The University of Tennessee in Martin has been losing students over the last two years, and a recent U.S. Army decision could accelerate that decline.
The U-S Army says it plans to close three Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) programs in Tennessee within the next two years including the program at UT Martin.
UT Martin's Director of University Relations Bud Grimes says that decision follows on the heels of a two-year enrollment decline that started with the economy as fewer rural students chose to attend college after high school. Then the Tennessee Complete College Act changed where many students choose to earn dual enrollment credits.
"When we look at the things that are setting us back then when you throw in the ROTC part of this puzzle in there, then - everything matters. People again don’t see 12 or 15 students a year as being a big deal but it is, because then you have to go out and recruit those students that you’re missing," says Grimes.
"There is no question the loss of students with the ROTC program over time is going to be felt," he says.
Grimes says the university will appeal the Army’s decision.