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Faculty concerned about new teacher training residency planned at UofM

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MEMPHIS, Tennessee — Faculty members at the University of Memphis say they have concerns about a new teacher training program under consideration.

The Commercial Appeal reports the newspaper and faculty obtained Relay Graduate School of Education's 448-page application last month through the Freedom of Information Act. The university has offered Relay free classroom and office space for the program that it proposes to start next summer.

According to the newspaper (http://bit.ly/13gQ6jP), faculty in the college of education sent a letter on Wednesday to President David Rudd.

"This decision is literally bringing a direct competitor onto our campus and promoting them as an option for our undergraduates to move into Relay's Graduate School of Education MAT (master's of arts in teaching) degree," according to the letter from faculty in Instruction and Curriculum Leadership.

"Of perhaps even greater concern and cause for alarm is the secretive manner in which the University's administration has undertaken this endeavor, after indicating that we would be informed as details were put into writing earlier this academic year," the letter says.

Rudd said on Thursday that he plans to forward the final agreement to faculty, but the current documents are preliminary.

"I am happy to forward whatever anyone wants to see, but I would put a sticky note on it saying, 'This is just the starting point and not the ending point.' You have to start somewhere in the negotiations. For the record, I look forward to meeting and discussing their concerns in detail and understanding their position."

The Tennessee Higher Education Commission is scheduled to decide next month whether Relay will be allowed to operate in the state.


Information from: The Commercial Appeal, http://www.commercialappeal.com

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