(Senate - June 20, 2012)

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[Pages S4362-S4363]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                         ADDITIONAL STATEMENTS


                       TRIBUTE TO DR. ROBERT BELL

 Mr. ALEXANDER. Mr. President, I would like to congratulate Dr. 
Robert Bell on his outstanding record of service to Tennessee. Dr. Bell 
will be retiring as president of Tennessee Technological University at 
the end of this month and has served the university for 36 years.
  He has served as president of Tennessee Tech since 2000, and before 
becoming the university's president, he served as both a professor and 
dean of the College of Business.
  During his time at Tennessee Tech, Dr. Bell has fostered both an 
increase in student enrollment and university recognition, while 
ensuring that student education remained affordable.
  His contributions to Tennessee extend beyond the university level. He 
has served as a member of the board of directors for the Tennessee 
Center for Performance Excellence since 1993 and chairs the Cookeville 
Industrial Development Board. He is also a proud member of the 
executive committee of the Middle Tennessee Boy Scouts of America, an 
organization dedicated to helping young men achieve their potential.
  I want to add my appreciation for his years of service to Tennessee 
Tech and wish him well in his retirement.
  I ask to have the following resolution printed in the Record.
  The resolution follows.

 A Resolution of Appreciation for the Service of Dr. Robert R. Bell to 
                     the Tennessee Board of Regents

       Whereas, Dr. Robert R. Bell has thirty-six years of service 
     with the Tennessee Board of Regents system and Tennessee Tech 
     University, serving as a professor in TTU's College of 
     Business, then as dean, then as President of the University 
     since 2000,
       Whereas, as President of TTU, he oversaw 12 straight years 
     of enrollment growth, with TTU's enrollment approaching 
       Whereas, he chaired a TBR Vision of Teaching Excellence 
     committee in 2004 to establish future teaching standards and 
     led his University to develop and expand extended education, 
     distance learning and virtual classrooms,
       Whereas, he supported the Regents Online Degree Program and 
     championed degree innovations at TTU to increase access to 
     education and to respond to industry needs in order to 
     improve the education and economic progress in the state,

[[Page S4363]]

       Whereas, as President he set his sights on a program to 
     prepare the state's teachers, from Pre-K to college levels, 
     to teach science, technology, engineering and mathematics by 
     establishing The Millard Oakley STEM Center and providing it 
     a state-of-the-art home in the new 26,000-square-foot Ray 
     Morris Hall in 2010,
       Whereas, he recognized the need for a nursing school in 
     rural Tennessee and garnered support from the state 
     legislature, U.S. Congress and private and corporate donors 
     to fund the construction of a multi-million dollar Nursing 
     and Health Services Building,
       Whereas, he kept his promise as President to upgrade 
     facilities to increase recruitment and retention and oversaw 
     the construction and completion of two residence halls--New 
     Hall South and New Hall North,
       Whereas, under his guidance TTU established Learning 
     Villages, which aim to bring students and faculty together 
     around a common interest and bridge the gap between the 
     living and learning segments of campus and to encourage 
     college completion,
       Whereas, the University's endowment has doubled during 
     Bell's presidency to nearly $60 million,
       Whereas, under his leadership in a difficult economic 
     environment, TTU has remained affordable. Students graduate 
     with the lightest debt load in the region, according to U.S. 
     News & World Report, and sixty percent of 2010 TTU graduates 
     left school debt free,
       Whereas, the Tennessee Board of Regents grants President 
     Emeritus status to Dr. Robert R. Bell for his continued 
     support of the system, now, therefore, be it
       Resolved That the Tennessee Board of Regents expresses its 
     sincere appreciation to Dr. Robert R. Bell for his 
     outstanding contributions and leadership to the system and 
     wishes him the very best in his retirement.