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I can’t wait to welcome our students back to campus.

Dear colleagues,

I know many of you have questions about the fall semester, given recent changes to local health data. We are in regular communication with the Knox County and Tennessee health departments through the Emergency Operations Center, and we will continue to monitor various metrics and engage in contingency planning.

I can’t wait to welcome our students back to campus. Rocky Top is home, and after several months of quarantine I understand even better how meaningful being in this place is for members of our community—especially our students. Everyone recognizes that this fall will be vastly different than any semester before it. We will keep health and safety measures front and center as we offer a first-rate on-campus experience for our students.

We will deliver on our quality academic reputation. We plan to provide in-person and online academic, health, wellness, counseling, and support services. We also plan to offer a full slate of safe in-person activities and virtual events to help round out a meaningful college experience for our students.

All of us—faculty, staff, administrators—will be the ones delivering the excellent education, support, and programming our students have come to expect from UT. I am looking forward to teaching an in-person first-year studies class myself.

Senior leadership and I will continue to communicate expectations to supervisors and will ensure they are preparing offices and planning staffing needs to support our students when they return to campus.

As we have from the beginning of this pandemic, our planning will be done with maximum flexibility, compassion, and creativity. And it will be done with the needs of our students in mind.

I look forward to seeing you on campus soon.

Donde Plowman