JACKSON, Tenn. – July 2, 2002– While the state’s public colleges and universities remain temporarily shut-down due to the current state legislature budget crisis, Tennessee’s private college and university sector is able to remain open for summer classes due to their independence from state funds for operations. Union University is one of those schools committed to assisting students this summer who want to continue their education despite the closing of the state’s public institutions.
“Union is pleased to provide services for students with special needs during this unusual time in the life of our sister public institutions,” said Union President David S. Dockery. “Our faculty and staff are committed to assist students in continuing their educational endeavors.”
“Tennessee’s independent colleges and universities are open for business,” stated Claude Pressnell, president of the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association, of which Union is a member. “Our independent colleges and universities are able to offer coursework throughout the summer and we invite all Tennessee residents to consider continuing their student careers during this stressful time in the public education sector.”
The Chronicle of Higher Education, the nation’s leading higher education trade paper, has already run two stories on Tennessee’s public education shutdown. “These stories are making Tennessee an educational laughing stock in the nation,” Pressnell said. “If we don’t turn things around immediately it will take years to begin to attract top students and scholars to the state.”
The Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association (TICUA) was founded in 1956 to encourage cooperation among institutions of higher learning in Tennessee. TICUA seeks to promote cooperative programs among its 35-member institutions and supply public policy and research analysis.
Sara B. Horn,