TTU President Oldham honored with TCPRA’s Otis Floyd Award

Tennessee Tech University President Phil Oldham recently was honored by the Tennessee College Public Relations Association with the Dr. Otis Floyd Jr. Award, presented annually to a higher education administrator in Tennessee to recognize superior achievement in innovation, leadership, vision and communication.

Known for his vision, understanding and integrity, Floyd was the first African‐American chancellor of the State Board of Regents for Tennessee and former president of Tennessee State University.

“TCPRA is so pleased to be able to honor Tennessee Tech President Philip Oldham with this year’s Otis Floyd Award,” said TCPRA President Amy Blakely. “As communicators, we are so grateful for administrators that recognize the value of communications and support our work. Good communication is critical for our internal audiences and our many external audiences, including prospective students and their families. It also enhances the reputation of our colleges and universities and the educational goals of our state.”

Under his leadership the past two years, TTU crafted a new vision that aspires to raise the national reputation of the university by building on its traditional strengths. The university also developed Flight Plan, a strategic lens through which the university sets priorities. Examples of Flight Plan initiatives that have been created and funded to improve the student experience include Freshman Flight Path, an early intervention program to monitor freshman class attendance. Retention efforts also received a boost through Student Success Centers in each college staffed with additional advisers. As a result, TTU’s student fall-to-spring retention rate increased 5 percent.

Beyond TTU’s campus, Oldham’s input and leadership is sought statewide. In 2013, he served on the Tennessee Higher Education Commission Formula Review Committee, the THEC Online Education Innovations Task Force and Drive to 55. He is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents’ Common Data Repository Advisory Committee, and he is the 2013-2014 chairperson of the Tennessee Board of Regents’ University President’s Group.

Oldham also has served on statewide task forces to develop the new higher education funding formula for Tennessee and to create universal transfer pathways to provide seamless student transfers across all Tennessee public colleges and universities.

On a national level, Oldham represents the Ohio Valley Conference on the NCAA Presidents’ Advisory Group and serves on the AASCU Committee on Undergraduate Experience.

TCPRA is an organization of communicators — including public relations, marketing, web and creative design professionals — who represent colleges and universities, public and private, two-year technical schools, technology centers and community colleges across Tennessee.