Advisory board recommends 3% tuition increase

A 3% in-state undergraduate tuition increase for UT Martin students was recommended for the 2024-25 academic year by the university’s advisory board Friday, May 17, during the board’s summer meeting in the Boling University Center. The recommendation now goes to the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees for consideration at the board’s annual meeting June 24-25 in Knoxville. The UTM Advisory Board also recommended a $174 million UT Martin operating budget for UT board consideration in June.

Petra McPhearson, UT Martin senior vice chancellor for finance and administration, presented the proposed budget and explained that the increase means undergraduate students will pay an additional $256 per year starting this fall for a total tuition payment of $8,802 for the academic year.

Undergraduate students will also pay more for student fees, including an $8 per semester student media fee for a total of $30 per year. Previously named the student publication fee, the fee increase will help to support WUTM 90.3 “The Hawk” and UTM TV operations. A new academic support fee supported by the Student Government Association will total $40 per semester and will fund increased supplemental instruction, tutoring and other student academic support.

Tuition and fees for full-time in-state undergraduate students enrolled for 12 or more hours per semester will rise 3.45% for a total cost of $10,560 per academic year. Tuition and fees for full-time graduate students will rise 2.6% to bring the total cost to $11,396 per academic year for an in-state student enrolled for nine or more credit hours.

Students who take dual enrollment courses through the university’s successful Dual Enrollment

Program will be assessed at a reduced rate of $554.40 per three-credit hour course, which will be fully covered by the Tennessee Dual Enrollment Grant and UT Martin Dual Advantage Scholarship.                 

“This (dual enrollment rate) essentially is being proposed to simplify how this information is represented to high school students and their parents. … So, the net effect to the student is zero dollars,” McPhearson said. Dual enrollment courses allow high school students to earn college-level coursework credit as they complete high school graduation requirements.

In other board actions: Jake Bynum, the university’s new chief of staff, was elected advisory board secretary; Dr. Dan McDonough, professor of history, was appointed advisory board faculty representative;  and Chayil Watkins of Somerville was appointed student representative.

UT Martin Chancellor Yancy Freeman announced Jeanna Curtis-Swafford as the new vice chancellor for advancement following a nationwide search. Curtis-Swafford previously served as the university’s interim vice chancellor for advancement. He also previewed the process to create a new UT Martin Strategic Plan that will be presented during the UT Board of Trustees meeting in February 2025 in Martin.

Freeman highlighted two examples of experiential learning that offered UTM students real-world learning opportunities: the TVA Investment Challenge in which students manage a real investment portfolio and a focus-group project conducted by a political science class for Ford BlueOval City.

“It is incredibly important that we continue to give them those experiences,” Freeman told the board members. “When I talk to alums, what they say to me is, ‘I was prepared at UTM,’ … I think it is because of these experiences and chances to work very closely with the faculty that our students feel very good and prepared.”

Members of the UT Martin Advisory Board are Hal Bynum, Dresden; Taylor Cantrell, student representative, Newbern; Dan Strasser, alumni representative, Chapel Hill; Art Sparks, board chair, Union City; Dr. Clinton Smith, faculty representative, Martin; Johnny Woolfolk, Jackson; and Dr. Tonya Reynoldson, Camden. The full meeting is archived for viewing at, and associated meeting materials are available at   

The UTM Advisory Board’s next meeting will be Sept. 20 in the Boling University Center.  

PHOTO: Taylor Cantrell of Newbern (center), student representative on the UT Martin Advisory Board, participates in the board’s summer meeting Friday, May 17, in the Ed and Carolyn Boling University Center. Board members Dr. Tonya Reynoldson of Camden and Dan Strasser of Chapel Hill, both UT Martin graduates, are also pictured. The full meeting is archived for viewing at, and associated meeting materials are available at

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