Angle, in his first year in the position, talked about the school and its place in the community during a presentation to the Rotary Club of Cleveland.
“There are 2,254 UTC alumni with addresses in Bradley County and there were 439 active students from here in the fall of 2013,” Angle said.
He noted UTC in the process of defining its mission of being an “engaged metropolitan university.”
“We’re asking people what that means to them,” he said. “We are a land grant university and those are geared to help our communities as well as educate. We want to help the quality of life.”
Angle said there are currently 19 transfer pathways between UTC and Cleveland State.
“Just [recently], provosts at UTC and Cleveland State were meeting to see how we partner better to help students transfer for a four-year degree,” Angle said.
He said the school expects the student body to remain at around an 11,000 count.
“We’ve also increased our high school GPA and SAT scores,” Angle said. “So, we’ve increased the quality of students as well as the numbers.”
Tuition remains at $8,000 per year which he called “a good bargain.”
Angle said coupling a HOPE scholarship with the Tennessee Promise two years of free college, “you can get a four-year degree in a very affordable way if you’re in Tennessee.”
He said he has tried to increase partnerships and connections with the community noting how students go out and work.
“We are trying to increase these opportunities for our students so they can take advantage of the practical knowledge they gain from our community,” Angle said.
Angle also spoke of UTC’s athletic legacy.
“This last year we won five Southern Conference championships including a co-title in football,” he said, also noting the accomplishments of the basketball programs.
The school has invested $300 million in capital improvements since 2000 and will open a new library in 2015.
“It’s going to be beautiful,” he said. “It’s just incredible.”
There will also be a 600-bed residence hall and other developments that “will engage our students in the life of the campus and have them nearby.”
Angle also said UTC is a regional hub for the area hosting many varied cultural and arts events.
“We also encourage giving back to our community,” he said. “It’s important we educate students and also [give] them a sense of responsibility back to our society.”
Angle said technology is changing the way things are done.
“Our students are sitting in the classroom almost literally surrounded by the total sum of human knowledge,” he said. “In the air, they can access the Internet and look up anything right now. So, content isn’t as important as using information to solve problems and taking data and turning it into information then using that to increase the competitiveness of a business and solve problems that exists.”
He said there will be a number of opportunities to leverage the strength of the region and see what UTC can do to help.
“The higher education entities in this region meet — the presidents and chancellors — we do all talk to each other and we do all try to plan. We’re very different. We don’t have to be afraid of helping somebody else, but if we help this region, having choice and opportunity is great,” he said.
“Having these high quality private institutions nearby can help us provide so much more breadth than we could individually,” Angle said. “And, we will look for more opportunity with an emphasis on the two-year community colleges especially with the number of people who are coming through there.”
He said if UTC can help people become knowledgeable in their field and become “great” citizens at the same time, “we’ll have done our job well.”