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Campus Update for May 21

May 21, 2020

A Message from the Chancellor

Dear colleagues,

Now that the Re-Imagining Fall Task Force has submitted its recommendations, the next stage of planning for the fall semester is to prioritize these ideas, assess their feasibility, and make decisions about implementation. To facilitate and coordinate this process, I have appointed Dean of Libraries Steve Smith to serve as special advisor to the chancellor.

As co-chairs of the task force, Steve and Dean Ellen McIntyre adeptly led a team of 82 people in gathering creative ideas and solutions. He is a natural choice to take on this leadership role, where he will also serve on the chancellor’s cabinet and the emergency management policy group.

Steve will have primary responsibility for leading this next stage of planning for the safe and effective return of classes, activities, and operations for the fall semester. I have asked him to take into consideration the ideas from the task force and guidance from other sources including the UT System task force, the American College Health Association, and government authorities. He will have the full support of the cabinet, policy group, Emergency Operations Center, deans, vice provosts, and others across campus to help move us to decisions and ensure that those decisions are implemented.

This appointment will last through at least August 31. Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor David Manderscheid has appointed Associate Dean Holly Mercer to serve as acting dean of UT Libraries during this time.

I have full confidence in Steve to lead us through this planning process, and I know he will have the support of the entire campus.

Donde Plowman

Task Force Submits Recommendations for Fall Semester

The Re-Imagining Fall Task Force submitted its report, which includes recommendations and creative ideas for structuring fall semester, to Chancellor Plowman Monday. In a message to campus Wednesday, the chancellor said that the report, along with additional recommendations from a UT System task force, will serve as a foundation for making critical decisions about the return to campus this fall.

Social Work Alumni Serving on Front Lines of Pandemic

In the midst of the pandemic, alumni of the College of Social Work are finding new ways to provide essential human services to their communities across the state and around the country.

WUOT News Earns Six Tennessee AP Awards

WUOT’s news team has been honored by the Tennessee Associated Press Broadcast and Media Editors with six awards, including first-place awards for long serious news feature and special series/documentary. The awards, announced April 24, commended outstanding work in print, television, radio, and digital journalism in Tennessee in 2019.

Smokey Delivers Meals to Area Schools

Tennessee’s beloved costumed mascot Smokey is brightening spirits during the COVID-19 pandemic by helping distribute meals to students at area schools this month. At food distribution sites throughout the area, families drive through school parking lots to receive free meals. Last week, Smokey visited three sites in Scott County, and he visited four more in Knox County this week.

Apply for UConnecT Leadership Program

This fall Human Resources will again offer UConnecT, a yearlong immersive leadership and professional development program for highly motivated nonexempt staff members who have at least three years of continuous service. To apply for the program or find more information, visit the HR website. The deadline to apply is June 12.

Reminder: University Closed for Memorial Day

The university will be closed Monday, May 25, for Memorial Day. Flags on campus will be at half-staff from sunrise until noon in memory of those who have served our country. The flag is raised to full-staff at noon to honor those who served and are still with us.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.