The Student Government Association Executive Council, which serves as the official liaison between the student body at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) and the administration, had the opportunity recently to meet with Chancellor Steve J. Schwab and Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Operations Officer Dr. Ken Brown.
The meeting was held in the Student-Alumni Center and allowed student leaders representing each of the colleges at UTHSC to learn firsthand from Chancellor Schwab and Dr. Brown about campus initiatives.
The student leaders asked questions and participated in a discussion on topics that affect current and future students. Building sustainability, tuition, and construction were some of the topics raised and addressed.
“Our goal is not only to have enough revenue to guarantee you an outstanding education,” Chancellor Schwab said. “But we are also mindful of the fact that almost every one of our students has taken out loans and they carry indebtedness as they move forward.”
Chancellor Schwab told the students efforts are made so that UTHSC student indebtedness does not surpass that of competitive universities. This drove a freeze on tuition the last two years to keep UTHSC’s tuition in line with the median tuition of other schools in the SEC.
The meeting also included information about the first phase in $350-$400 million in capital improvements taking place on the campus. Among these is the construction of the new $36.7 million interprofessional simulation and patient safety center, which will allow students in all colleges at UTHSC to work together in a simulation environment.
“Up until recently, simulation education has been college specific,” said Chancellor Schwab. “But the real world is not college-specific simulation. The real world is all of us working together on the same team.”
A main theme for the SGAEC was addressing how students could become more involved in the future plans and changes on campus. Students also asked how they could voice concerns to the administration on topics, such as construction noise or new technical improvements.
“Your input is certainly always welcomed,” Dr. Brown said. “We are always interested in input. Anytime you have an idea about anything or a concern, either as a student government body or you as an individual, let us know.”
The Office of Student Life provides support to the SGAEC, their programs and through campus collaborations. Together, both provide social and administrative representation for all students at UTHSC.