine in its travel section as “some true hidden gems of the South.” The magazine defined “small town” as a city of 350,000 people or less and places in which “the college is a driving force in the character of the town,” notes the listing on www.southernliving.com.MTSU Wordmark

In describing Murfreesboro, the magazine noted MTSU’s “well-respected” recording industry program and its close proximity to Music City Nashville, making it easy to find live music in parks and restaurants as well as at events such as Main Street Murfreesboro’s JazzFest, strongly supported by the MTSU School of Music.

Southern Living logo_webThe magazine also noted that Middle Tennessee State University and the other selected schools were “exploring truly exciting academics and research that promise to reach the wider world.” The University of Tennessee-Knoxville was the only other Tennessee town on the list. See the full list at http://tinyurl.com/zg24w47.

For more information about MTSU, visit www.mtsu.edu.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

This file photo shows the MTSU campus core, looking east. (MTSU file photo by Andy Heidt)

This file photo shows the MTSU campus core, looking east. (MTSU file photo by Andy Heidt)

In the News: MTSU faculty, staff on whistleblowing, small farms, student success

MTSU faculty and staff experts recently weighed in on corporate whistleblowers, the plight of small farmers and improving chances for college student success in various national media outlets.

Dr. Cary Greenwood, an assistant professor of journalism, explained her study on whistleblowing perspectives among corporate public relations practitioners and executives for Whistleblower News Review. The report may be viewed here.

Dr. Richard Sluder

Dr. Richard Sluder

Dr. Justin Gardner

Dr. Justin Gardner

Dr. Cary Greenwood

Dr. Cary Greenwood

Dr. Justin Gardner, an associate professor in the School of Agribusiness and Agriscience, commented on the struggles of small farmers for www.outsideonline.com. The story is available here.

Dr. Rick Sluder, vice provost for student success, expressed his views on student-to-instructor ratios for www.nerdwallet.com. His comments can be accessed here.

Reporters seeking expertise from MTSU personnel, as well as members of the campus community with expertise for media, may contact Gina Logue in the Office of News and Media Relations at 615-898-5081 or via email at gina.logue@mtsu.edu.

TRAFFIC ALERT: Road widening closes portion of Bell St. at MT Blvd.

The Middle Tennessee Boulevard widening project is requiring the contractor to close a portion of Bell Street this week.

Bell Street on the west side of Middle Tennessee Boulevard will be closed to through traffic to Crestland Avenue until Monday, July 18. Motorists should seek alternative routes.

An interactive map on the city of Murfreesboro’s webpage showing upcoming traffic pattern changes is available here. Commuters can also follow the “MT Blvd” project on Twitter @MTBLVD or on the City of Murfreesboro Facebook page here.

The $15.7 million improvement project will upgrade the 0.8-mile section of Middle Tennessee Boulevard to a consistent four-lane divided street with a landscaped median between East Main and Greenland Drive.

The 30-month project is expected to be completed by the fall of 2018.

The enhancement will also include bike lanes, improved sidewalks and lighting, new traffic signals, decorative crosswalks and underground utilities.

A portion of Bell Street from Middle Tennessee Boulevard west to Crestland Avenue is closed this week as part of the MT Boulevard road-widening project. (MTSU photo)

A portion of Bell Street from Middle Tennessee Boulevard west to Crestland Avenue is closed this week as part of the MT Boulevard road-widening project. (MTSU photo)


TRAFFIC UPDATE: MT Boulevard to reopen to through traffic June 27

June 24, 2016

Middle Tennessee Boulevard will reopen from East Main Street to Bell Street on Monday, June 27, as scheduled.

The city of Murfreesboro closed the section to all through traffic between Monday, June 6, and Sunday, June 26, for the ongoing road-improvement project. Traffic has been detoured around the area during that time.

Lytle Street at MT Boulevard will remain closed.traffic advisory graphic

Also, beginning June 27 through Friday, July 1, Bell Street on the west side of Middle Tennessee Boulevard — the Bell Street parking lot side — will be closed as the project work continues north.

TheRaider Xpress “Green Route” will be detoured to Ewing Boulevard during this time.

All sidewalk access on the west side of the street will be closed between Bell Street and Faulkenberry Drive until further notice.

For safety, pedestrians are asked to use the sidewalk on the MTSU side of the street and cross MT Boulevard ONLY at the signalized crosswalks located at Faulkenberry and Bell.

An interactive map on the city of Murfreesboro’s webpage showing upcoming traffic pattern changes is available here. Commuters can also follow the “MT Blvd” project on Twitter @MTBLVD or on the City of Murfreesboro Facebook page here.

The $15.7 million improvement project will upgrade the 0.8-mile section of Middle Tennessee Boulevard to a consistent four-lane divided street with a landscaped median between East Main and Greenland Drive.

The 30-month project is expected to be completed by the fall of 2018.

The enhancement will also include bike lanes, improved sidewalks and lighting, new traffic signals, decorative crosswalks and underground utilities.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)


TRAFFIC ALERT: Section of MT Boulevard closed to traffic through June 26

June 6, 2016

A section of Middle Tennessee Boulevard — from Bell Street to East Main Street — near the MTSU campus will be closed to all through traffic until Sunday, June 26, for the ongoing road-improvement project by the city of Murfreesboro.

During the roughly three-week closure, which began June 6, the project contractor will be installing underground utilities and a new box culvert at the Lytle Street intersection and grading the road throughout the closed section.

East Main Street and Bell Street will remain open during the closure, but those needing access to the Sam H. Ingram Building will have to use alternate routes to reach the west entrance to the property off Lytle Street.

MTSU’s Parking and Transportation Services office has provided a directional map here to assist university personnel in getting to the building. Parking Services personnel recommend that faculty and staff use the proposed route to reach the Ingram Building safely during the construction closure.

For safety reasons, the MT Boulevard construction team also is asking that pedestrians not enter the fenced construction zone when walking from the main campus to the Ingram Building. To safely avoid the construction area, pedestrians should use the sidewalk on East Main Street to cross MT Boulevard, then proceed on the accessible MT Boulevard sidewalk to the Ingram Building.

The arm gate on Old Main Circle at Cope will remain open during this construction period to allow more convenient access to the campus core. Motorists should observe the 15 mph campuswide speed limit to ensure the safety of students and staff on Old Main Circle.

You can also see the route map to the Ingram Building below:

MTSU Parking Services has provided this directional map to assist university personnel in getting to the Sam H. Ingram Building. Parking Services recommends that faculty and staff use this proposed route in order to safely access the Ingram Building during the construction closure. (Courtesy of MTSU Parking and Transportation Services)

MTSU Parking Services has provided this directional map to assist university personnel in getting to the Sam H. Ingram Building safely during the MTSU Boulevard construction closure in June. (Courtesy of MTSU Parking and Transportation Services)

Meanwhile, a city of Murfreesboro news release states that all general northbound traffic on MT Boulevard will be detoured onto East Main Street/Rutherford Boulevard and southbound traffic will be detoured onto Greenland Drive/Highland Avenue.

An interactive map on the city of Murfreesboro webpage showing the upcoming traffic pattern changes and detours is available here or at the bottom of this story. Commuters can also follow the “MT Blvd” project on Twitter @MTBLVD or on the City of Murfreesboro Facebook page here.road-closed-sign1

The $15.7 million improvement project will upgrade the 0.8-mile section of Middle Tennessee Boulevard to a consistent four-lane divided street with a landscaped median between East Main and Greenland Drive. The 30-month project is expected to be completed by the fall of 2018.

The enhancement will also include bike lanes, improved sidewalks and lighting, new traffic signals, decorative crosswalks and underground utilities.

Commuters and visitors to the MTSU campus are again encouraged to seek alternative campus access from Greenland Drive, Rutherford Boulevard and East Main Street and take advantage of the university’s Raider Xpress shuttle bus service and the MTSU mobile app, which is downloadable here.

A searchable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

When the MT Boulevard improvement project is completed, the following changes will affect traffic flow along the thoroughfare:

  • Traffic flow on Faulkinberry Drive will change to “right turn in, right turn out” onto Middle Tennessee Boulevard.
  • A pull-in area for buses will be added to the front of Murphy Center.
  • Signalized pedestrian crossings will be added at Lytle and Division streets, and crosswalks at Bell Street and Faulkinberry Drive will be upgraded.
  • Brick walls with signage will be erected at the corners of Greenland Drive, and another wall will be added at East Main Street, to better define the university’s boundaries.
  • Flagpoles will be erected at Faulkinberry Drive.

For more information on the closure or the MT Boulevard project, contact Murfreesboro city engineer Chris Griffith at cgriffith@murfreesborotn.gov or 615-801-2552 or project engineer Mike Stacey at 615-642-3134.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

This map shows the detours recommended by the city of Murfreesboro while a portion of Middle Tennessee Boulevard is closed for construction June 6-26. (Courtesy of the City of Murfreesboro)

This map shows the detours recommended by the city of Murfreesboro while a portion of Middle Tennessee Boulevard is closed for construction June 6-26. (Courtesy of the City of Murfreesboro)

VA, MTSU celebrate national honor for student-veterans partnership

Officials with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Tennessee Valley Healthcare System in Murfreesboro have presented MTSU representatives with a special commendation certificate to celebrate a national honor announced in May.

Suzanne Jené, deputy health system director, delivered a framed certificate Friday, July 8, of the Veterans Affairs Under Secretary for Health Commendation presented to the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System.

One of three national winners of the 2016 Veterans Health Administration Community Partnership Challenge, TVHS earned the award for its partnership with MTSU’s Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center. The joint effort provides on-campus assistance to the university’s estimated 1,000 student veterans and family members.

Dr. Hilary Miller, third from right, director of the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center at MTSU, accepts a copy of a framed certificate of the Department of Veterans Affairs Under Secretary for Health Commendation presented to the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System from Suzanne Jené, deputy health system director, Friday, July 8, at the Alvin C. York VA Campus in Murfreesboro. The Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, one of three national winners of the 2016 Veterans Health Administration Community Partnership Challenge, earned the award for partnering with MTSU’s Veterans Center. Presentation attendees included Marianne Myers, left, executive assistant to new TVHS director Martin Traxler (not pictured); Allen Hasting, VA social work program manager for mental health; Betty Struzick, a VA-licensed clinical social worker at MTSU; Leigh Ann Urbanavage, assistant chief of behavioral health and nurse practitioner at the VA; and Keith M. Huber, MTSU senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Dr. Hilary Miller, third from right, director of the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center at MTSU, accepts a copy of a framed certificate of the Department of Veterans Affairs Under Secretary for Health Commendation presented to the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System from Suzanne Jené, deputy health system director, Friday, July 8, at the Alvin C. York VA Campus in Murfreesboro. The Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, one of three national winners of the 2016 Veterans Health Administration Community Partnership Challenge, earned the award for partnering with MTSU’s Veterans Center. Presentation attendees included Marianne Myers, left, executive assistant to new TVHS director Martin Traxler (not pictured); Allen Hasting, VA social work program manager for mental health; Betty Struzick, a VA-licensed clinical social worker at MTSU; Leigh Ann Urbanavage, assistant chief of behavioral health and nurse practitioner at the VA; and Keith M. Huber, MTSU senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Jené called the effort a “true partnership,” while Dr. Hilary Miller, director of the MTSU veterans center, praised the “unique relationship we have with the VA” and said the MTSU operation “is unbelievable — one of the best in the country.”

Keith M. Huber, MTSU senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives, called the VA-MTSU relationship “is so strategic in value.”

“Student veterans are as important as any population across our nation,” he added.

Dr. David Shulkin, undersecretary of health for the VA, first announced the award during a May teleconference with representatives from the MTSU Veterans and Military Family Center and the VA’s Alvin C. York Campus in Murfreesboro.

Dr. Hilary Miller, left, director of the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center at MTSU, and other university staff and York VA officials listen as Suzanne Jené, right, interim Health System director of the Tennessee Valley Health System, discusses the partnership collaboration leading to a national Veterans Affairs recognition. (MTSU photos by Randy Weiler)

Dr. Hilary Miller, left, director of the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center at MTSU, and other university staff and York VA officials listen May 17 as Suzanne Jené, right, interim health system director of the Tennessee Valley Health System, discusses national recognition of the partnership from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (MTSU photos by Randy Weiler)

MTSU officials joined VA personnel and administrators for that announcement at the York VA campus. Along with the TVHS, winners of the 2016 Veterans Health Administration Community Partnership Challenge included:

  • the San Francisco VA Health Care System.
  • the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital in Bedford, Massachusetts.

The National Office of Geriatrics and Extended Care in the VA’s Central Office in Washington, D.C., earned an honorable mention.

The VA’s national Community Partnership Challenge spotlighted successful nonmonetary partnerships with nongovernmental organizations that help veterans, caregivers, survivors and families.

The contest’s theme was “Veteran Access to Health Care Services with Special Emphasis on Replicable Partnerships.”

Huber and Miller, joined by Heather Conrad, MTSU’S VetSuccess on Campus director, represented the university at the May announcement event.

“There has been unbelievable commitment from the VA to being accessible to the veterans it cares for,” Miller said. “One of the most remarkable things about our center is the strong relationship we have with the VA.”

MTSU Vets Center logoJené said the MTSU-TVHS partnerships “reflects exactly the kind of involvement the VA wants to have in our communities.

“By virtue of having this center right on the MTSU campus, we are able to reach our veterans where they spend the majority of their days,” she added. “This affords them the convenience to stop by any time they have a question or concern, without having to schedule an appointment.”VA logo web

Jené noted that being one of only three Department of Veterans Affairs facilities in the nation to be recognized for providing “this extraordinary level of community partnership and support, reflects upon the hard work and dedication that went into making the center a reality — from both MTSU and TVHS.”

“It also opens up a wealth of new possibilities,” she continued. “The idea of VA medical centers collaborating, sharing resources and partnering with their local communities to open more veteran centers on college campuses is a textbook definition of what the ‘MyVA’ initiative is all about.”

The Tennessee Valley Healthcare System teamed up with MTSU to provide comprehensive VA benefits and health care services to student veterans. VA staffers have offices in the veterans center, which is located inside MTSU’s Keathley University Center in the heart of the campus, and veterans can stop in anytime to see trained staff about their mental health care, education and other VA health care services and benefits.

Heather Conrad, left, Dr. Hilary Miller, Suzanne Jené and Keith M. Huber gather in a York VA Campus conference room after the announcement of a national VA award for the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System and its community partnership with MTSU.

Heather Conrad, left, Dr. Hilary Miller, Suzanne Jené and Keith M. Huber gather in a York VA Campus conference room after the May announcement of a national VA award for the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System and its community partnership with MTSU.

Miller said that Leigh Urbanavage, TVHS assistant chief of behavioral health, was a tremendous asset while serving in the veterans center until Betty Struzick, a full-time VA employee, arrived in June.

“It’s such a great feeling when I know she is in the center,” Miller said of Urbanavage. “She has the ability to help people, so I am always thankful when she’s here.”

The benefits arm of the VA also has shown unwavering support of the center, Miller said. Every week, they send staff to the center for “VA Wednesdays.”

“After just a handful of these ‘VA Wednesdays,” it was estimated that approximately $175,000 in claims were processed for the MTSU veterans,” Miller added.

Miller noted that the center is “the proud host of a VetSuccess on Campus counselor” with Conrad, who fills that role for the first university in Tennessee with a VetSuccess on Campus operation for student veterans.

“Ms. Conrad is a master’s-level counselor herself, so we are able to approach counseling needs from both the benefits and the health side of the VA,” Miller said.

“Working with veterans is complex and requires collaboration,” Miller added. “If we are to be successful, we need to leverage each other’s resources. Furthermore, the work we do is too important not to be successful. We owe this level of specialized care to our veterans. We just do.”

To learn more about the Veterans and Military Family Center, visit www.mtsu.edu/military or call 615-904-8347.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

2nd Lt. Teana Harle, seated at left, an MTSU graduate student who also serves in the Tennessee Army National Guard, works in the new Veterans and Military Family Center while other student veterans talk and await appointments in this November 2015 file photo. MTSU's partnership with the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System to serve student veterans recently received national recognition from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (MTSU file photo by Andy Heidt)

2nd Lt. Teana Harle, seated at left, an MTSU graduate student who also serves in the Tennessee Army National Guard, works in the new Veterans and Military Family Center while other student veterans talk and await appointments in this November 2015 file photo. MTSU’s partnership with the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System to serve student veterans recently received national recognition from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (MTSU file photo by Andy Heidt)

BERC study: Number of exporters in Tennessee grows faster than in U.S.

In 2014, there were 7,326 different exporters in Tennessee, a 2.5 percent increase from 2013 and a 7.4 percent increase from 2010.

The number of Tennessee exporters has grown significantly faster than the total number of American exporters.

Dr. Steven Livingston

Dr. Steven Livingston

These are among the findings of the new “Global Commerce: Tennessee and the International Economy” report by the Business and Economic Research Center in the Jones College of Business at Middle Tennessee State University. The report highlights both trends in the location of Tennessee’s exporters and trade trends in Tennessee.BERC Global Commerce logo-horiz

This issue of the award-winning signature BERC publication highlights potential strengths and weaknesses of Tennessee’s trade dynamics within the context of global economic trends.

“The one interesting trend is that the central areas of Knoxville, Nashville, and Memphis generally saw declines in the number of exporters, while their immediately surrounding metro areas all saw gains,” said Dr. Steven Livingston, editor of “Global Commerce” and a BERC fellow who has produced the quarterly report since the late 1990s.

Highlights of the report include:

      • Number of Tennessee exporters: Up from 2010.
      • Rising export zip codes: La Vergne and Morristown.
      • Export trend: 0.66 percent growth (10th in the nation).
      • Top export sectors: Medical equipment and motor vehicle parts.
      • Fastest growing areas: Electric storage battery parts and activated carbon.
      • Declining products: Peptones and derivatives and drive axles with differentials.
      • Fastest growing markets: Czech Republic and Saudi Arabia.
      • Declining markets: Oman and Indonesia.

“’Global Commerce’ is a core BERC product,” said Dr. Murat Arik, director of BERC. “We will continue to build on its excellent tradition and provide an award-winning product for Tennessee manufacturers, exporters, and leaders.”

The complete report can be viewed here.

The Business and Economic Research Center supports the public service activities of the Jennings A. Jones College of Business and engages in a variety of educational and research activities aiding businesses, government, civic organizations and other interested individuals in understanding Tennessee’s economic and business climate. For more information, please visit www.mtsu.edu/berc.

This chart shows state and national exporting trends in recent years. (Source: MTSU Business and Economic Research Center)

This chart shows state and national exporting trends in recent years. (Source: MTSU Business and Economic Research Center)

MTSU expands dual-enrollment options to attract home-schoolers

Starting this fall, area home-schooled high school students will have a chance to earn college credits and “get a slice of MTSU” by taking classes at the University College’s new Dual Enrollment Center at Bell Street.

Matt Hannah

Matt Hannah

The university’s dual-enrollment program already allows high school students, who meet MTSU’s admissions criteria and gain approvals from their guidance counselors, to take college classes before they graduate, thus earning high school and college credits at the same time.

Classes are offered online, and last year the university also offered the courses at schools in Rutherford and Williamson counties.

Now, with the opening of the Andrew Woodfin Miller Sr. Education Center on Bell Street earlier this year, University College has established a Dual Enrollment Center inside the building that will hold three sections of classes this fall.

Classes to be offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the fall 2016 semester include introductory college courses in psychology, music and communication. Like other dual-enrollment classes, all three courses satisfy general education requirements at MTSU and can also be transferred to any state institution.

MTSU officials say they hope the Miller Education Center’s centralized location, away from the main campus with easy parking and accessibility, are attractive draws to home-schooled students and their parents.

This photo shows the exterior of MTSU's new Andrew Woodfin Miller Sr. Education Center on Bell Street, which formally opened in March 2016. (MTSU file photo)

This photo shows the exterior of MTSU’s new Andrew Woodfin Miller Sr. Education Center on Bell Street, which formally opened in March 2016. (MTSU file photo)

“We really envision a majority, if not all of the students, that fill up these classes will be home-schooled students,” said Matt Hannah, the University College’s coordinator of dual enrollment.

He added that MTSU recently hosted a booth and was a sponsor of a curriculum fair held in Nashville by the Middle Tennessee Home Education Association.

“Dual enrollment has been around for a while, but this past academic year we’ve put more of an emphasis on growing that program and really communicating the benefits of that,” he said.

One benefit, Hannah noted, is the dual-enrollment grant offered by the state. Last spring, MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee announced a supplemental scholarship provide by the university that can be coupled with the grant, making a student’s first two MTSU dual-enrollment courses — for six credit hours —tuition-free.

Hannah also pointed out that home-schooled students who meet prerequisite standards can use the grant toward any introductory level classes offered at the university, a smart option for students interested in courses such as graphic design that may not be available through their home education.

The Dual Enrollment Center will work directly with home-schooled students in the admissions process, officials said, working to pair them with advisers to help them choose the right classes and keep them on track with their coursework.

University College logo webDual-enrollment students also have the same access as traditional undergraduates to most student services, such as the library, writing center, math labs and recreation center.

For more information about MTSU’s Dual Enrollment Program, go to www.mtsu.edu/dualenrollment, email DualEnrollment@mtsu.edu 
or call 615-898-5246.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

MTSU plans safety alert test Wednesday for campus community

MTSU will briefly test its emergency alert system Wednesday, June 29, with a special message for the university’s 26,900-plus registered users via email, text and automated phone calls.

Day lilies bloom in the bright sunshine alongside MTSU's first roundabout at MTSU Boulevard and Blue Raider Drive. The university will test its Critical Notification System Wednesday, June 29 with a simple email, text and voice message to more than 26,900 users to ensure that students, faculty and staff properly receive urgent communications. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Day lilies bloom in the summer sunshine alongside MTSU’s traffic roundabout at MTSU Boulevard and Blue Raider Drive. The university will conduct the summer-semester test of its Critical Notification System Wednesday, June 29, with an email to more than 26,900 campus users, plus text and voice messages. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

The test of MTSU’s Critical Notification System, conducted each semester by the University Police Department, is set for 1:15 p.m. Wednesday.

Students, faculty and staff will automatically receive a test email to ensure the emergency system is working properly. Those who’ve added phone numbers to their notification preferences will also receive a text message and/or recorded phone call.

The university’s website, www.mtsu.edu, its MTSUNews.com news site, and all digital signage around the Murfreesboro campus will display the test message just as they do during a real emergency, along with the university’s primary social media channels.

The university’s Twitter account, @MTSUNews, will tweet the test alert, and the alert also will post to the MTSU and university police Facebook pages.

MTSU evaluates its Critical Notification System each semester during and after each test to pinpoint and fix any potential problems.

Click on the MTSU Police Department's logo to visit the university's FAQ page for its critical notifications system and "Alert4U" tips.

Click on the MTSU Police Department’s logo to visit the university’s FAQ page for its critical notifications system and “Alert4U” tips.

Previous tests continue to show a near-100 percent message success rate, and digital signage in campus buildings displayed the test alerts within 30 seconds of transmission.

MTSU’s Critical Notification System is one of several components the university uses to enhance safety and emergency preparedness, officials said. The university also conducts routine monthly tests of its tornado sirens on campus and at the Miller Coliseum Complex. Those tests don’t involve other components of the Critical Notification System, however.

All current MTSU students, faculty and staff can update their Rave notification preferences by using their PipelineMT usernames and passwords at www.getrave.com/login/mtsu. Non-MTSU users don’t have access to the system. Users are automatically deleted from the system when they graduate or permanently leave campus.

You can learn more about MTSU’s Critical Notification System at its FAQ page, www.mtsu.edu/alert4u/faqs.php. Information about the alert system is also always available on the university’s weather information page, www.mtsunews.com/weather.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

TBR backs Forrest Hall renaming; heads to Historical Commission

BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Board of Regents has endorsed MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee’s request to rename Forrest Hall.

In a voice vote Friday, June 24, during their quarterly meeting at Northeast State Community College in Blountville, regents endorsed MTSU’s proposal to change the name of the facility named for Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest to the Army ROTC Building.

Built in 1954, Forrest Hall houses MTSU's Army ROTC program. (MTSU file photo by Jimmy Hart)

Built in 1954, Forrest Hall houses MTSU’s Army ROTC program. (MTSU file photo by Jimmy Hart)

The TBR decision allows MTSU to petition the Tennessee Historical Commission to change the name of the building, which houses the university’s Army Reserve Officer Training Corps program and was dedicated with the Forrest moniker in 1958. The Historical Commission must approve the removal of the name by a two-thirds vote.

Dr. Sidney A. McPhee

Dr. Sidney A. McPhee

TBR seal webThe process began last summer when McPhee appointed a task force to review the building’s name following a mass shooting at a historically black South Carolina church that prompted a national discussion about Confederate iconography on public property.

The 17-member task force held three public forums and two open deliberations before making its recommendation in April to rename the building.

While noting that the task force recommendation was not unanimous and included “strong dissent” from a few members, McPhee also pointed out in his remarks to the TBR that under the board’s current criteria, Forrest would not be eligible to have his name placed on any university building.

McPhee noted that in considering the task force’s recommendation, he asked himself would the university of the 21st century make the same decision on naming the building as was made in 1958.

“In 2016, we are a different institution compared to the 1950s,” he said. “In 2016, we are Middle Tennessee State University, a very diverse institution, with approximately 23,000 students and over 115,000 alumni, representing every state in the Union and countries around the world.

“We are a truly global citizen and our actions should reflect the global community that we now serve.”

For more information about the Forrest Hall issue, visit www.mtsu.edu/forresthall.

MTSU will close July 4 for Independence Day observance

MTSU will be closed Monday, July 4, in observance of Independence Day.

fireworks for fourth holiday closingAll business offices will be closed and no classes will be held that day. Classes scheduled for Saturday, July 2, will be held, officials in the Office of Academic Affairs said.

University offices will reopen at 8 a.m. Tuesday, July 5, and all summer session classes will resume at their normal times following the holiday break.

Fourth of July weekend hours of operation for specific MTSU buildings and venues include:

  • Student Union: closed July 2-4.
  • James E. Walker Library: open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. July 2 and 2-10 p.m. July 3. For the complete schedule, visit http://library.mtsu.edu/hours.php.
  • Campus Recreation Center: closed July 2-4.
  • ARAMARK/MT Dining’s Student Union Provisions on Demand: open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 2-4 at the south entrance. For all dining options, visit http://mtsu.campusdish.com.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)