Budget Vote, Recap of Accomplishments Highlight Second Meeting for UTHSC Advisory Board

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The UTHSC Advisory Board held its second meeting in Memphis Monday. Dr. Phil Wenk, center, chairman of the board, speaks with U.S. District Court Judge Mark Norris (foreground). Anthony A. Ferrara, vice chancellor for Finance, is at left, and Chancellor Steve J. Schwab is at  right.(Photo by Allen Gillespie/UTHSC)

The UTHSC Advisory Board held its second meeting Monday, approving a proposed $571.3 million budget for the university for fiscal year 2020, which begins July 1.

In addition to the budget review and vote, the meeting in the Student Alumni-Center on the Memphis campus included reports from UTHSC leadership and college deans detailing accomplishments and goals.

Each of the UT campuses across the state is served by an advisory board of five public members, one faculty member, and one student member. The boards were established by the UT FOCUS Act passed by the state legislature.

Public members of the UTHSC board include U.S. District Court Judge Mark Norris; Michael Ugwueke, president and CEO of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare; Natalie Tate, PharmD, MBA, Chattanooga, vice president, Pharmacy, Blue Cross/Blue Shield; Lynn Massingale, MD, Knoxville, co-founder of TeamHealth; and Phil Wenk, DDS, Brentwood, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Tennessee. Dr. Wenk chairs the board. Ugwueke was not present at the meeting.

Terrance Cooper, PhD, Harriet S. Van Vleet Professor of Microbiology & Immunology in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology & Biochemistry, is the faculty member for the board.

Fourth-year medical student Andrew McBride joins the board as its student representative. McBride is the incoming president of the Student Government Association Executive Council (SGAEC), a position that includes a spot on the advisory board. Doctor of Physical Therapy student Anna Evans is completing her term as SGAEC president and moves off the board.

Chancellor Schwab cited many successes for the university. “We have a record number of students, residents, and graduates,” he said.

He applauded the College of Medicine for the recent accreditation of a new anesthesiology residency and the 10-year accreditation of the Physician Assistant Studies program.

The chancellor also mentioned construction that is improving the Memphis campus and the university, including the ongoing work on the Historic Quadrangle in Memphis, renovation of an existing building to provide a new home for the Audiology and Speech Pathology program in Knoxville, and $8 million to be spent on upgrades for the elevators on campus in Memphis.

Anthony A. Ferrara, UTHSC’s vice chancellor for Finance and the secretary of the board, reviewed the budget proposal with the members, who approved it on a voice vote. It will now go to the UT Board of Trustees. Budget discussion included mention of future initiatives to lobby for increased funding from the state for the campus operating budget, which pays for such things as building maintenance and campus upkeep.

The next meeting will be September 30 in Memphis.