Interim UTS Chancellor Linda Martin and her husband, Ken Huff, and their dog, Jake.

Linda Martin Named Interim Chancellor

Featured photo: Interim UTS Chancellor Linda Martin and her husband, Ken Huff, and their dog, Jake

UT Southern has welcomed Linda C. Martin as interim chancellor. Martin joins UTS as a leader and innovator in higher education with a career that stretches beyond 35 years.

Martin serves as the UT System’s vice president of academic affairs and student success. She served as interim senior vice chancellor/senior vice president for the UT Institute of Agriculture from September 2021 to July 2022.

She began her role as the interim chancellor on the one-year anniversary of the historic acquisition that resulted in the UT System’s newest undergraduate institution. UT will launch a search in January to permanently fill the position.

Martin previously served as the associate dean and director of academic affairs in the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at Ohio State University and assistant dean for academic programs in the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources at Oklahoma State University following 15 years of successful teaching and advising at Kansas State University.

Turner Center Re-Launches Program

This fall, the UTS Turner Center for Rural Vitality will relaunch its regional leadership program. Since 2010, the program, formerly known as Gattis Regional Leadership, has worked to build leadership capacity and connect leaders across South Central Tennessee.

Throughout the last year, the Turner Center staff has worked to redevelop the program to meet the changing needs of the region. They interviewed regional stakeholders, alumni and personnel at rural regional leadership programs across the United States while researching other programs in the Southeast.

As a result of its research, the Turner Center decided to focus on its rural assets.

“Sometimes, those uniquely rural attributes and rural strengths are overlooked in order to look more like our metropolitan areas. We want participants to see their rural communities as an asset, not as a detriment,” Rebecka Cronin, a Turner Center program officer, says.

During the nine-month program, the group will learn about asset-based community leadership at three day-long workshops on UT Southern’s campus. Participants also will travel through each of the 13 counties, exploring infrastructure, workforce development and social entrepreneurship.

UTS Develops Special Education Program

UTS developed a special education interventionist program.
UTS developed a special education interventionist program.

With each new year, the nationwide shortage of licensed special-education teachers increases, with nearly every state now reporting on the difficulties of hiring qualified instructors.

To help combat this issue, the UTS Grace G. Grissom School of Education developed a new special education interventionist kindergarten through eighth-grade licensure program. Fourteen students enrolled in the program during its first year.

This program helps candidates grow in using technology, interacting with students, assessing student learning, managing a diverse culture, appreciating multicultural and exceptional children, and focusing on strategies that engage students in cooperative and collaborative activities.