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News & Press: eNews

October e-News: TICUA Hall of Fame, ELI Postponed, Record Enrollment and More!

Thursday, October 8, 2020  
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October 2020

Welcome to TICUA eNews, a monthly electronic newsletter intended to keep you informed about the latest Association activities. Please feel free to forward this email to anyone on your campus who might benefit from the newsletter.

TICUA Announces 2020 Hall of Fame Inductees

Tennessee’s Independent Colleges and Universities are home to some of our state’s most distinguished and impressive residents— from Nobel laureates and Pulitzer Prize winners to faith leaders, entrepreneurs, and elected officials. 

The Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association (TICUA) created the TICUA Hall of Fame to honor the distinguished alumni of its 35 member institutions while highlighting their contributions to our state, nation, and world.

The honorees exemplify the value of the liberal arts education and how it can be used in a variety of career fields. View the inaugural TICUA Hall of Fame Class of 2020 here.

TICUA in the News

Reports indicate TICUA Institutions are seeing record-breaking enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year.  Cumberland UniversityCarson-Newman UniversityMilligan UniversityTennessee Wesleyan UniversityLipscomb University, Fisk University, and Freed-Hardeman University have all recently reported record numbers of students enrolled for the Fall of 2020. 

Check out our coverage!

WPLN - Nashville Public Radio
Johnson City Press
TICUA 403(b) Multiple Employer Plan (MEP) Update
The TICUA Multiple Employer Plan (TICUA MEP) Governing Committee is pleased to announce that all but one of the originating members have gone live effective, May 2020. The Committee anticipates the final originating member to be live by January, 2021. This successful launch is the culmination of almost two years of work on the part of TICUA, the MEP participating member institutions: Christian Brothers University, Cumberland University, Johnson University, King University, and Milligan University, as well as its vendor partners: Millennium Advisory Services, Pentegra, SageView Advisory Group, and TIAA.

The TICUA MEP offers a retirement plan program that allows member institutions to offer a competitive retirement plan that benefits both the institution and its employees by centralizing administrative and fiduciary support for plan sponsors. Members enjoy individualized plan design flexibility, cost efficiencies due to pooled resources, and reduced fiduciary exposure.

The TICUA MEP Governing Committee invites your institution to join! If you would like to learn more about joining the TICUA MEP please contact Diane Berty, VP, TICUA ( 615-242-6400).
Executive Leadership Institute – Convening of ELI Postponed until Fall, 2021
The Executive Leadership Institute (ELI) serves as a leadership development program for senior campus leaders. The Institute not only strives to provide the leadership knowledge and skills necessary to prepare senior campus officials for a presidency, but more importantly, is designed to strengthen the local campus’ leadership team.  However, recognizing that the pandemic has placed additional pressures on campus leadership and that the ELI experience and its outcomes are greatly enhanced through face-to-face interaction, the TICUA staff made the decision to postpone the convening of this year’s Institute to the Fall of 2021.
Ways to Save

TICUA strives to bring value to member campuses through its Ways to Save Collaborative Initiative. TICUA endeavors to coordinate and promote collaborative business initiatives on behalf of member institutions that leverage the consumer strength of the 35 member colleges and universities. TICUA staff work closely with the Procurement Committee, comprised of representatives from member institutions, to establish collaborative priorities, review products and services, promote campus participation in this initiative, seek association marketplace pricing, and evaluate products and programs. The Ways to Save Collaborative Initiative provides member institutions access to discounted purchasing opportunities through TICUA Procurement Agreements, the Tennessee Smart ShopThe Coalition, and two group purchasing organizations serving higher education—E&I and OMNIA Partners. 

New TICUA Procurement Agreement:

The TICUA Procurement Committee is pleased to reintroduce the CNA Equipment Maintenance Program. This cost reduction program is offered locally through Houchens Insurance Group/Van Meter Insurance Group.

CNA allows campuses to consolidate electronic equipment service coverage under a master maintenance agreement, offering one renewal and billing date, and consistent terms and conditions. The CNA program provides a consolidation plan which replaces multiple service agreements and extended warranties with one agreement that costs less and is more flexible than the Original Equipment Manufacturer agreement. CNA does not maintain or repair equipment; they are a central point of contact for managing service events and are service vendor neutral.

The CNA solution delivers coverage that includes the costs associated with parts, labor, travel, emergency repair, and preventative maintenance and in so doing guarantees savings of at least 14-20%.  For more information please Reid Heimkreiter 615-636-3102.

Tennessee's Private Colleges and Universities Awarded Over 20,000 Degrees in 2019-2020

The number of high-quality degrees awarded by Tennessee’s private non-profit colleges and universities has jumped over 25% during the last decade. 

The most recent data show Tennessee’s independent colleges and universities awarded 20,356 degrees in the 2019-2020 academic year - up from the 16,198 degrees awarded in 2009-2010.

Continuing a trend of strong academic completion, these institutions have awarded more than 100,000 degrees in just the last five years.


  • The most popular degrees awarded were in the fields of Healthcare (4,386), Business (3,759), and Education (2,649).
  • TICUA institutions awarded over 2,919 STEM degrees.
  • 25% of undergraduate degrees were awarded to adults (25 and over).

Read more here. 

COVID-19 Resources

TICUA staff continue to update  the COVID19 page on its website each week.  You will find archived meetings with Dr. Shelley Fiscus’ conversations, vendor resources, publications, etc – all updated on a weekly basis.  We encourage you to visit the page and to make recommendations to Diane Berty ( for additional content.

We also will be meeting with Dr. Shelley Fiscus and her colleague, Dr. Woodson on a biweekly basis, which began on Thursday, October 1 at 10:00 am central time / 11:00 am eastern time.  We will meet every other Thursday with our last conversation for the fall semester taking place on December 10.  For additional information and the link to the Teams meeting please visit the TICUA homepage – Calendar – which you will find at the bottom of the homepage. 

Financial Sustainability - Now and Beyond COVID-19

TICUA is hosting a Zoom meeting October 14th from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm CT / 11:00 am - 1:00 pm ET addressing Financial Sustainability-Now and Beyond COVID-19.  Campus representatives may register here. 

During the first hour, Nikki KublyNick Wallace and Dr. David Armstrong of BKD Advisors & Associates will address ways in which institutions can use data analytics in decision-making that react to changing demographics, monitor student success, track program margins and manage the academic program portfolio to cover programs the market demands. 

Then Dr. Robert Zemsky, Professor of Higher Education and Chair of the Learning Alliance for Higher Education at the Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania, will share a clearly defined set of risk indicators, a methodology for monitoring progress over time, and an evidence-based understanding of where colleges and universities reside in the landscape of institutional risk.

Please register no later than COB, Monday, October 12th. After registering you will receive a confirmation email with a link. By following this link you will find the Zoom Meeting Logistics.

For additional information please contact Diane Berty (