Looks like UM will have an off-campus center
The Tennessee Higher Education Commission staff is recommending approval of the acquisition of the Lambuth University campus in Jackson for use as a branch of the University of Memphis.
The recommendation now goes to the THEC board for expected approval at its summer quarterly meeting Thursday, then to a specially called meeting of the Tennessee Board of Regents on Friday.
The THEC evaluation and the approval of both higher education governing boards are required steps outlined in the state budget amendment that appropriates $5 million this year and another $6 million over the next three years to help subsidize U of M operating expenses on the Lambuth campus while enrollment gradually builds.
The steps under way in Nashville are part of a final round of state and local governmental approvals for the acquisition of the Lambuth campus in central Jackson. The Jackson City Council will vote Aug. 2 and the Madison County Commission on Aug. 4 on their parts of the deal.
Following two to three years of financial problems and declining enrollment, Lambuth closed June 30 after graduating its last class in May and several weeks of summer school. Its board of directors voted June 30 to accept a $7.9 million proposal by a coalition of local entities in Jackson to acquire the campus for transfer to the state for a U of M branch. Lambuth had $10.4 million in debt and the board voted to file a Chapter 11 bankruptcy to settle its remaining $2.5 million in obligations....
U of M officials insist they will be able to hold classes on the Lambuth campus during the upcoming fall semester, although it is likely to take some time before a full complement of university programs exist there. U of M, which already offers classes on the Jackson State Community College campus, wants to focus initially on nursing and business programs on the Lambuth campus.