President Brian Noland highlighted enrollment gains in  the ETSU State of the University Address on Monday, Oct. 2, in the auditorium of the D.P. Culp University Center.

ETSU’s enrollment is currently sitting at 13,764. This is a 2.6 increase in enrollment in comparison to last fall.

“We have the largest percentage increase in enrollment of any university in the state of Tennessee, and numerically, we have the largest enrollment overall of any university in the former Board of Regents system,” Noland said.

Noland and the Board of Trustees have a goal for enrollment numbers of the university in the coming years.

“Our top frame goal includes 18,000 students, with 3,500 out-of-state students and 2,000 transfer students with a 60 percent graduation rate and an 85 percent retention rate,” Noland said. “These are stretch goals for the institution, but this defines the institution in the year 2026. These are goals that we’ve established for ourselves, goals that were approved by our Board of Trustees that frame our activity between now and the close of the planning cycle.”

The State of the University Address is a chance for Noland to prepare and go through his presentation about ETSU’s year in review, where he highlights where the university is in comparison to our strategic plan and mission.

The presentation was outlined within the strategic plan that was approved by the Board of Trustees.

Noland began the State of the University Address by giving the audience an overview of what would be discussed. This includes: discussion of institutional strategic planning efforts and strategic initiatives; examination of institutional, state and peer data patterns; current and future budget conditions for ETSU; overview of national policy issues facing higher education.

He also discussed how the Tennessee Promise initiative has affected enrollment.

“It indicates more students are taking advantage of the opportunities presented to them by Tennessee Promise…For those of you who have been following this initiative, you’ll know that this is the fall in which the Promise students would have transferred to post-secondary education, and many have thought we would see a large enrollment uptick as a result of those Promise transfer rates. The data indicate that did not happen,” Noland said.

“What Promise has done is to drive student success into increase the number of students graduating from community colleges. It has not increased the number of students, en masse, transferring to universities,” he said.

After discussing enrollment and ETSU’s strategic plan, Noland discussed how the university can better support employees and strides the university has already made in that regard.

When the State of the University Address was wrapping up, Noland touched on national issues the university and so many others are facing and ended with some words of encouragement.

“I just want to say thank you one more time. There are few institutions in America who have this story to share: enrollment is up, budgets are balanced, new buildings are being constructed and faculty and staff are receiving raises. There are great things happening here. Now is not the time to let off the gas pedal,” he said.

For students interested in viewing the State of the University Address in full, visit