Slacking 'Dore demand

Jeff Lockridge reports that Vanderbilt might actually sell fewer season tickets this year, despite coming off a nine-win season for the first time since Woodrow Wilson's first term:

Last year approximately 18,500 season tickets were sold, and Vanderbilt celebrated a nine-win season for the first time since 1915. Vanderbilt went over 16,200 season tickets this past week, said director of sales and marketing Steve Walsh. The season opener is Aug. 29 against Ole Miss, which features Blackman graduate I’Tavius Mathers.

The article notes several potential reasons — the school raised prices (one long-time season-ticket holder said his tickets went up $350) and added more sections for the exclusive use of the National Commodore Club, Vandy's odd-numbered year schedule is less attractive, the rape indictments — but none of that assuages James Franklin, who said he is both coach and salesman, but he'd like to drop the latter from his business card eventually (and Steven Godfrey makes the right observation here: if Franklin leaves as coach, it'll be because he couldn't drop that salesman job).

Anchor Of Gold points out that VU season tickets have always been buttressed by opposing fans and the new, higher (but still lower than the rest of the SEC) prices and donation requirements do kill some of that false demand.

Also of note, in light of the ongoing rabble about the Predators' scheme vis a vis Blackhawks tickets, is this tidbit (emphasis mine):

Vanderbilt last sold out of season tickets in 1996 when Notre Dame was on the schedule and Irish fans were forced to buy seats to every game to see their team in Nashville. Vanderbilt’s high-water mark in recent years was 19,000-plus in 2008.

Aug 19, 2013 10:00 AM

First woman to hold VU endowed professorship dies at 72

Jean Bethke Elshtain, a former Vanderbilt University professor of Christian ethics who wrote provocatively in support of the U.S. war on terror, died in Nashville on Sunday. She was 72. Elshtain joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 1988 and was, according to her biography on the website of the University of Chicago Divinity School (at which she later worked), the first woman to hold an endowed professorship in VU history. Read more here.

Aug 14, 2013 2:10 PM

VU scientists to unveil possible anxiety treatment findings

Vanderbilt University scientists will report next week the discovery of a potential treatment for anxiety. The chemically modified inhibitors of the COX-2 enzyme relieve anxiety behaviors in mice by activating natural “endocannabinoids” without gastrointestinal side effects. Bill Snyder and have more here.

Aug 8, 2013 7:15 AM

VU's Zeppos joins other university leaders in addressing federal cuts to research

Vanderbilt University Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos has joined 164 college and university leaders in asking President Barack Obama and members of Congress to recommit to federally funded science and engineering research in an effort to reverse the “innovation deficit” following sequestration. Liz Entman and have more here.

Aug 7, 2013 1:08 PM

Drop anchors, not calls

AT&T says it has eliminated the black (and gold?) service hole at Vanderbilt University Medical Center by installing a new 4G LTE-capable Distributed Antenna System.

The DAS contains 1250 antennas providing enhanced network coverage to 11 facilities at the campus covering more than 4.9M square feet of space.  The facilities include Vanderbilt Hospital, Monroe Carell Jr. Childen’s Hospital, Medical Center East North Tower, Medical Center North, The Vanderbilt Clinic, Medical Center East South Tower, Preston Cancer Research, Medical Research Building 3, Medical Research Building 4 and the Medical Arts Building.

AT&T invested nearly $1.4 billion in its Tennessee wireless and wireline networks from 2010 through 2012, with a focus on expanding 4G LTE mobile Internet coverage and enhancing the overall performance of its networks.

A DAS installation consists of multiple strategically-placed antennas that distribute AT&T’s wireless network coverage throughout the Medical Center’s campus providing for more efficient management of wireless capacity in heavily-trafficked areas. DAS has the ability to provide enhanced, more consistent wireless coverage to customers in indoor or outdoor spaces where geographical limitations – terrain, building construction, etc. – or crowd density might otherwise prevent the optimal wireless experience.

Aug 6, 2013 10:32 AM

Technology Council seeks local leader to tackle unfilled jobs challenge

Massey replacement will need to be a 'bridge builder'
Aug 2, 2013 11:31 AM

NPT show to feature VU researchers

Nashville Public Television will debut tonight the second program in its Tennessee Explorers series, with the show to feature three Vanderbilt faculty members and researchers. David Salisbury and My VU at have more here.

Jul 30, 2013 12:45 PM

Local Pulitzer winner to spend semester at VU

American Lion author to teach political science course, lead public events
Jul 26, 2013 6:56 AM

Vanderbilt to unveil flexible paid time off system

Following local media reports that it has cut — either via firings or layoffs — more than 300 employees, Vanderbilt University Medical Center (and Vanderbilt University in general) will institute a "modernized benefits plan" (read here). Called flexPTO (paid time off), which was announced a few weeks ago and is part of VUMC's efforts to improve efficiencies as it wrestles with federal spending cuts and fewer employees, the plan offers what VU officials feel will be greater flexibility for time away from work by combining all accrued leave hours into a single, centralized bank. The flexPTO offering also comes after VUMC earlier this week outlined its Staff Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive Program (read more here).

Jul 25, 2013 2:00 PM

VU names new CIO

Money manager prepping move from Duke
Jul 23, 2013 6:49 AM