The University of Tennessee Southern

Rebirth of an Institution

  • Author(s): La Branche, Mark and Jennifer Sicking
  • Series:
  • Imprint: University of Tennessee Press
  • Publication Date: 2024-07-01
  • Status: Not Yet Published - Will Back Order
  • Available in Hardcover - Printed Case: Price $29.95 | Buy Now

A cup of coffee provided the impetus that changed the futures of the University of Tennessee System and a small, private Methodist school in southern Middle Tennessee. When UT System president Randy Boyd met with Martin Methodist College chancellor Mark La Branche for an early morning discussion of higher education in the state, the topic soon delved into new possibilities with the proposal of “What if . . . ?”

This book details the challenges as UT and Martin Methodist College began to explore a merger that would impact future generations of Tennesseans. Faculty and staff members share their thoughts and concerns as well as their preparations for the integration of two institutions of higher education with one passion of expanding educational opportunities for the residents of Tennessee.

The acquisition of one university by another is rare, and even rarer still is when it involves a public university system and a faith-based institution. In University of Tennessee Southern: The Rebirth of an Institution, the authors tell this historic story through the many steps taken to bring the new campus into being.


MARK LA BRANCHE received his BA in Philosophy from University of South Alabama, MDiv from Emory University, and DMin from Boston University. He is chancellor emeritus of University of Tennessee Southern.

JENNIFER SICKING received her BA in Journalism from West Texas A&M University and her MA in English from Indiana State University. She is director of publications for the University of Tennessee System.