The flame meant to burn us down, just ignited our passion.
Addressing education, homelessness and safety at the Knoxville College campus
Today we find ourselves facing different issues, problems, challenges and uncertainties, but know - we have the commitment and resolve to meet them all. Again, as our faith would have it, we pray for the families of the deceased and support for the homeless and transient populations that trespass our currently closed buildings on campus for whatever reason, as this particular issue is not unique to just Knoxville College and our grounds. There is a street homelessness issue within the City of Knoxville and expanding across urban and rural communities alike.
To end homelessness and/or make it less reoccurring will take a shared vision of strategic partners that are willing and able to provide the necessary resources, talent and time to address what many Cities and Communities across the US are experiencing when it comes to homeless and unsheltered humankind. Knoxville College is willing to be a partner in the solution.
I have reached out to the City of Knoxville and the Continuum of Care to explore options on how to address and support a collective impact model that offers access to supportive services and pathways out of the streets for the willing.
On the heels of the most recent news articles and stories please know that Knoxville College is still moving in the right direction. In any business there are and will be ongoing risks, ebb and flow, constant fluctuations that occur in the operations process. Some are what are to be considered positive and others negative, but it is certain to happen within the pursuit of sustainability.
We will continue to make best efforts to invest in ensuring that our campus is secure and safe for all who work and/or visit our campus.
Let me share where we are today by first restating our 2021-2024 Vision Plan - 5 Strategies.
Strategy 1 - To Maintain Authorization with THEC, apply for Accreditation and expand & specify our catalog and programs
Strategy 2 - To Improve our Financial Positioning and address existing past due debt, increase revenue/assets and develop fund development capacity
Strategy 3 - To design and implement a Collective Impact model by establishing strategic partners and conducting community engagement activities
Strategy 4 - To develop a master design and development plan of campus buildings and grounds
Strategy 5 - To rebuild our brand, increase awareness, re-establish as a leader in Higher Ed and invest in innovative technology
Where are we now?
State of the College - Updates:
On Friday, July 13, 2023 we, Knoxville College received from Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) approval and authorization for two new degree blended programs (offered online and/or on campus in-person); AS Business Administration and BS Business Administration. This is very exciting news as it gives us access and a pathway to the return of on-campus learning for our current and potential students.
The two new programs were the final approvals needed for our Accreditation application with Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS). Our team lead by Dr. Ebony Bowers, Chief Academic Officer, includes partnership with Dr. Patrick Biddix, University of TN, Dr. Kevin James, Morris Brown College and myself. Targeted application submission date is September 2023.
The Administration is currently working to identify resources to support a 3 phased Blight Removal, Capital Improvements and Working Capital Initiative starting with a financial request to include a use of funds summary to Knoxville College National Alumni Association (KCNAA) and one-time ask to the State of Tennessee.
The new Ron and Dianne Damper Administrative and Leadership Building is roughly 80% complete with a target ribbon cutting ceremony during Homecoming 2023 weekend, October 6 or 7, 2023.
Knoxville College plans to launch an equitable access to services initiative offering broadband and an online platform for community residents at the Ron and Diane Damper Administrative and Leadership building October 2023.
The “Let there be Light” initiative in partnership with Knoxville Utility Board (KUB) is being supported by the Knoxville Chapter of KCNAA. This initiative consists of new exterior campus lighting in an effort to provide visibility as well as a sense of safety.
Upcoming Dates To Remember
Capital Campaign Kickoff - $50M in 5 years (50N5) – October 2023
Youth Aging out of Foster Care education and housing pilot 2024.