JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — East Tennessee State University President Brian Noland used data to outline enrollment, budgets, salaries, and other major institution initiatives at his State of the University Address on Friday.

“We’re an institution that’s moving forward in a purposeful manner,” Noland said.

Noland reported that ETSU has the highest enrollment this year in school history with freshmen, graduate, and Quillen College of Medicine classes. That freshman class, Noland said, came in with the highest grade point average.

“Raising the quality of life,” Noland said. “Raising the education attainment levels. Diversifying the economy. Helping to ensure that we as an institution are living and fulfilling our mission. That’s the work ahead of us.”

Some potential changes coming to the university include a salary increase of 19% for full-time entry pay and eligibility for benefits. This would bring pay to $13.65 with a 4.5% increase across the board. The salary increase would be the first in over three decades.

The school is also implementing a new payroll system, called Voyager which will help with efficiency.

New academic programs are in the works, including synthetic biology, bio-engineering, and mechatronics.

A task force has also been created to redesign general education. Noland’s report said six competencies and associated learning outcomes have been identified. The school hopes to begin implementation in spring 2024.

The university is working toward a new budget model as well.

All of these, Noland said, are in an effort to be proactive rather than reactive.

“There’s a lot of change. There’s a lot of initiative,” Noland said. “There’s a lot of momentum under the way. And it was a wonderful story to tell as I provided a positive state of the university address to the campus.”

Noland said the salary increase proposal will be brought to the Board of Trustees in November.