Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has announced that the state's proposed budget for the
upcoming year includes $45 million of the $60 million needed for the state-of-the-art
Community Health Building that will house two of the Universities most successful
programs: the Loewenberg School of Nursing and the School of Communication Sciences
and Disorders. The U of M is responsible for $15 million and is working through its
Centennial Campaign to secure the remaining funding.
"We expect to break ground soon on this building," said Haslam, who was on campus
Jan. 29 to discuss his recently released statewide budget proposal for the next fiscal
year. Several hundred in attendance enthusiastically applauded the news.
Tenn. Gov. Bill Haslam
Haslam said when he first became governor, he was approached by U of M President Shirley
Raines about securing funding for a new combined facility to house the University's
nursing and communication sciences and disorders programs.
"I had several conversations with Dr. Raines about the audiology, speech language
pathology and nursing programs," Haslam said. "She said these were key priority areas
for the University because of there being such a large market demand for graduating
students to fill jobs primarily in nursing, but also for audiology and speech pathology
in the Memphis area. She said if the University had a new facility, it could meet
"It will help the economy in Memphis, it will help the University of Memphis and will
help us in the state. I want to tip my hat to the University for meeting this demand."
The proposed building will feature 177,000 square feet to accommodate more than 1,100
nursing students, faculty and staff and nearly 150 graduate clinicians and clinical
and research faculty and staff in communications sciences and disorders. The four-story
building will feature a 140-seat auditorium and lecture hall, a new home for the Memphis
Speech and Hearing Center, research labs and health assessment and skills labs. It
will be located on the Park Avenue Campus.
"This is a great day for the University of Memphis as well as the health care system
in the Mid-South," Raines said after the announcement was made. "This will allow the
University to produce top-notch health care professionals to meet an ever-growing
health care demand in the area. This is a landmark day for the U of M.”
School of Nursing students have a 98 percent pass rate on the NCLEX by first-time
exam takers. Seventy percent of the U of M’s Advanced Practice Nursing graduates work
as Family Nurse Practitioners in medically underserved areas of Tennessee.
The academic programs of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology have been ranked
among the Top 20 “Best Graduate Schools” by U.S. News and World Report.