Ran in the Weakley County Press:

Early estimates show a 13 percent drop in UT Martin’s fall enrollment. That is more than 800 students that will not be contributing to the local economy (buying gas, shopping locally and dining out) in a town with a population of just over 11,000 in 2013.

Representative Andy Holt lives just 10 minutes up the road in Dresden and represents the area including the campus. He earned his MBA in 2007 from the institution, and I believe he has a unique opportunity to lead the discussion in Nashville about how to keep UT Martin a vibrant, four-year institution for Northwest Tennessee.

I challenge Representative Holt to do just that – to meet and work with interim Chancellor Dr. Robert M. Smith and his staff to improve the HOPE Scholarship and Tennessee Promise programs. Governor Bill Haslam and his staff must hear firsthand from someone who has attended UT Martin and spends time in the city of Martin about how important the campus is to its future.He must be a vocal proponent at the capitol for the university as an important part of the district he represents.

Stephen Yeargin
UT Martin Alumnus (2001 - 2006)