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Campus Update for May 11

May 11, 2020 at 4:34 pm

A Message from the Chancellor

Dear colleagues,

As I reflect on the past few weeks, I am astonished by all we have accomplished. Together we have moved more than 300,000 credit hours of curriculum online, celebrated our 2020 graduates in meaningful ways, called to check in on nearly 40,000 admitted and current students, ensured we could support our students virtually with tutoring, advising, and counseling, and distributed millions of dollars in fee refunds, CARES Act funding, and Emergency Student Fund grants.

You have done a tremendous job taking care of our students. With the spring semester behind us and a lot of work still ahead, it’s important that we also take care of our own needs. The Be Well initiative, part of the Center for Health Education and Wellness, is celebrating Employee Health and Fitness Week with a series of events beginning Thursday.

It’s more important than ever that we take the time to check in with ourselves and one another. We have a lot of work ahead, and it will take all of us to prepare for the fall semester. On Monday, the Re-Imagining Fall Task Force will present its report and recommendations to the senior leadership team. We will share these findings in the days that follow.

Thank you, as always, for your deep commitment to this campus and our Volunteer community.

Donde Plowman

Strategic Visioning Ramps Back Up

Our campus response to the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated UT’s resilience and the true meaning of the Volunteer spirit. The experiences we’ve shared over the past few weeks, and those that came before, will help us explore what the future can and should be like for UT as we resume the strategic visioning process we started earlier this spring. Over the next three weeks, there will be a series of discussions about the university’s future and the new draft mission, vision, and goals statements created by the strategic visioning committees. Your voice is important to this process, so please join the conversation.

Jacobs Visits Tickle College of Engineering

Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs visited the Innovation and Collaboration Studio to speak with faculty and staff about the college’s work in 3D printing and manufacturing face shields for health care workers in the fight against COVID-19. Uday Vaidya, UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair for Advanced Composites Manufacturing, and Tom Duong, ICS academic support specialist, were there to demonstrate some of the 3D printers and discuss the work being done to produce the face shields.

Local Group Donates Personal Protective Equipment

East Tennessee Chinese/Chinese-American Care, a Knoxville-based initiative formed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, has been donating personal protective equipment to first responders and health care workers. Composed of individuals from UT, ORNL, and others in the local community, the group has delivered nearly 30,000 items and has raised nearly $12,000 for relief organizations.

Reminder: Advisory Board Meets Wednesday

The UT Knoxville Campus Advisory Board will meet at 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 13, to hear an update from the chancellor and vote on a recommendation for the campus operating budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The meeting will be initiated in Knoxville with members participating electronically or by phone.

Plowman, Boyd, Compton to Deliver Webinar on Leadership in a Crisis

Chancellor Donde Plowman, UT System President Randy Boyd, and Chair of the Board of Trustees John Compton will provide an overview of how our campus and the UT System are leading the state’s largest university during the novel coronavirus crisis in a webinar hosted by the Haslam College of Business Friday. The trio will address challenges and opportunities at the campus, system, and board levels.

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