Tuesday, August 19, 2008

NEWS FLASH! UT Audiology & Speech Program Update

I just received word that the University of Tennessee Department of Audiology & Speech Pathology program has been saved! This is WONDERFUL and GREAT news! So many people have responded and worked very hard to save this department that makes a difference in so many lives. I don't know all of the details yet but it was announced this afternoon.

This news comes just before a public rally was planned on Thursday afternoon for the supporters and persons who were opposed to the UT proposal to eliminate the Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology. I think there should be a BIG party instead to celebrate! (I cannot attend this rally because I am currently out of town traveling for business.)

Never underestimate the power of the written and spoken word. The people who spoke out on this issue made a difference, one person at a time. . . one letter, email, article, speech, etc. at a time. The voice of the "silent people" has been heard!

The following is an excerpt of the announcement: (I'm leaving names out for privacy reasons)

"Today UT Knoxville and our partners in the UT system announced significant progress toward a solution that will allow the UT Knoxville Audiology and Speech Pathology department to continue operations through UT and remain in Knoxville.

The university is committed to keeping the clinic open, and in Knoxville. Details are still being worked out, but UT will continue to operate the clinic and the academic program.

A group representing myself (UT Interim Chancellor), the president, the College of Arts and Sciences, the audiology and speech pathology department, the UT Health Science Center and others has sought alternatives that will allow the program to continue to meet the educational and clinical needs of Tennesseans.

Our discussion remains focused on the economic realities facing all of our campuses and institutes. We think a new approach will provide shared efficiencies and new opportunities for strategic partnerships. Under the plan, the department will no longer be affiliated with the College of Arts and Sciences, allowing for the needed reductions in the campus budget.

We expect to be able to announce the plan in early September, and we will work closely with the Faculty Senate, the department and other university leaders to ensure that alternatives consider the program's mission and service, current faculty and staff as well as patients and their families."

6 comments:

Denise Portis said...

Woot! This is terrific!

Valerie said...

I am very excited for you and all the other UT staff and patients. It is not only a program, but jobs are saved. I know from being on the other part the state and feeling the budget problems. I am thankful that I still have my job even without a cost of living raise and funds taken from my program. I still have my job and I am sure the UT audiology and speech program staff feel the same.

Great job Laurie!!!!

Jennifer said...

Laurie...that is GREAT news!!! I am so proud of all your hard work...YOU HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE!!!! (((hugs)))

Sam said...

That is so awesome. Congrats!!

Jim said...

That's great. Audiology & Speech Pathology program always have helped me when I was younger (being deaf, learning to hear, read lips and how to speak).

Good news.

Jim

Abbie said...

This is awesome news (a bit late I am) but the amazing support and the lengths that you went to to ensure that the UT Audiology & Speech Program will remain open is inspiring and you WON! :)