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Campus Update for May 18

May 18, 2020 at 2:59 pm

A Message from the Chancellor

Dear colleagues,

As you know, the Re-Imagining Fall Task Force has spent the past four weeks working through scenarios and considerations for resuming classes in August. I expect to receive the group’s recommendations later today, and we will make the full document available to the campus on the task force website within the next few days.

I greatly appreciate the time and energy that all 82 committee and subcommittee members put into this assessment and for the leadership of the co-chairs, Deans Ellen McIntyre and Steve Smith. This was a huge responsibility for all involved and an investment in the health and success of our students, faculty, and staff this fall. From everything I have heard so far, the final report contains many creative ideas for delivering a high-quality experience for our students while maintaining safe practices for all.

Parallel to our task force’s work, the UT System engaged emergency management representatives from each campus, led by Jon McCullers, professor and chair of infectious disease at the UT Health Science Center, to identify best practices for health and safety system-wide. Dr. McCullers was also an advisor to our campus task force.

Our Re-Imagining Fall Task Force report, along with the system’s report on best practices, will give us a starting point around making decisions, allocating resources, and rolling out more detailed plans for the next academic year. As we continue through this process, I am committed to engagement, transparency, and communication.

Thank you, as always, for doing your part as we navigate this unprecedented time. It will take the work and expertise of faculty and staff across campus to prepare our campus for students again.

Donde Plowman

Facilities Services Prepares Campus for Gradual Return

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One UT Grants Awarded to 25 Projects

The UT System has announced the 25 winning projects receiving $1 million in One UT grants, which are intended to promote collaboration and innovation across the system in the areas of education, discovery, and connection. UT Knoxville faculty members are principal investigators or collaborators on 22 of the projects.

UT Faculty Apps Could Keep Patients Safe during Pandemic

COVID-19 is dramatically altering today’s health care environment as providers look for ways to serve their patients without putting them at risk. Two new health care apps created by UT Knoxville researchers may help. Though neither app was developed with a pandemic in mind, their inventors each believe their technology can support individuals indirectly or directly affected by the pandemic.

Plowman, Barnes Surprise Former Vols Point Guard—and Now UT Grad

UT point guard Jordan Bone surprised his mom on Mother’s Day with the news that he had completed his degree a year after being drafted by the New Orleans Pelicans. On Friday, Chancellor Plowman and Head Basketball Coach Rick Barnes surprised Bone, who now plays for the Detroit Pistons, on ESPN with a special recognition of his accomplishment.

Smokey Is a Good Boy but a Tricky Costar

Chancellor Plowman recently discovered that there’s some truth to the adage about working with animals on screen.

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