Middle Tennessee State University’s Board of Trustees, which met Tuesday by teleconference due to COVID-19 virus concerns, approved two new undergraduate degree programs for the coming academic year.
Chairman Steve Smith said the teleconference, which allowed the public to dial in and listen live, was necessary in light of social-distancing advice from state and federal public health officials.
Trustees elevated MTSU’s existing concentration in Horse Science within its Bachelor of Science in Animal Science program to a free-standing Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Horse Science, effective May 2020.
Members also approved a new Bachelor of Arts in Music degree, which will be in addition to MTSU’s existing Bachelor of Music offering, also effective in May 2020.
Provost Mark Byrnes said the changes were in response to student and market demand and require no additional resources.
In other matters Tuesday, the board was briefed on the administration’s creation of an academic session during the holiday break between the end of the Fall semester and beginning of the Spring semester, beginning in December 2020.
“Offering a winter session will allow students to make up, catch up, and get ahead,” said Pam Wright, chair of the board’s Academic Affairs, Student Life and Athletics Committee. “Completing an additional course between terms is a student success strategy that has proven effective at other institutions.”
Trustees also approved:
- Improvements to dining spaces in Keathley University Center and McCallie’s Dining Hall, to be paid for by Aramark, the private contractor that operates MT Dining;
- Additions to the campus master plan for projected future expansion of the Aerospace Campus at the Murfreesboro Municipal Airport, which will be consistent with the city’s improvement of the facility;
- And creation of the honorary status of Trustee Emeritus, which can be conferred on board members upon completion of their service on the governing body.