Dr. Fannie Hewlett Reflects On Her 35-Year Career At Chattanooga State

Monday, June 30, 2014

June 30 will mark the end of Dr. Fannie Hewlett’s career at Chattanooga State. Hired as a psychology instructor in 1976 at Cleveland State, a colleague notified Dr. Hewlett of an opening for a psychology instructor at Chattanooga State in 1979 that would be closer to home and an easier commute for her. The rest, as they say, is history.

Prior to 2001, Dr. Hewlett served as an instructor, department head and dean before being named vice president for Academic Affairs. In 2011, her academic role expanded and she was named the college’s first Provost.

With a smile, Dr. Hewlett remembers the late 1970s. Known as “The Growing Years,” she recalls a completely different campus look than the current one that included only a Technology Center, Instructional Materials Building (Library), Student Center and a Physical Education Building. “The community college movement reached its zenith in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s and Chattanooga State experienced exponential growth,” states Dr. Hewlett.

According to Dr. Hewlett, the most exciting thing to happen in education during her tenure was a refocusing from a “teacher driven process to a learner driven process” where institutions became more concerned with students and the way instructors approach teaching. As technology entered the picture, it was critical for faculty to move forward. She cited keeping abreast of changes occurring to meet the outcome goals of Tennessee Board of Regents and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accrediting agency as challenges facing future academic administrators.

One of the things Dr. Hewlett is most proud of is her administrative team. Through the years she has employed the strengths of her staff to achieve academic goals. “When the Regents Online Degree Program was first introduced, all TBR institutions were expected to participate as part of a collaborative initiative focusing on increasing access opportunities for students and to provide funding even if we were not using it,” she recalls. Under the leadership of Dr. Hewlett and her staff, what was once a program operating in the red here at Chattanooga State, now brings in more than $1 million each year.

Known for her vivacious personality, Dr. Hewlett stays motivated by what the next day holds. “There is a new challenge around every corner,” says Dr. Hewlett. Although awards hold meaning to her, she cherishes the ones that have to do with teaching or administrative excellence, a measurement that says, “what I do matters.”

Dr. Hewlett was present when Governor Haslam visited Chattanooga State to announce the recently enacted law called Tennessee Promise. She has hopes it will make education more affordable to a great many students. Although Tennessee Promise benefits graduating high school seniors in Tennessee with a 2.0 GPA or greater beginning in 2015, more than 55 percent of Chattanooga State students are age 25 and older. Dr. Hewlett’s advice to those students is to find a job at a company that pays for your education. Older students need to stress to employers how additional education will benefit the company.

As June 30 approaches, Dr. Hewlett looks forward to spending more time with her husband of 40 years, Jesse, her children and grandchildren, traveling, and catching up on recreational reading. Dr. Hewlett is a long-time member of Warren Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church and enjoys working with Charisma Club, a small civic club in Chattanooga.

Reflection aside, Dr. Hewlett says she will miss the people of Chattanooga State the most, but “I am ready to enjoy what I’ve been working toward all my life,” says Dr. Hewlett.


Hiwassee College Says New Program Provides Safety Net For Students, Helping Graduates Repay Student Loans

Hiwassee College officials said they are so confident in the preparedness of their graduates to enter the workforce that they are further supporting student success after graduation. Beginning in the Fall of 2016, Hiwassee College will provide their new loan repayment assistance program, the Hiwassee College Advantage, to all incoming freshmen students. "Hiwassee College is ... (click for more)

Dr. Chute Named Dalton State's Vice President For Academic Affairs

Dr. Patricia Chute, dean of the School of Health Professions at New York Institute of Technology, has been named vice president for Academic Affairs at Dalton State College effective July 25. Dr. Chute was chosen following a nationwide search and succeeds Dr. Sandra Stone who left the position in October 2014 to serve as regional chancellor of the University of South Florida ... (click for more)

County Commission Told To Fully Fund County Schools Improvement Request Would Take 28 1/2-Cent Property Tax Increase; 78 School Personnel Would Be Added

County Mayor Jim Coppinger told members of the County Commission at a budget workshop on Tuesday that it would take a 28 1/2-cent property tax increase to fully fund the county school budget request. The county schools are asking for $24,218,919 in new money for a focus on workforce readiness, literacy and low-performing schools. County Mayor Coppinger did not say whether ... (click for more)

Judge Poole Rules In Favor Of State On Billy Hawk Murder Cold Case Motions

Criminal Court Judge Don Poole has ruled that the state can introduce at the murder trial of Billy Hawk testimony about his alleged drug involvement with the victim in the case, Johnny Mack Salyer. Hawk is charged in the 1981 murder of Salyer, whose body was found in a 55-gallon drum in the Tennessee River. The witnesses indicated that Salyer was cooperating in the drug case ... (click for more)

Marvelous News From Central High School

To Roy Exum:     With all the recent news of major dysfunctions within our educational system, I thought I might alert you to something better. About a year ago you ventured up Highway 58 to Central High School to represent your late grandfather, Roy McDonald, as he was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus during the annual Senior Day festivities. I sort of expected ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Yes, A Social Experiment

JoeySalads, his screen name, is widely known for his funny pranks except for the fact he calls them “social experiments.” So while we are still on the transgender-restroom issue, our boy JoeySalads got a transgender friend to approve his attire before he tried his luck at entering women’s restrooms. I don’t think you’ll be real surprised at what really happened in this video. Click ... (click for more)